The Tatler 10: Malcolm Wood
The co-founder of Maximal Concepts speaks to us about his entrepreneurial journey to date
Whether it’s Mott 32, Blue—Butcher & Meat Specialist and Limewood, chances are you’ve come across one of Maximal Concepts many brands at one point or another. Malcolm Wood, Xuan Mu and Matt Reid are the trio behind the rapidly expanding food and beverage company and Malcolm, the co-founder, managing director and culinary director for the group speaks to us about Maximal’s journey to date and his hopes for the future:
Hong Kong is home, it’s a place where I feel I can challenge myself in both business and my personal life. I find it interesting that most people think Hong Kong is nothing but a superior metropolis but many often don’t realise that it has a beautiful, serene side to it. Whether it’s the mountains, waterfalls, and endless trails, it has some of Asia’s best rock climbing and coastal paragliding.
Maximal Concepts is a company which owns, manages and creates restaurants and we currently have 18 different brands under our management with more to open by the end of this year. We are fortunate to be one of the most awarded companies in Asia and we’ve been expanding further afield in these few years.
My proudest accomplishment on a personal note would have to be my kids, they make me think and question everything I do in life and I am very grateful for every second I get to spend with them. From a business point of view, it has to be our growth and most importantly the creation and international expansion of Mott 32, our flagship restaurant. Mott 32 was the first Hong Kong brand to win the World Interior of the Year Design Award at the Inside Festival in a collaboration with Joyce Wang Studio, and its also the first luxury Chinese food brand to be franchised from Hong Kong to the West.
The best part about running your own business has to be being able to work with a great team of people. The creativity and sense of family that we have established within the company are the core components of Maximal’s DNA, we’re all driven by the same passion for creativity with a goal to keep doing something different. The journey has been challenging but the experience has been rewarding and it’s been great to be able to share it with our like-minded team.
My advice to budding entrepreneurs is to remember persistence and passion. Without trying and failing, you learn nothing. I feel its important to truly believe in your product and to place the utmost importance on our team members. As a group we make decisions that push us to rethink how we approach things, the environment and sustainability.
My biggest inspiration would be my family as they heavily influenced my passion for cooking. I lived in 12 different countries as a young adult and have had the privilege of being exposed to both an abundance of Western and Asian cultures and cuisines, which has strongly influenced me personally and the Maximal Concepts brand as a whole.
If you don’t stop at some point to look back and draw conclusions from your past experiences then I believe you’re not learning. A fundamental aspect of being an entrepreneur is making mistakes and taking risks, this is how you learn and grow. We’ve made many mistakes and we try our best to understand why things have worked as its important for steering you forward into the right direction.
I don’t have an ultimate end goal but I want to keep waking up in the morning and being around people that I love, it’s something that really motivates me. I want to keep creating restaurants and challenging myself in both my business and personal life.
Photography by Michaela Giles