Saks – founder of Broccoli Revolution, a restaurant with healthy, organic, vegan food which supports people in many different ways. Together with Sati Foundation they run a lot of social projects, including scholarships for poorest children from Thailand, education about mindfulness and many others.
Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?
I think for building a community. We have a lot of regular customers, we have big response from them. Ultimately we want to be like a family: growth for us means growing as a community. This building has two other floors. In the second floor we want to open a social art gallery. When we take a commission from the artists we donate part of it to charity. Then, we organize different workshops, for example ceramic workshop. On the last floor we will do a vegetable garden. It will be a kind of lifestyle center. In fact, eating is lifestyle. What you put in your body is part of your life.
Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?
People. You can’t ever judge people’s emotions, mentality. People have different reactions, sometimes crazy. The only thing you can do is to treat them the best possible way, but some people are just difficult. When you work with numbers, or anything which has a structure, it’s easy. You know what to expect. If you work with people, there are no rules.
Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?
First of all, we need to make Sati Foundation strong. And then, we believe in organic growth. With social causes you have to be open-minded and ready to collaborate. A lot of businesses try to block other competitors, so they can grow. But for us it is about being open-minded and collaborating, find like-minded businesses, like-minded people and grow together.
Would you like to add something else?
I want to share the story of one of our scholarship kids. He is a 12-years-old tribe boy. He was born with HIV. When I met him, he was in 6 grade. His teacher said he is very hard working student, coming every day with his pills; then after school he goes to help his parents at the farm and when they are sick, he drives them on motorbike two hours up the mountain. A small kid. I saw him and I looked at his eyes. Although he is only 12 years old, he is so experienced. So strong. This boy should be the most successful person in the world. But he may not be, just because he was born in these circumstances. He was born with sickness, without money. Even with that, thought, he is able to succeed. Think about us: we have so much more, what’s our excuse to not succeed? Not helping other? Not try to be a better person? He is my inspiration. Someone so small, with so many bad things happening in his life and yet he is so strong. We want to support people like that, give them opportunities, make them succeed. There are so many people in the world who have no choice. I want to make right choices, as I can do it.
The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.
Singapore, 10th June, 2016