Entrepreneur Avin Ong: From Selling Hangers to CEO of Macao Imperial Tea

Avin Ong, the visionary behind Macao Imperial Tea and CEO of The Fredley Group of Companies, has carved a remarkable path to success in the world of food and beverage. His journey, from humble beginnings to leading a multi-million-dollar empire, reflects his belief that opportunities are abundant for those willing to seize them.

Growing up in a blue-collar family with limited resources, Ong’s early life was far from extravagant. His family’s livelihood revolved around assembling hangers and selling them in the bustling streets of Divisoria, Metro Manila.

Today, Ong oversees a diverse portfolio of businesses, including New York Fries and Dips (NYFD), Nabe Japanese Izakaya and Hot Pot, Café Kitsuné, and the immensely popular Macao Imperial Tea. His recipe for entrepreneurial success is built on several key principles.

Firstly, Ong emphasizes the importance of seizing opportunities when they arise. Having experienced financial hardship in his past, he has become adept at embracing opportunities without hesitation, even if he feels unprepared.

Secondly, Ong stresses the significance of understanding your target market intimately. He recognizes that different consumer segments require tailored approaches. For instance, Café Kitsuné caters to a more upscale audience, while Macao Imperial Tea targets a younger demographic through social media influencers like TikTok. 

Furthermore, Ong emphasizes the scalability of his brands, which has allowed for rapid expansion. Starting with less capital-intensive concepts like NYFD and Macao Imperial Tea, he has achieved impressive milestones, such as opening 13 new stores in a single day.

Innovation and adaptability are also cornerstones of Ong’s success. During the pandemic, while some of his ventures struggled, Macao Imperial Tea’s sales surged by over 300 percent.

Lastly, Ong’s humility shines through in his readiness to admit failures and setbacks. While he had to close some branches, he prioritized retaining his loyal team members by reallocating them to more successful establishments. He shared with Tatler Asia how he acknowledges that surprises are inevitable in life, as exemplified by his initial failure to gain admission to De La Salle University. However, his determination led him to eventually fulfill his dream of attending the esteemed institution.

Featured Image Source: The CEO Magazine