15th July, 2019
Australia and New Zealand are brimming with tales of business bravery and against-all-odds success stories. And MYOB is dedicated to sharing them.
For celebrated chef Junda Khoo, the flavours of his birthplace continue to shape his career and his life.
But it’s the story of how he went from being a young Malaysian émigré to starting a successful career in finance and, eventually, to becoming one of Sydney’s notable up-and-coming chefs that really defines him, as originally told to Broadsheet for ‘We, The Brave’, a content series developed in partnership with MYOB.
When Khoo first decided to try his hand at hospitality, he had no formal culinary training or experience in a commercial kitchen yet was still willing to risk everything in order to follow his dreams of owning a restaurant.
It all culminated in the opening of Ho Jiak in Sydney’s Chinatown, which he launched with his business partner, William Xie.
“We put everything on the line,” said Khoo in his interview with Broadsheet. “We cleared out our home loans and emptied our bank accounts.
“We went all in, pretty much.”
Khoo’s easy-going attitude belies the bravery he’s displayed throughout each twist and turn in his career – and it’s the stories of customers like these that MYOB is bringing to life in 2019 and beyond.
Dubbed ‘We, The Brave,’ the six-part series seeks to reveal the journeys that MYOB’s exceptional entrepreneurs have taken to reach their success.
Joining Khoo, the featured small business owners include gallerist Kitty Wong of Saint Cloche and award-winning landscape designer Phillip Withers as part of a diverse group of businesses operating in the food, art or design spaces.
But as brand media and partnerships manager for MYOB, Lauren Nikolareas says, this group of six is just the tip of the iceberg, representing a broader campaign to champion MYOB’s customers and share their stories of success.
“We’re delighted to partner with Broadsheet and The Design Files to tell these stories of ambition, their ingenuity and creativity and their unparalleled passion for what they do,” said Nikolareas.
“We believe the campaign will resonate strongly with other entrepreneurs and inspire the next generation of successful Australian businesses.”
We, The Brave follows hot on the heels of MYOB’s first round of brand advocates for 2019, which features notable customers Brooke Meredith (A Conscious Collection), Sam Wood (28 by Sam Wood) and Adam Dovile (ASD Constructions). And they’re soon to be joined by another three renowned small business owners.
Overall, the activity is resulting in an increasing number of MYOB’s small business customers appearing in newsfeeds, social media channels, blogs, on radio and billboards and even public transport across Australia and New Zealand.
MYOB brand communications manager Melissa Spiers says the calibre of these small business heroes reflects the strength of the region’s business community as a whole.
“It’s our mission at MYOB to champion our customers in any way we can,” said Spiers.
“But by the same token, the stories we’ve uncovered so far are really just scratching the surface.
“Every one of our customers has a story to share and we want to continue working to tell those tales of bravery and entrepreneurial spirit at every opportunity.”
In the end, Australia and New Zealand’s leading online accounting software provider is much more than a platform for running your business, it’s a platform for your success.
And for an enterprising restaurateur in Sydney looking back at his early life spent cooking with his grandmother in Penang, success means getting even more time to experiment in the kitchen.
“[MYOB] saves us a lot of time and allows me to do what I love most, which is cooking,” said Khoo, speaking to Broadsheet.
Header photo: Junda Khoo and William Xie, co-founders of Ho Jiak. Photographer: Kimberley Low.