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2020 Was Certainly A Tough Time, But These 2 Local Entrepreneurs Are Making The Best Of It

2020 Was Certainly A Tough Time, But These 2 Local Entrepreneurs Are Making The Best Of It

Aaron Chin and Roberto Guiati reflect on their newfound appreciation of time together with Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega.

2020 is probably one of the strangest years that mankind has ever experienced together. Countries across the globe went into lockdowns and nearly everyone found themselves spending more time at home.

For some, this was a chance to reconnect with people, things and activities that got swept aside in the whirlwind of busy schedules and work. But for many, the perception of time has changed.

Changing times

For Roberto Guiati, Group Senior VP & Chief Executive of Petra Cucina, a sobre 2020 brought some respite and an opportunity for some personal reflection.

It was tough at first, the idea of limited liberty was hard to grasp, but I quickly adapted. And frankly it was a quiet period that I actually enjoyed. I needed to slow down and appreciate what we have rather than what we want.

Roberto Guiati, Group Senior VP & Chief Executive of Petra Cucina
Roberto Guiati, Group Senior VP & Chief Executive of Petra Cucina
(Credit: Omega)

While local entrepreneur Aaron Chin, found the year zipping by at breakneck speed, his sentiments echo that of Roberto’s – it was a year of appreciation.

The one thing that 2020 has taught me was to realize how little we actually need in order to sustain life and find true, lasting joy within all of us.

Aaron Chin, Managing Director at Gamlite IT.
Aaron Chin, Managing Director at Gamlite IT
(Credit: Omega)

You see, the two entrepreneurs’ “typical” year involves a great deal of work and activity.

Aaron is the Managing Director at Gamlite IT, a company he founded a decade ago and proudly led to become the only MSC Malaysia Status technology company in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Roberto is a business leader and fine dining restaurateur, well-known in the local gourmand circles for his impeccable taste.

The two admit that many plans were derailed on both a business and personal level, but choose to remain positive, to see opportunities in uncertainty and to simply make the best of the challenging times.

But still… what if they could turn back the hands of time?

Knowing what they know now, would’ve the two leaders changed the way they spend their time in the years before? Well, not really.

But the knowledge of 2020 did bring into focus the things that really matter: family, loved ones and the time with them.

For Aaron, this confluence of love and time come together in the form of an Omega Seamaster Calendar that as a child, he used to watch his father wear. “It has a very clean dial, and timeless design,” he recalls.

Now, as a successful adult, Aaron dons a timeless timepiece of his own – the Omega Constellation Gents’ 41mm.

Aaron Chin dons the new Omega Constellation Gents’ 41mm.
(Credit: Omega)

Indeed, there’s no better timepiece to symbolise the reflection and appreciation of time as Omega’s Constellation collection has been around for 70 years and is currently one of the Swiss watchmaker’s oldest collections.

It started out as a chronometer for men in 1952 and has undergone countless aesthetic transformations – from the pie-pan dials of the 1950s to the 1982 Constellation Manhattan with its hallmark claws and now, the sleek 2020 Constellation Gents’ 41mm collection.

The new 41mm Master Chronometer-certified watches certainly bear the marks of 2020 as a new anti-bacterial rubber lining is featured on the leather strap iterations.

But nods to the past are still present as the Constellation’s famous design traits – such as the iconic claws, and the half-moon facets – are still at either end of the case which come in either stainless steel, 18K gold, or a combination of both.

The new models also feature bezels crafted in polished ceramic to replicate the look of the original Constellation Manhattan of 1982, which used shiny sapphire glass.

Omega Constellation Gents’ 41mm.
(Credit: Omega)

All these beautiful touches are not lost on Aaron, who is in awe of the collection’s evolution to become a very versatile timepiece. So is Roberto, who finds himself drawn to the Swiss watchmaker’s timeless ethos.

Omega has been around for so many years and respected even more. Reputation, long lasting reliability, consistency and innovation are principles that I respect a lot and resonate with in my daily conduct.

Roberto Guiati, Group Senior VP & Chief Executive of Petra Cucina.
Roberto find a lot of similarities with Omega’s values as he wears the Constellation Gents’ 41mm.
(Credit: Omega)

After all, evolution with the times is certainly something that these two entrepreneurs are familiar with – even more so with the pressures of a pandemic.

Overcoming challenges with limited time

“This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions,’ admits Roberto, who lost his father this year.

And with global lockdowns and closed borders, it was even harder with his family thousands of kilometres away in Italy which also became the first virus hotspot in Europe. “But then you realise there are so many people who really care about you, that sometimes we may take for granted.”

Roberto credits the support of his friends, family and colleagues here in Malaysia for making it through the difficult times.

All of this pushes you to do even better. Focusing on work, not being able to travel much, gave me time to come up with new ideas. And as I say if you stay positive and open, opportunities appear. They are always out there.

Roberto Guiati, Group Senior VP & Chief Executive of Petra Cucina.

The year’s challenges have also taught Aaron to put more emphasis on building resilience in his business, instead of solely focusing on growth.

In fact, 2020 has made him contemplate on the words of Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘‘No Mud, No Lotus” – reminding that lotus flowers will only grow in mud.

And that in the same way, it’s life’s muds that offer much-needed nutrients for our hearts and souls to grow. I hope we all learn to be conscious of our daily actions, face our sufferings and dare to change for the better, and always find the strength to keep going, even though we may still be in the mud.

Aaron Chin, Managing Director at Gamlite IT.

With 2021 upon us and a newfound appreciation of time, may we all find strength blossoming in us through the mud of life.

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