Driven by Passion

With names like The Hill, The Pool and more recently The Roof, you can tell that Roen Cian, entrepreneur and co-founder of The Group has a penchant for naming their ventures. But underneath their seemingly simple monikers, Roen says there’s always more than meets the eye. At 27, Roen exchanged a cushy job in advertising to delve into the world of entrepreneurship, however for him, it wasn’t a tough transition. “The reason I was in advertising was more about creation, a platform where my ideas can see the light of day. With the business, it’s the same whether it is a bar, restaurant, a juice business or football field. The differentiating factor is a good idea. So when people ask me what business am I in, I say I am in the business of ideation.”

Men of the Year 2015: Roen Cian Nagapan, Entrepreneur-am_il_v1001_i_8cd2d072291d1fc93d2d4238f3bc031486_91308855da873ab20f6ecfd8777fad5256

Photographs by Vincent Paul Yong/Studio Verve, Outfits by Emporio Armani, Watches by Bell & Ross

Starting with Tom, Dick and Harry, which was sold a while back, Roen and his business partner/ childhood friend moved on to The Hill, setting up a bar where nobody had thought to build one. Then it was The Pool in Jalan Ampang, the first of its kind in the country and more recently The Roof. Following the pressures of the economy, The Group next set up Life Juice (a cold press juice bar with 10 outlets) and they also plan to open a three acre sports complex in Bandar Utama, complete with two full-sized, FIFA AstroTurf football fields. “All our projects are driven by passion. When I was younger, I had a little bar in my father’s house and it is the same with football, I have been playing all my life but as a youth we never had the opportunity to play on a good field.” 

Although Roen’s social media page looks glamorous and fun but according to him in order to achieve his success, he has had to make a “serious amount of sacrifice.” Engaged in back end stuff, Roen says he’s had to sacrifice time with loved ones and to withstand long days and nights. His passion, however is what keeps him going “If you find projects that ultimately make you happy and you see that project through that’s joy on its own.”

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