Cheryl climbed the cooperate ladder all the way to Executive at AM bank Malaysia. Not bad for a girl who came to Malaysia age 10 and had to first learn the local language.
We had the opportunity to speak with Cheryl Ellron, the founder of Makan Bites, a unique company that acts as a bridge between Malaysian suppliers and international outlets. With her expertise, Cheryl assists Malaysian businesses in exploring new markets, particularly in the United Kingdom and Europe. In this interview, Cheryl shares her journey, the growth of her business, and her vision for the future.
About Cheryl Ellron
Cheryl Ellron, the passionate entrepreneur behind Makan Bites, has established herself as an expert in connecting Malaysian suppliers with international markets. Born in Malaysia and having spent some years in the United States, Cheryl brings a unique perspective to the table. With a background in finance and extensive experience in the banking industry, she leverages her expertise to guide businesses through the complexities of global trade. Through Makan Bites, Cheryl facilitates workshops, trade shows, and business matching, helping companies position themselves successfully in the UK and Europe. Connect with Cheryl and explore her work on Makan Bites website.
Discovering Makan Bites
Cheryl's entrepreneurial journey began in 2020 during the pandemic. As an e-commerce platform, Makan Bites initially focused on selling Malaysian products online. However, as demand grew and companies started seeking opportunities to expand into the UK and Europe markets, Cheryl saw an opportunity to transition into a business-to-business (B2B) platform. Today, Makan Bites serves as a connection point for Malaysian suppliers and international outlets, catering to the needs of both parties.
Empowering International Brands
One of Makan Bites' primary objectives is to assist international brands in entering new markets. Many of these brands are seeking to expand beyond their home country but lack knowledge about foreign markets, including labeling, packaging, and positioning strategies. To address this, Cheryl and her team organize workshops to educate these brands on market dynamics, providing them with the necessary guidance and support to navigate the UK and Europe markets effectively. This hands-on approach ensures that these brands can confidently position themselves and successfully enter new territories.
Facilitating Bilateral Trade
While primarily focused on connecting Malaysian suppliers with international outlets, Makan Bites also plays a role in facilitating bilateral trade. Cheryl has expanded her services to include introducing European brands to the Asian marketplace. This expansion is driven by the demand from overseas companies looking to enter the Southeast Asian market. Through her network and collaborations with government agencies, Cheryl is creating opportunities for both Asian and European brands to tap into new markets.
A Busy Schedule Ahead
With numerous initiatives in the pipeline, Makan Bites has a busy schedule ahead. Cheryl is organizing webinars, trade missions, and trade shows to foster business connections between different regions. In September, she will be hosting a trade show in the UK, showcasing various brands and facilitating business matching sessions. Additionally, she plans to conduct workshops in Malaysia to equip local businesses with the knowledge they need to thrive in international markets.
From Malaysia to the UK: Cheryl's Journey
Cheryl's personal journey has been intertwined with her professional growth. Born in Malaysia, she spent some of her formative years in the United States before returning to Malaysia at the age of 10. Adapting to the Malaysian culture and language was initially challenging for her, but over time, she became fluent in Malay, allowing her to connect more deeply with her roots.
A Career in Banking
After completing her education, Cheryl embarked on a career in banking. She held various positions in several banks, gradually climbing the corporate ladder. Her impressive performance, dedication, and leadership skills led her to become a senior-level executive at a prominent Malaysianbank. However, despite her success in the corporate world, Cheryl felt a longing for something more meaningful—a desire to make a tangible impact and contribute to her country's growth.
A Calling to Bridge Cultures
Cheryl's calling to bridge cultures and connect people ignited a fire within her. She realized that her passion lay in fostering international trade and helping businesses expand their horizons. This realization marked the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey with Makan Bites.
Starting a new business is never easy, and Cheryl faced her fair share of challenges along the way. The COVID-19 pandemic presented unforeseen obstacles, disrupting supply chains, and causing uncertainty in the market. However, Cheryl's resilience and unwavering determination allowed her to navigate through these turbulent times.
A Beacon of Hope
In the face of adversity, Cheryl remained steadfast, determined to be a beacon of hope for Malaysian suppliers and international brands alike. She understood the immense potential that Malaysian products held, with their unique flavors, rich cultural heritage, and commitment to quality. Cheryl's vision was to showcase these products to the world, bringing a taste of Malaysia to global audiences.
Empowering Local Suppliers
Through Makan Bites, Cheryl has empowered local suppliers, giving them a platform to reach international outlets. She has witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of connecting Malaysian suppliers with global markets. By facilitating trade and fostering collaborations, Cheryl has helped Malaysian businesses expand their customer base, increase revenue, and create employment opportunities for local communities.
Central to Cheryl's approach is her focus on nurturing relationships. She believes that strong partnerships built on trust, respect, and shared goals are the key to success. Cheryl invests time and effort in understanding the needs and aspirations of both Malaysian suppliers and international outlets. By bridging the gap between these two worlds, she cultivates mutually beneficial relationships that pave the way for sustainable growth and prosperity.
A Catalyst for Change
Cheryl's work goes beyond mere business transactions. She envisions Makan Bites as a catalyst for change, driving economic growth and cultural exchange. Through her initiatives, she hopes to foster a deeper appreciation for Malaysian cuisine, traditions, and craftsmanship. By showcasing the diversity and quality of Malaysian products, Cheryl is not only boosting the local economy but also promoting cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.
A Bright Future Ahead
Looking ahead, Cheryl is filled with optimism and excitement. She envisions Makan Bites expanding its reach, connecting suppliers from various industries and countries. Her goal is to become a global leader in facilitating international trade, where businesses from around the world can come together to forge meaningful connections and create lasting partnerships.
There will be sleepless nights and all that when you think about it. I mean just being consistent being disciplined with yourself I think that that's going to take you far. - Cheryl Ellron
- Key Takeaways:
Facilitating International Growth: Makan Bites serves as a bridge between Asian manufacturers and international markets, providing guidance on labeling, packaging, and market positioning.
- Workshops as Gateways: Cheryl organizes workshops to educate companies on how to navigate the UK and European markets, empowering them with the knowledge and tools for successful expansion.
- Trade Shows and Business Matching: By coordinating trade shows and facilitating business matching, Cheryl creates opportunities for Asian brands to showcase their products and connect with potential buyers in Europe.
- What is Makan Bites? Makan Bites is a company that connects Malaysian suppliers to international outlets, serving as a platform for Malaysian products to explore the UK and Europe markets.
- How did Makan Bites evolve from a B2C platform to a B2B platform? Makan Bites initially started as a business-to-consumer (B2C) platform during the pandemic in 2020, selling Malaysian products online. Due to the growing demand and opportunities, it expanded to become a business-to-business (B2B) platform, connecting with corporate clients, government agencies, and organizations in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to assist them in entering the UK and Europe markets.
- What services does Makan Bites offer to international brands? Makan Bites provides workshops and guidance to international brands regarding the UK and Europe markets. They offer support in areas such as understanding market dynamics, labeling, packaging, and positioning to help these brands establish themselves successfully.
- Does Makan Bites facilitate bilateral trade between European countries and the Asian marketplace? Yes, Makan Bites also engages in bilateral trade, connecting European countries with the Asian marketplace. They work with government agencies and companies in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, to facilitate trade missions, webinars, and trade shows to promote business opportunities.
- How did Cheryl's background and experience contribute to her role in Makan Bites? Cheryl's background in the banking industry and her experience climbing the corporate ladder provided her with valuable skills and knowledge to navigate the business world. Her ability to adapt to different cultures and her passion for exploring new markets made her well-suited to connect Malaysian and Asian brands with international outlets and vice versa.
Cheryl's journey with Makan Bites is a testament to the power of entrepreneurship, resilience, and the drive to make a difference. Through her dedication and unwavering commitment, she has built a bridge between Malaysian suppliers and international outlets, opening doors of opportunity and transforming lives along the way. Cheryl's vision, passion, and ability to connect cultures have positioned Makan Bites as a driving force in the global marketplace. As she continues to empower businesses and bridge gaps, Cheryl is shaping a future where borders are blurred, and collaboration knows no boundaries.