Ray Chan is one of Leeds most successful entrepreneurs. His company Candy Pants celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year so we connected with him for The Business show podcast. Read a few excerpts of the interview and listen to the live phone interview as Ray delves into his story, his businesses and also the future of Candy Pants.
So, for the readers who are just finding out about you. Tell us how you got into entrepreneurship?
I was born in Leeds and grew up in Horsforth with a family who were firmly into the restaurant business. My initial dream wasn’ to own a Chinese restaurant as I am always the one known to go against the grain. I fell into what i did by default and i felt like i had a point to prove as regards not going down the family traditional route. Funny enough, my family have gone from asking me when i am going to get a proper job to asking me for business advice.
So, Ray how did you start the business?
Well, Leeds is a very entrepreneurial place and after University all I did was go out every night. I got to know a lot of people and build good relationships, this enabled me to build a strong network and I guess that’s what got me started into events. When i launched Candypants, i felt as though there was a gap in the market, we wanted to target a broad range of professional people in which the night was more commercially led rather than just the music.
What are your main inspirations?
Leeds has alot of people in my sector who have studied in Leeds. For example; Nick House (owner of Mahiki), the guys from Hideout festival, they are from Leeds and the city was a great inspiration for me as the whole vibe was very supportive in my early days. I am a believer that everything happens at it’s own time.
What was the concept behind Candy Pants?
Back in 2008, I felt there was no end destination to party for professionals. The only place were DJ led venues, in with strangers you don’t know and cheap cocktails. There was certainly a gap in the market and thats what we went for! I didn’t have an end goal, I had a vision and a plan but I am also a believer that things happen at the right time and you have to be consistent in building a name and a great reputation in the industry. We started the project in Leeds and it grew to several different countries and we have had a residency in Marbella for ages.
The interview is continued via The Business Podcast. Listen to the full interview by clicking here