“Be Brave and Be Kind” – Anissa Jamlus, Wok It


We're celebrating Women all this month!

Whilst not very well known, 2 out of the 3 owners of Wok It are actually women!

Yup, you read that right..

AJ & Mia - 2/3rds of Wok It

..and one of the two is Anissa Jamlus or better known as AJ!

At the age of 23, she already has a BA (Hons) Logistics & Supply Chain Management from University of Glamorgan (UK) and an MBA from University of South Wales (UK) to boot!

"Be Brave and Be Kind"

Anissa Jamlus, Co-Owner
Wok It Sdn Bhd

From initially just helping out Wok It in its early stages, AJ then became a central part of the Wok Squad and the overall management of the business.

With her level of know-how and increasing involvement, it only made sense to have her become an owner of the business to help drive it forward and upwards!

We took the chance to have her share her insights on the challenging world of F&B and her experience of being a female entrepreneur in a largely male-dominated world..

1. How would you describe yourself in three words?

  • Observant
  • Optimistic
  • Family oriented

2. How did you find yourself doing what you do now?

I started out being just another helping hand, and became more and more involved when Wok It grew and before I knew it...

..here I am - a co-owner of the business itself! 

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3. With no background in F&B, what made you jump into the challenging F&B industry?

To be honest, I had no specific intention in joining the F&B industry; the interest grew as I got more involved with Wok It..

What made me join Wok It was the vision and idea that my partners brought forth which excited me to the potential of this endeavour.

4. What is it like to be jumping into business - without any prior working experience?

At this point, jumping onto this bandwagon has been the most challenging step that I’ve taken in my life.

Coupled with zero prior working experience, it has made this endeavour doubly hard for me.

For me personally - it was a lot of figuring things out on my own, whether it was in terms of research, being attentive to other F&B business, and of course to be proactive once a possible solution comes to light.

5. Who is your biggest role model/inspiration?

A strong female who does what she loves..

...is damn good at it

..and is always giving back.

Serena Williams is my bada** inspiration.

6. What is the biggest challenge you came across, and how did you handle it?

Figuring out the inner workings of being in the F&B industry as it is is already a challenge. I find myself attending to issues that never crossed my mind as a customer, but felt a complete change being on the other side of the table.

I'm more involved in the Operations side of the business, and the biggest challenge was probably when we grew to two full-fledged outlets plus having a central kitchen function. 

Being a restaurant, managing inventories with many perishable goods and maintaining food quality and consistency can be quite a headache.

I think we've managed to keep it under control by putting the right systems in place - I wouldn't say that we have solved it entirely - as the systems are forever evolving..

7. How do you keep your team, partners motivated and keep moving?

For me it’s by keeping myself motivated and that’s by reminding myself of the end goal that we're trying to achieve with Wok It. 

I feel that by keeping myself motivated, by keeping my energy up it will automatically translate in my actions and that helps keep the people around me equally motivated.

8. What is women empowerment to you?

To summarize, I would say it’s equality for women.

What that means is that women be supported, respected, appreciated and given opportunities equally as is afforded to the opposite gender.

9. What’s your favourite Wok It Box combination and why?

Kway Teow + Kam Heong + Prawns + Beef + Beansprouts + Mushrooms

Although the colour may not convince you, trust me it’s DELICIOUS.

The spiciness of the the kam heong, crunchiness of beansprouts, together with two of my favourites, beef AND prawns..

will always be my go to anytime, any day.

10. If you’re given the chance to speak to many women, what is the most important message that you want to tell them?

As much as this message is for others, it is also something I continue to remind myself daily.

Be brave and be kind.

In this world where most fields are mainly male-dominated, we need to be brave enough to stand up and be part of the game.

If we are not given the opportunity, let us be brave and create our own opportunity. With that in mind, we should never forget to be kind, to others, and most importantly to be kind to ourselves. 

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