How Danny Loong led Timbre Group throughout COVID-19 as its CEO

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Danny Loong all the time needed to have a bar that would present a platform for musicians in Singapore. He ended up bringing this imaginative and prescient to life when he began a dwell area in 2005, housing a music venue, restaurant and bar beneath one roof, together with a couple of different companions.

Known as Timbre, this dwell music venue was first arrange in Substation. He had bands of 5 to 6 members, and his signature Timbre pizza was on the menu.

Though he knew there was an opportunity it might “crash and catch hearth” as the situation wasn’t essentially the most accessible, Danny factors out that they have been fairly fortunate, as their launch was greeted by an amazing crowd.

At the moment, Timbre has since expanded to different places in Singapore, together with Timbre+ Eastside on the Singapore Expo in 2021.

Timbre+ One North / Picture Credit score: Timbre Group

With music as its core part, Timbre Group has expanded its scope from being simply an F&B setup to a full enterprise ecosystem supporting native musicians with its personal expertise administration company and music faculty referred to as Timbre Music Academy.

It has all the time been a delight to look at younger bands carry out, wheedling the gang, drawing them in and constructing their captive viewers. We consider in supporting each cowl bands and authentic bands. So we now have created an authentic collection from Singapore to rejoice our gifted musicians. From there, it has expanded to help our native avenue distributors, small restaurant companies, and culinary expertise.

– Danny Loong, CEO and founding father of Timbre Group

From a musician, for musicians

Relating to serving to others within the native arts scene, there is no higher particular person to do it than Danny, as he too was once a musician and entrepreneur.

Earlier than establishing Timbre Group, Danny based an artist and occasion administration firm referred to as UBlue Community, the place he and his workforce labored on thrilling initiatives like music festivals or initiatives with big-name purchasers like Heineken.

UBlues / Picture Credit score: Timbre Group

He was additionally a full-time musician from 2000 to 2004 in a band referred to as UBlues, till they took a break when their lead singer returned to Perth.

From these experiences, Danny honed his occasion administration, advertising and marketing and branding expertise along with his background within the arts.

“As a musician from Singapore, I totally perceive the dearth of platforms and area for native musicians to carry out and lift consciousness,” says Danny.

He shares that though his band UBlues was fortunate sufficient to be supplied the chance to report an unbiased launch and promote their album, he’s conscious that not each band, artist or musician can get the identical alternative.

Finally, what received the ball rolling was when he learn the Nationwide Arts Council’s Renaissance report in 2000 which mentioned the federal government’s technique to advertise the humanities in Singapore, which enormously impressed him.

Coincidentally, his mentor knowledgeable him of a backyard inside the Substation that was accessible for buy. “I used to be intrigued because it was the place I frolicked once I was broke as a teen. So there was a way of nostalgia for me,” she says.

Bell in the substation
Doorbell @ The Substation / Picture Credit score: Singapore Worldwide Picture Competition

The second he went to take a look at area, he fell in love with it and determined to put in Timbre on Substation. That they had run for greater than 15 years, however lastly closed because of the Nationwide Arts Council withdrawing it final 12 months.

Advocate for change from inside

Having taken over as CEO of Timbre Group throughout the top of the Covid-19 pandemic 13 months in the past, Danny confronted many pressures, considered one of which was championing a brand new tradition that might be higher for transferring the corporate ahead.

I needed to construct a piece tradition of mutual respect inside the workforce and for everybody to work in direction of a standard objective. Firm tradition is the spine: the corporate can be a shell and not using a good tradition. The alignment took a while. It was troublesome, however it was price it.

– Danny Loong, CEO and founding father of Timbre Group

Danny shares that he’s grateful to have a workforce of fantastic and competent members who align together with his targets and visions for the corporate, main the way in which in instilling a greater and extra empathetic work tradition at Timbre Group.

Danny Long
Danny Loong working with others / Picture Credit score: Timbre Group

One in all these visions is to create a protected area for the workforce to be inventive. To make that occur, Danny and his workforce try to replicate on Timbre Group’s progress in order that they’re consistently conscious of how they’ll make the corporate even higher.

“I’ve to make sure that everybody works fortunately at Timbre Group by ensuring the corporate has a correct construction and supplies a transparent imaginative and prescient and technique,” he emphasizes.

Acknowledging that he has his personal fashion of dealing with issues, the final 13 months for Danny have been nothing in need of stunning and eye-opening. Not solely has he honed his capability to stability the enterprise and inventive sides of himself, however he has additionally realized the significance of stepping again, listening, and even offering the area for youthful workforce members to guide and Share his concepts.

He shares that being trustworthy with himself consistently pushes him to replicate and enhance. “If it is not ok, we’ll work on it shortly. there’s definitive[ly] nervousness but when the whole lot is manageable acknowledge it pretty much as good nervousness”, he shares.

Struggling to remain afloat throughout Covid

Having to work within the Timbre Group tradition was no straightforward feat, contemplating the way it was accomplished whereas the pandemic was ongoing.

Because of the restrictions, Danny shares that Timbre Group struggled to remain afloat as they have been unable to make a lot cash. Lots of its long-standing legendary bars and institutional music venues have been closed, and the variety of accessible dwell music venues dropped considerably.

Nevertheless, realizing that native musicians now have fewer platforms to make a residing, shine and hone their craft, Timbre Group determined to focus their vitality and assets on supporting their native skills and maintaining the model energized via music packages on I dwell with the help of manufacturers. as Audio-Technica.

This inspired their meals companions to stick with them, leading to a excessive leasing charge in any respect of their places regardless of the pandemic. “We’re grateful for the help of our meals companions, prospects and authorities grants to maintain the enterprise going,” says Danny.

Finally, they have been capable of maintain the model alive throughout the pandemic and even placed on a really profitable live performance collection referred to as Goodbye Backyard, which was a farewell live performance when the federal government needed the constructing again, with 44 of 66 of their exhibits offered out. exterior.

goodbye garden
Band acting at Goodbye Backyard / Picture Credit score: Goodbye Backyard

For Timbre Group, their key to surviving and staying related via these challenges is staying true to their beliefs of supporting the musicians who labored with them. As Danny properly sums it up, “[s]generally, it isn’t about pivoting, however about the necessity to return to the basics”.

Moreover, Timbre Group used the downtime to evaluate their model, from their avenue vendor hub to meals park, to see how they’ll additional enhance their operations. That is about determining learn how to minimize prices, work extra carefully with the proprietor, and make sure the workforce is motivated.

“Now we’re know-how as an answer,” says Danny, who then shares that they are going to be deploying a kopi robotic arm at their new location, One Punggol Hawker Heart, to resolve labor points.

In different phrases, Covid-19 was a sport changer for Timbre. “I realized throughout COVID-19 to work with good folks, complementing manufacturers with completely different strengths to create a win-win end result,” displays Danny.

It highlights that they’re now more and more dedicated to selling native music inside Singapore’s meals parks and hawker facilities as a stronger group.

Fixed seek for enchancment

Now that the restrictions are being relaxed, Danny sees that the crowds have returned and that his gross sales have grown dramatically in consequence, permitting the corporate to return to a steady state.

Timbre Group plans to proceed its efforts to supply enterprise and advertising and marketing technique consulting to help and develop its companions. “We hope to seek out extra good folks to do good issues collectively, producing good outcomes”, posits Danny.

Additionally they plan to carry avenue musician performances to their hawker heart places and arrange F&B companies began by younger avenue distributors and native entrepreneurs, in addition to implement extra youngsters’s and group improvement packages.

Children's program Timbre Group
Timbre Group Children Program / Picture Credit score: Timbre Group

With its welcoming arms and open, inventive mindset, Timbre Group has attracted many younger F&B skills and enterprise homeowners to hitch them, the place many of those native manufacturers proceed to develop with Timbre Group.

“Some meals companions like Kopifellas began with us at Timbre+ One North and grew to turn into [six] factors of sale nationwide”, highlights Danny.

To additional assist them discover new methods to increase and achieve publicity, Timbre Group plans to create extra collaborative initiatives the place they’ll work extra collectively.

At the moment, they’ve a group ebook trade program that encourages togetherness and a way of group referred to as Take a Guide, Go away a Guide for folks to share the books they’ve learn and commerce books with one another.

As well as, they’ve “One Form Block”, a modular city agriculture accomplice, the place Timbre Group conducts workshops with nursing houses and older adults to information them on learn how to develop and care for his or her vegetation, greens and fruits. Such actions promote higher psychological well-being.

Going a step additional, the corporate has additionally taken a greener stance by championing and inspiring others to champion sustainability at its factors of sale.

Initiatives embrace “Reward It Bag” which reduces the usage of disposable plastics by accumulating reusable baggage that are then washed and cleaned for purchasers to reuse at Timbre+ Eastside, and “Meals Digesters” at Yishun Park Hawker Centre, which converts meals waste into water that’s then pumped into the sewage system.

Increasing the attain of Timbre

Through the years, Timbre’s reputation has grown considerably since they began in 2005, they usually’ve even expanded right into a second Timbre+ Eastside Meals Park with a capability of 800 folks.

They’ve additionally received awards for being the managing agent for the Yishun Park Hawker Heart and for his or her NEA avenue vendor undertaking: One Punggol Hawker Heart.

Ringer Roast Duck Pizza
Timbre Roast Duck Pizza / Picture Credit score: Timbre Group

One other manner they plan to develop is to return to the place they began: launching an unbiased F&B model in This autumn 2022, introducing their Timbre Roasted Duck Pizza that was a menu unique of their early Substation days.

On high of that, Danny highlights that Timbre is now a pre-order system, an up to date Timbre app, and methods to replace their manufacturers.

Even world manufacturers get drained and must rebrand. We’re going via the identical factor. We should be taught to higher perceive the following era and regularly enhance.

– Danny Loong, CEO and founding father of Timbre Group

Timbre Group can be contemplating launching its third Timbre+ on NS Hub within the fourth quarter of 2023.

Featured Picture Credit score: Timbre Group / @krouchend


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How Danny Loong led Timbre Group during COVID-19 as its CEO