Wong Kah Lin CPA (Aust.)
Holding Malaysian cuisine close to her heart, Wong Kah Lin joined forces with her mother, Gaik Wong, and founded The Chicken Rice Shop Restaurants Sdn Bhd in 2000, which operates a fast food restaurant – The Chicken Rice Shop.
The Chicken Rice Shop is available in most shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur and serves what the dynamic duo call “grandmother’s traditional Hainanese secret recipe chicken rice” as well as other local Malaysian dishes.
“Since chicken rice is a local favourite, we saw a need to have a good and easily accessible place for Malaysians to enjoy the dish and other local favourites as well,” said Kah Lin.
When asked how the mother and daughter duo decided to team up, Kah Lin said it was all about timing. “At that time, my mum was retiring and I was close to completing my CPA Program and the practical experience requirement. We jumped at the opportunity to work together and have never looked back since.”
Kah Lin admits that having an accounting background helped with the business. She adds that while she may not be a wizard with numbers, she firmly believes that accounting teaches one to have a structured mind and helps build analytical skills.“When we first started the business of selling chicken rice, which isn’t a sexy occupation, I realised that having the professional certification added credibility to me running the business. It wasn’t just about making chicken rice, but about building a business. That’s where the importance of the certification comes in,” she elaborated.
She also added that the business has given her many opportunities to learn and grow. “I think running your own business allows you to make very painful mistakes and gives you the experience that no school will be able to.”
Just like the balanced flavours in a plate of chicken rice from The Chicken Rice Shop, Kah Lin is a believer of having balance in life. “I make it a point to go for walks in the morning. It relaxes and prepares me for the challenges ahead,” she said.
“I also try to seek good food wherever I go, and enjoy trying new flavours to see what we can add to our menus or how we can improve certain dishes. I sometimes take a few weeks off to travel with my husband as travelling gives you the opportunity to see what people are doing in other countries and what new flavours can be brought to Malaysia.”