An elevator convo with Violet Lim. See here for more from our Next Up series.
What do you do?
I’m the co-founder and CEO of Lunch Actually Group. I’m a certified matchmaker and Lunch Actually’s Chief Cupid! I’m passionate about helping as many people as possible to achieve happiness through our work.
How does your business work?
First, we invite every potential client to our office to have a chat with our dating consultant. During this chat, we find out more about their profile and preferences. We also carry out ID and background checks. After that, should we have suitable candidates for them, we offer them a membership package. Based on their profile and preferences, as well as our dating consultant’s assessment, we will proceed to find their first match. Each and every match is handpicked by our well-trained dating consultant. After a match is found, we will contact both parties to share details about the match with them. Once the match is approved by both parties, we will proceed to arrange the date, book the restaurant, and finalize any other necessary arrangements. All they need to do is to turn up at the restaurant and enjoy their date. After the date, we will contact both parties again to ask for their feedback. Based on their feedback, we will either help them set up their next date or fine-tune the dating criteria to find them their next match.
How did your business get started?
My first job was with a global bank as a management associate. That was where I first got the inspiration for starting a dating agency, as I had so many single colleagues. During that time, I got to work in many different departments and met many people. I observed that many of my colleagues were single and not dating. That was rather puzzling for me as they were attractive and eligible people. I soon realized that it was because they were working long hours — they were virtually married to the bank.
When I came across the concept of lunch dating, I was immediately attracted to the idea because I felt that lunch was short, sweet and simple. It is long enough for you to get to know someone, yet short enough to avoid any potential awkwardness. Having always been passionate about helping people, I decided to quit my job at the bank and start a new career as a modern-day matchmaker to make a difference to people’s lives by helping them find life-long happiness.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are single, busy, successful and eligible professionals and executives from various industries, including finance, law, health care, education, technology and more. The majority of them are in their late-20s to mid-30s. They are seriously looking for that special someone but, due to their hectic lives, are unable to find them. 70% of them are degree holders while 19% are Master’s and PhD holders.
What’s a day in your working life like?
There is never just a typical day at work. I always set a few days of the week aside for internal and external meetings. I meet my team leaders one-on-one or meet with external partners, media, and collaborators. Other days, I focus on actually sitting down, strategizing, planning, checking and replying to emails, et cetera. I also travel to all our branches on a quarterly basis for our meet-the-CEO town halls where all associates can ask me any questions they might have about the company. One of my passions is sharing what I have learned to help others benefit from my knowledge and learn from my mistakes. Hence, I share my experience regularly at workshops, seminars and conferences, or even with students who are writing assignments on the topic of dating and relationships. There’s never a boring day at work!
Where do you see your business in future?
We would definitely like to expand into more markets in the region to reach out to more singles. At the same time, our R&D department is also hard at work to develop new products and new features to better serve our singles and help them find love. We will also continue to build on our positive company culture to grow and develop our team members as we work together to hit our goal of creating one million happy marriages.