Angie Chong Bee Nyok
Angie Chong has had a fruitful and illustrious career in the premium lifestyle beauty, fashion and fragrance retail industry. Helming various high-end international brands, she successfully led her various teams to achieve rapid growth and expansion even against all odds in periods of economic downturn.
In the early years, Angie carved a solid career out of managing reputable global beauty and fragrance brand, Lancome. These formative years in the beauty and fragrance industry saw one of her most well-told successes – that of the sale of 1,000 units of Lancome’s Tressor fragrance in a day, that set a historic world record.
As Regional CEO of leading luxury and lifestyle fashion and watch retailer F J Benjamin Malaysia and its related group of companies, she lead a team of 600 and spear-headed the growth of international brands which included Gucci, Fendi, Celine, Guess, La Senza, Gap, Banana Republic, Raoul, Girard-Perregaux and Bell & Ross. In her 18 years with the company, she was involved in successfully strategizing and implementing brand building and business development activities.
Recognized as one of Malaysia’s top female corporate leaders by The Edge and Retail Industry, Angie was one of the main driving forces in setting retail best practices in Malaysia. During her tenure with the F J Benjamin group of companies, her business acumen, real estate selection and ability in nurturing talent were key ingredients that contributed to the success of the company’s business operations in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Angie was also CEO Asia Pacific of Crabtree & Evelyn, and did a stint as a Consultant-cum-Managing Director at Miwaki (part of the Luxasia Group) Singapore & Vietnam. She subsequently spent a year in Parkson as Advisor to the Executive Chairman-cum-CEO for Branding & Innovation for Parkson SEA.
Angie has won numerous awards internationally and locally. Among others, Angie has been awarded the Individual Leadership Achievement Award by Limited Brands in 2009. Chosen from a pool of 38 executive leaders globally, this award was in recognition of her exceptional leadership qualities.
Michele is the “Entrepreneur Extraordinaire” – driven, dynamic, creative, energetic and with an innate sense of what works and what doesn’t in business, at any given point in time. With her unwavering spirit and sense of purpose, she has navigated her way to the top of the game in the traditionally male world of entrepreneurship.
With her natural flair for turning novel ideas into successful businesses, Michele has, since the age of 20, immersed in a number of successful enterprises – from Business Trends Personnel Consultants Sdn Bhd, a headhunting and recruitment agency; to Noel Hampers & Gifts (M) Sdn Bhd, a franchise for flowers, gifts and hampers to Corporate Collections Sdn Bhd, a company trading in clothes, jewellery and premiums.
She also saw the birth of Sharity Greetings, facilitating expertise and networking to raise much-needed funds through the sale of greeting cards, for local charities such as the Majlis Kanser Nasional (MAKNA), WWF Malaysia, Shelter Home and the Kiwanis Down’s Syndrome Foundation. Since its inception a decade ago, donations have surpassed the RM2 million mark.
With Michele, timing, as they say, is everything. She inevitably engaged in businesses that had their own niche markets at the time, and successfully filled that demand.
But it is in the F&B arena that she eventually found her calling. Pioneering the successful SOULed OUT Kuala Lumpur 19 years ago, this famous café has become a symbol of fun and celebration for an eclectic mix of patrons over the years.
She has in the past two decades opened a number of iconic F&B outlets, including the award-winning 7atenine at Ascott Kuala Lumpur – voted the ‘Best Chill out Bar of the Year for 2007-2008,’ and the ‘Top Ten Hot Concept of the Year 2007-2008’ at the prestigious Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA).
Her Southbridge Jazz@7atenine outlet in Singapore won the ‘Best Casual Dining Restaurant’ from Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards 2009-2011 Singapore Series and ‘Best Restaurant Bar Award 2010’ from Singapore Tatler.
There is also the Tujo Bar-sserie & Grill Kuala Lumpur, followed by the Hubba Hubba brand outlets opened in 2014 – three new concept dining ventures each with their own particular (and market-focused) offerings. Her forte in the field of building brands is legend, in the local F&B fraternity.