For five years, Mr Ray Poh mingled with high rollers in Macau, which has been dubbed the gambling capital of the world. It was a lucrative career filled with opportunities to travel frequently. But in 2015, Mr Poh gave all of that up. “I did think about making it a career,” said Mr Poh, who had studied in Australia since the age of 12. “But I think at the end of the five years, I realised that I’d been away for most of my life from my mum, who was back in Singapore. That was one of the main factors (that led me to leave).” It took him a year to completely leave the industry, but by 2016, Mr Poh had decided on a very different career path: Urban farming.
His indoor hydroponics farm, Artisan Green, specialises in growing baby spinach. The 3,200 sq ft farm is located in Kallang in central Singapore, with its entire set-up costing Mr Poh slightly under a million dollars. Although Artisan Green was founded in 2018, a year before Singapore announced its ’30 by 30’ goal to produce 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by 2030, it is part of an increasing wave of indoor farms looking to use sustainable methods to grow produce locally.
While casino gaming was never something he had been interested in, a chat with his mother post-graduation was enough to convince Mr Poh to enter the family business. “I was thinking of entering the banking industry, but the thought of being behind a desk didn’t appeal to me much. So we were having a discussion and she said, why don’t you give this a try. Your father needs some help in the company, perhaps you can go out and see what you can do,” he said.
Initially, he did business development with his father’s manufacturing company, developing products such as slot machines. As he became more involved in product design, so his interest in the industry grew, he said.
Read more at Channel News Asia (Cindy Co)