menu Home

War Stories From Those Who Made It Against The Odds

Hear real-life advice from entrepreneurs and leaders who’ve reached high, done it, and had egg on their face to prove it. “Ramen To Riches” presents a new podcast episode each week with lessons that will edge you closer to your success.

Our stories are local, featuring Asia’s best entrepreneurs, idealists and trendsetters, and how they overcame struggles to build brands, movements and companies that impact your daily life. Failure and success go hand in hand, you cannot have one without the other.

From the moments of sheer melt-your-heart ecstasy to those mornings where you want to curl your sleep-deprived body under a blanket, being an entrepreneur is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. This podcast is dedicated to telling it how it is. No sugar coating, no nonsense. This is how it is. And it’s all been created for you.

But what – apart from the obvious – do you need to do to get there? What happens along the way? And what the hell do you do when it all breaks down?

Fear not. We’ve got your back, by providing real-life experiences from real-life people. Not text book theory, not predictable stuff you can find anywhere, but reality – funny, heartbreaking and practical reality.

Why the name, “Ramen To Riches”? Apart from being an Asian play on the phrase “rags to riches”, in startup folklore, there exists a threshold when a startup becomes “ramen profitable”. First coined by Paul Graham (Y-Combinator) in one of his famous essays, it means that you are profitable, but make only enough to afford instant ramen and cover the basic living expenses of the founders. It’s a good sign, but it doesn’t mean your idea has gone gang-busters yet. The next step would be product-market fit, then riches.

How To Subscribe

Podcasts are perfect for busy people who can listen (and learn) while they walk, gym, work or shop. You don’t have to attend a physical event and you don’t have to look at a screen. Instead of listening to the same music, why not make the switch to podcasts and learn something that could potentially change your life?

Please take a screenshot of this podcast and share it with your colleagues, family and friends. This is a free learning aid and if you think it’s useful for you, it’s most likely useful to those you care about. If you liked any particular episode, share it now.

Apple Macbook

Step 1: On your computer, open up iTunes and click on “iTunes Store” at the top of the screen.

Step 2: In top right-hand corner, type “Ramen To Riches” in the search box. When you spot the show in the results, click on it.

Step 3: Below the show’s logo, you’ll see a button that says “Subscribe.” Click that button to subscribe to the podcast.


Step 1: Open the podcast app on your phone.

Step 2: In the bottom right-hand corner of the app, click the search icon. Then, type in “Ramen To Riches”. Once you find “Ramen To Riches”, click on its logo.

Step 3: Once you are on the show’s page, you’ll see a button on the right that says “Subscribe.” Tap it to subscribe to the podcast.


Step 1: Download or open the Google Podcasts app (free) in Google Play.

Step 2: Tap the magnifying glass in the upper-left corner. Then, type in “Ramen To Riches”. Once you find “Ramen To Riches”, click on its logo.

Step 3: Tab the Subscribe button near the top-left.
On your way to work, home or the gym? Open up the Podcast app and check out our latest episode.

Or Find Us On

Recent Episodes

Hey, Change The World You Live In

Chris Chong | March 18, 2019 close

At the end of the day, that’s the point about life. It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s whatever lens you choose to see it through. Being average is so contagious it should be labelled by the medical industry as a communicable disease. That means it’s as easy as catching a cold. When you see someone else frown, those muscles around your mouth, they just start to naturally drop into a frown.

How To Build A Top Digital Media Company: TheSmartLocal Founder Bryan Choo

Bryan Choo | March 4, 2019 close

Imagine you’re 18 years old, and in your spare time, you hang out with your friends at an internet cafe to play computer games religiously. That’s the childhood that most of the kids from my generation grew up in. We’d spend hours in an internet cafe. But I was never the best at computer games. In fact, I was crushed in nearly every game, even my favourite game, Starcraft. But imagine being the kid who was so good he’d go on to represent your country in computer games. That was Bryan Choo, the founder of TheSmartLocal, one of the biggest local digital media companies in Singapore.Listen to how a computer game geek used his skills and strategy as a national champion to then build a culture and lifestyle website that now gets 3-4 m page views per month, a Facebook page with 360k followers, and a Youtube page with 230k subscribers. It took him 7 years, but Bryan now develops viral content for millennials on a daily basis, and if you’re under 35 or Youtube is the first page you go to on the internet, it’s likely you’ve seen a video that one of his over a hundred staff have created. He also talks about taking on traditional media giants SPH and Mediacorp, and how he got his first big break.

Groupon to Hard Times: The Darkness Of Early Success. Part 2

Chris Chong | February 24, 2019 close

My brother and I had a startup that had just been bought out by Groupon, the world’s biggest daily deal website, for an estimated $24 million according to the Straits Times. We made it on the front page of the national newspaper, I was busy representing Groupon on breakfast TV shows and on Channel NewsAsia, while my brother was busy moving our new offices to Harbourfront Centre. Enjoy part 2 of a 2 part series, don’t forget to listen to part 1 first.

How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon. Part 1

Chris Chong | February 17, 2019 close

At 20, I took a break from my law degree to co-found my first startup, Beeconomic, which was fully acquired after 6 months by Groupon.

As Groupon Singapore co-founder, we created over 200 jobs and made history by helping Groupon become “the fastest growing company ever” (-Forbes and CNBC). After Groupon, I worked on a startup that failed, which taught me important lessons along the way.

After finishing my law degree, I joined a “Top 5” law firm in Australia as a legal intern that led to an offer in their M&A advisory practice.

I then joined Hong Kong’s oldest English newspaper, the South China Morning Post, as social media editor focusing on content and marketing. After achieving strong digital growth, Jack Ma’s Alibaba acquired the newspaper. After the paper was successfully sold, I left to pursue my passion for cooking.

After culinary school, I moved to Singapore to advise a $100M Japanese VC as a full-time advisor. A highlight is our $1M investment into a fast-growing, millennial-focused news platform.

I have served as a consultant to 60+ startups and I also volunteer as a mentor at an incubator. My goal now is to pay-it-forward by sharing knowledge through my semi-autobiographical podcast.

  • cover play_circle_filled

    01. How We Built A $24M Startup: Beeconomic To Groupon
    Christopher Chong

  • cover play_circle_filled

    02. Groupon to Hard Times: The Darkness Of Early Success

  • cover play_circle_filled

    03. The F Word: Failure, Can We Talk About It? Part 1 Feat. Elisha Tan from TechLadies and Facebook
    Elisha Tan

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Damien from Peoplewave

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Poyan from BBP

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Tim from Waittr

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Hey, Change The World You Live In
    Chris Chong

play_arrow skip_previous skip_next volume_down
Hide Buttons