When Mr Kelvin Ngian started working in his family business six years ago, Siam Coconut was supplying hotels and restaurants with fresh coconuts.
But he realised the 18-year-old firm needed to evolve to secure young consumers in the supermarkets. It set out to produce a shelf-stable bottled version of the traditional favourite, without heating the coconut juice.
After about a year of trial and error, it succeeded with a new product he named CocoLoco.
It would have been much easier if he could have tapped other industry players for their experience and knowledge, said Mr Ngian, 34.
Those in the food and beverage industry will now have access to such resources on a mobile learning platform. New modules in F&B-related courses were launched yesterday on the sidelines of the Speciality and Fine Food Asia and Restaurant, Pub and Bar Asia trade show held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.
These modules will be made available on the Learning Enabled through Active Participation (ULeap) application, a mobile learning platform launched by the National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) last November.
The modules are five to 15 minutes long, and cover skills from how to prepare a latte to teaching businesses to engage audiences on social media. Industry experts will contribute content, including those from the institutes of higher learning, organisations like the Asean Coffee Federation, as well as industry partners.
NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said that the food and beverage industry in Singapore is worth close to $4 billion, making it a sizeable industry which contributes almost 1 per cent to the Singapore economy.
He added: "In the face of a manpower crunch in a manpower reliant industry, increasing productivity through digitalisation and innovative business solutions is one key way to stay at the forefront of the food and beverage industry."
Speaking to The Straits Times, e2i chief executive Gilbert Tan said the modules will be "by the industry for the industry". Mr Tan added that in order for the industry to innovate and succeed as a whole, businesses need to come together to share knowledge and information, so progress can be achieved quicker and more efficiently.
The courses can be found on the ULeap app - available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, as well as on the e2i website - and are free to access.