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David Yeung is the founder and CEO of the Green Monday Group, a multi-faceted social enterprise whose mission is to take responsibility for the world’s most serious crises in the areas of climate change, food security and public health.

Thanks to the global sustainability movement launched by the Green Monday Foundation, OmniFoods and OmniPork have developed revolutionary technological innovations in the food industry that are transforming retail, foodservice and plant distribution into a green community. In addition to the investment arm of Green Monday Ventures, Mr. Yeon has pioneered the creation of a unique integrated platform that employs millions of people and the public and private sectors and enables them to engage, act and act for the benefit of the environment.

His work has won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation. Other awards include Fortune 2020, Changing the World, Roddenberry Award, Producers of Changes in Kaja 2020, PETA Asia’s Company of the Year 2019, Hong Kong’s Ten Most Outstanding Young People and Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies. Mr. Yeon, a renowned environmental activist and entrepreneur, has spoken at the World Economic Forum, the Milken Institute Summit, TEDx and financial and academic institutions such as UBS and UCLA.

The international media on Green Monday and Mr. Yong include the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Nikkei Asian Review and Reuters. Mr. Yeon graduated from the University of Columbia, an Ashoka scholar and author of several best-selling books on Zen wisdom and mindfulness.

In an exclusive interview with the AsiaTechDaily, David says…

Telling a good story and having an ambitious goal is one thing, but performing is something else.

Focusing on a certain area and managing (or even owning) is better than trying to do everything but end up getting nothing.

With a positive influence on my work, I can lead a satisfying life. It’s the best motivation.

Read on to learn more about David Yeon and his career.

Tell me about your personal experiences and what motivated you to work for your company.

David Yeon: I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years. I’ve always liked to say that food is cultural, emotional and social. Do I miss the meat? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. But do I miss dim sum or hot grass? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. At the same time, if there is no vegan choice, visiting these places becomes very uncomfortable, even depressing and socially very uncomfortable. The best option is to use meat substitutes that allow vegans to lead a normal social life and non-vegans to try certain plant products.

Moreover, our world faces many challenges: Climate change, food insecurity, health problems and population explosion. The link between these acute global crises is the food industry, or rather our excessive meat consumption. Green Monday was created to provide a common platform where institutions and individuals can contribute to sustainability and health.

What is your current main product and can you give a product sales history?

David Yeon: OmniFoods, a food producer, is a member of Green Monday Holdings. Founded in April 2018, its mission is to introduce innovative food products that treat the planet well, treat animals well and treat us well. Their renowned group of Canadian food scientists innovate with Food 2.0 based on Asian food culture and cooking habits while ensuring that the ingredients are free of cruelty, cholesterol, antibiotics and hormones. The release of OmniPork, the first OmniFoods product, attracted international attention. In just two years, it has appeared on several world markets and has become a popular herbal ingredient. In May 2020 OmniFoods launched OmniPork Luncheon and OmniPork Strip, creating a new wave in food technology. OmniFoods also offers a range of OmniEat ready-to-eat products that offer a variety of healthy and nutritious ready-to-eat meals.

How much money have you raised so far? When was the last financing cycle?

David Yeon: Monday Green Holdings was able to raise more than $70 million in its first major financing round, the largest ever for plant food companies in Asia.

What are the internal decision-making processes that determined the start of fundraising and what logistics are involved? And how many investors did you meet, how did you get to know these investors and which channels worked best for you?

David Yeon: Green Monday Holdings selects its partners and investors on the basis of strict criteria: those who have a proven positive impact and those who will use their power to solve the world’s inevitable problems – climate change, healthcare and the food crisis.

What are the main challenges and obstacles in the fundraising process? If you had to start over, what else would you do?

David Yeon: In Asia, the original ecosystem is clearly not as strong as in Silicon Valley, for example. Investors are much less willing to explore new concepts. But if I had to start over, I wouldn’t change anything, because if we want to have maximum impact, we have to make a change in Asia at the end.

What are the milestones for the next cycle? And what are your goals for the future?

David Yeon: Green Monday Holdings will further expand its existing range and portfolio with the introduction of six additional OmniFoods and Green Common products. The total number of OminiFoods products is expected to be between the current 11 and 17. In our Green Common Stores we will also present new products from our partner brands.

To meet the growing demand for its products, Green Monday Holdings will increase its production capacity by expanding its existing production facilities in Thailand and setting up a mega production line in China.

How did you attract users and what strategy did you use to grow your business from start to finish?

David Yeon: With the help of Green Monday we started a movement to motivate people to go to work at least one day a week.

At the same time, with Green Common we have created a unique place where people can try innovative products made from plants from all over the world. Finally, with OmniFoods we launch new products that meet Asian pallets and needs.

Which software was the best marketing tool to develop your start-up and why?

David Yeon: It is not necessarily a single software product on the market, but rather a combination. Social networks play an important role in disseminating information.

That most starters are usually wrong about marketing?

David Yeon: Recently I read a list of the top ten starting errors. These include: (a) building something that customers and the world do not need; (b) a lack of focus. An interruption can be a trap that many starters can fall into.

How would you like to develop your activities worldwide?

David Yeon: We are actively working on the expansion of Green Monday in the region. Green Monday stocks cover more than 10 markets, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

What are the most common mistakes companies make in their global expansion?

David Yeon: Suppose success in one country/region automatically leads to success in another country/region.

How do you manage the Kovid 19 flash situation to ensure the survival of your company?

David Yeon: Our society strives for a sustainable food system that makes the world less dependent on animals and meat. This will enable us to move the world to a place that is less vulnerable and less prone to such epidemics.

What are the most common mistakes founders make when starting a business?

David Yeon: Telling a good story and having an ambitious goal is one thing, but performing is something else.

Focusing on a certain area and managing (or even owning) is better than trying to do everything but end up getting nothing.

What is the best advice you have ever received? And what advice can you give to someone who wants to do similar things with you or go in a similar direction?

David Yeon: Failure of a certain task (or even a company) does not mean failure as an individual. No success can be achieved without setbacks or failures. To grow those who study wisdom.

What are the three most popular books or movies (series) that changed your life and why?

David Yeon: The search within oneself; 7 habits of very effective people; plus all the books related to Zen.

How do you maintain your motivation on a daily basis?

David Yeon: With a positive influence on my work, I can lead a satisfying life. It’s the best motivation.

What are the three most important life lessons your (future) sons and daughters need to know?

David Yeon: Living in the present moment, helping others is the greatest blessing of life; accepting them, learning and growing with them.

Why do you want to be remembered?

David Yeon: I don’t care how or why I’m remembered. Enjoy the process and the lifestyle. Everybody else thinks it’s their business.

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