Executive Interview: Russell Yu, IKI Concepts

I had the opportunity to meet up with Russell Yu, the Director of IKI Concepts in Singapore. Russell is in the process of bringing his successful restaurant concepts from Singapore to the Philippines.

IKI ConceptsIn Singapore, Russell operates Kaiseki Yoshiyuki, Horse’s Mouth Bar and Uma Uma! Original Hakata Ramen. They are very popular spots on Orchard Road. Russell is in the process of bringing Uma Uma! Original Hakata Ramen to the Philippines with the first location opening in November 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia.

Interestingly, one of Russell’s ideas to attract talent in Singapore is to rotate the team through Manila. We know something about this as we do the same thing with our #AdventureEngineering program. We rotate our team through our Whistler, Manila and Singapore offices and use that adventure as a core part of our recruiting effort – and it works. Russell’s take on this is interesting and I think has legs. Singapore’s restaurant and retail businesses have a big challenge when it comes to recruiting. The Singapore unemployment rate is 1.9% [2014 (Q4)] and it is difficult to bring in non-Singaporeans for the roles. So many restaurants and retailers go understaffed. The concept of rotating team members from Singapore through to Manila could be that added benefit to not only attract A players but keeps them around. Interested in learning more about the opportunities at IKI Concepts, reach out to their HR team.

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