S’porean Sec School Dropout Donates $550,000 Dollars After Becoming Coffee Shop Tycoon

Donated $550,000 In Total To Medical And Educational Institutions

Who would’ve guessed that a secondary school drop out would one day become a millionaire? Well, the CEO of K2 F&B Holdings did just that.

Mr Winston Chu, 48, who dropped out of secondary school, went on to set up a F&B empire. According to a Straits Times report, he donated $550,000 to Sian Chay Medical Institution and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) this year.

Mr Winston Chu seated 1st from the left


Giving back to society

Mr Chu said, “it’s only right to give back to society. By donating money, I hope this can reduce other people’s burden.”

He added that he wanted to encourage more businessmen to donate as it will set a good example for future generations.

According to The Straits Times’s article, Mr Chu has been donating for the past 15 years to charities, educational institutions and more.

He also says that by donating to charity, he hopes to improve society and pay it forward.


Out of the $550,000, $300,000 was donated to Sian Chay Medical Institution, which provides subsidised Chinese medical treatment for the elderly.

The other $250,000 was donated to NTU to set up the Winston Chu Chee Keong & Pamela Leow Poh Hoon 2020 Bursary. The money will probably go to subsidising school fees for less well-to-do students.


Had a rocky early life

Mr Chu was once a secondary school dropout and a fishmonger. He dropped out of Changkat Changi Secondary School in Secondary 2 as he didn’t like studying.

At the age of 15, his father, who owned a fish stall, met with a serious accident, which made Mr Chu the only person left to carry on the business.

By 20, he had turned the small business into a somewhat lucrative enterprise, pulling in over $10,000 a month from sales.


However, he later got into a debt of almost $400,000 after losing money speculating on commodities. This did not stop him from trying to succeed as he worked hard and repaid his debts in a year.

In the 1990s, Mr Chu saw a threat — supermarkets. This is because the supermarkets priced their fishes very competitively and people were more likely to buy from them than from the smaller stalls.


This was when he knew he had to expand the business. Into the coffee shop business it was.

Venturing into the coffee shop business

In 2001, Mr Chu rented his first coffee shop. By 2002, he rented his second. However, Mr Chu soon realised that purchasing them was a more feasible idea in the long run as he would not have to deal with landlords increasing the rental fees. That, along with other improvements, slowly made the business an extremely successful one.

He now owns 14 coffee shops and has 400 employees under him. His firm has an annual revenue of $45 million and is even listed in the Hong Kong stock exchange.


Everyone can learn a thing or 2 from Mr Chu’s story which is that with the correct mindset and a good working attitude, you have a chance to succeed in anything you pursue.

Featured image adapted from Xi Ri Dong Fang

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