Skip to main content
Overseas recognition because of these local talents - (from left) Keith Tan, Kenneth Foong and Prashant Ashoka. Ups lah, guys! Photos: (From Left) Facebook/@happykeithtan, and Instagram/@kennethfoongkm and @prashant.ashoka

They Put Singapore On The World Map Despite Pandemic

Remember Ella? No, not the "ella, ella, eh, eh, eh" of Rihanna's hit single many moons ago. We're talking about the robotic barista that can whip up 200 cups of coffee in an hour.

Recently, news broke that this efficient brainchild of local start-up Crown Technologies headed by CEO Keith Tan has secured investments to be deployed at selected JR East train stations in time for the Olympics in Japan. Wah. Seh.

Other than Ella and Keith who have put our Little Red Dot on the world map, a couple of other Singaporeans have made global headlines for their outstanding achievements in the past year: one heads a world-renowned restaurant, and another has built an architectural marvel on top of an extinct volcano.

Read on and be very inspired.

“Why did I chose to leave a stable corporate career to start a coffee shop? To me, coffee connects people; it bridges...

Posted by Crown Coffee on Sunday, 5 July 2020

Keith Tan

Who dat? Keith is the 41-year-old CEO of Crown Group and former wealth manager turned entrepreneur, and the brains behind Singapore’s first fully autonomous robotic barista. More impressively, he has plans for Ella to even be mixing bubble tea or whipping up delicious plates of char kway teow.

He currently resides in: Singapore

He da man: From humble beginnings as a local start-up, Crown Group has secured an investment from a subsidiary of East Japan Railway Company, which will boost the deployment of its robot baristas at selected JR East train stations in Japan - just in time for the Tokyo Olympics slated for July 2021. Woo hoo!

Kenneth Foong

Who dat? The passionate 32-year-old became the head chef of four-time No. 1 World’s Best Restaurant, Noma, in Denmark in July last year. Interestingly, he finished National Service (NS) in Singapore as an officer and shares that it taught him a lot about contingencies and planning for them; this valuable skill aided him throughout his culinary journey.

He currently resides in: Denmark, Copenhagen

He da man: Foong’s career began in 2010 at Restaurant Andre; he trained at New York’s Culinary Institute of America and worked at another No. 1 World’s Best restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, as well as Michelin-starred Betony.

I turned 30 two weeks ago and while I’m not usually big on birthdays, this one in particular was a huge emotional...

Posted by Prashant Ashoka on Sunday, 10 February 2019

Prashant Ashoka

Who dat? The 29-year-old is a freelance writer and photographer, who designed a sustainably-built house he dubbed Casa Etérea, despite having no background in design or architecture. Captivatingly, the building is a mirror-encased structure that blends in with the surroundings without having the potential to hurt flying birds thanks to a special ultraviolet coating on the glass that’s visible to birds. 

He currently resides in: Mexico City, Mexico

He da man: Despite having no background in architecture or design, Prashant conceptualised and managed the entire construction of Casa Etérea on his own. Already, the dwelling has been featured on the cover of "Architectural Digest Mexico", and in publications such as the "New York Times", "Forbes", and "Architectural Digest".

For the latest updates on, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. If you have a story idea for us, email us at [email protected].

Share with others!