Generation Grit

When life gave him lemons, he made ramen

Melvin Ang, 29, came from a troubled family. His father was a gambler who plunged the family into dire straits. The polytechnic dropout taught himself to cook and now runs a ramen chain called Kanshoku Ramen.
Mr Melvin Ang at Kanshoku Ramen at Orchard Gateway, the ramen chain that he runs. The 29-year-old has found success in the food and beverage business in spite of his difficult growing-up years - his father was a gambler who owed loan sharks hundreds
Mr Melvin Ang at Kanshoku Ramen at Orchard Gateway, the ramen chain that he runs. The 29-year-old has found success in the food and beverage business in spite of his difficult growing-up years - his father was a gambler who owed loan sharks hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the family problems affected his studies, leading him to drop out of polytechnic.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Melvin Ang, 29, is no stranger to hardship, thanks to his father's gambling debts, which exposed their family to years of harassment and struggle. In our series on millennials who inspire us, he tells Senior Social Affairs Correspondent Theresa Tan his story of how he found his way out of shame and poverty.

"The worst thing about my father was that he gambled too much.

He had a renovation and construction business which did well, until the gambling habit started and he went bankrupt. He owed six or seven loan sharks up to $500,000 in total.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2018, with the headline 'When life gave him lemons, he made ramen'. Print Edition | Subscribe