Vimigo Case Study

Sarawak TAKA Cake House: 2nd generation entrepreneur transforming a 30-year traditional bakery business

Bakery Industry

Founded in 1986, TAKA Group has 35 branches as of early 2024. The 2nd generation owner, Mr. Leong Kia Chun, is ambitious and he vows to help at least 100 people achieve their life dreams within three years through the TAKA platform.

In November 2022, TAKA Group celebrated its 36th anniversary in Kuching, Sarawak. Over the past 13 years of takeover, Mr. Leong Kia Chun, the 2nd generation entrepreneur navigated numerous challenges and successfully transformed Taka Cake House from a traditional bakery brand into Taka Patisserie targeting high-end consumers. Today, TAKA Group has a total of 33 branches across Sarawak. In early 2024, TAKA expanded into West Malaysia, marking another key milestone for the company.

Leading over 30 branches is no easy feat. Mr. Leong utilized the VIMIGO performance reward system to address inefficiency among entry-level staff. Through this system, he resolved problems, motivated teams to exceed targets, and introduced bonuses for achievements, enabling employees to fulfill dreams such as buying cars, houses, and enjoying international travel. Under his 13 years of leadership, TAKA team has expanded from less than 100 people to 360!

Tough Journey of Starting & Sustaining a Business

Bread and cakes are staples for people from all walks of life. In 1986, Mr. Leong’s parents founded the first Taka Cake House 2 km away from Kuching city at Jalan Satok to make and sell bread and pastries for a living.

Mr. Leong’s father reminisces, “On the first day, we only made RM67.70, which wasn’t enough for shop rental that day. During the 80s and 90s, mobile bread vans were popular. So we went door-to-door selling our bread using our mobile van. That’s how we slowly built our business in Satok.”

“Opening a shop may be easy, but running and sustaining a business is not simple. Back then, making one loaf of bread took 3 hours, and we often worked in the back-end kitchen until late at night. Sometimes, employees would even steal the bread at our shop!”

Fast forward 20 years… After Mr. Leong graduated from university in 2011, he went to work in Singapore. A year later, something happened at the family shop, and his father requested him to come back to help. At that time, his father had opened 4 branches in Kuching.

“Taking over was very stressful. But I wanted to make a breakthrough, solve immediate problems, and gradually make it better. The biggest challenge then was debt and how to systematize the company.”

The first thing Mr. Leong did after taking over was to build a factory to centralize production and strengthen quality control. In the following years, Taka Cake House quickly expanded to more branches, creating a local popular brand in Sarawak.

Embracing Trends with New Business Model

As times change and consumer values evolve, people increasingly emphasize on emotional needs, hence willing to spend on delightful experiences, leisure, and a sense of ceremony.

Mr. Leong recognizes the future trend, “It’s not just about selling cakes; it’s about selling emotions.”

Identifying the next business growth life cycle, Mr. Leong founded the high-end brand – Taka Patisserie – in 2017. He revolutionized family business through various innovations. Specifically targeting the younger demographic, for instance, he combined the concepts of a cake shop with a café, creating a cozy environment where customers can enjoy exquisite cakes while having aromatic coffee. More than just bread and desserts, Taka Patisserie also provides end-to-end services like venue, sound systems, decoration, and self-serve meals with the aim to provide unique customer experience.

In 2020, the unexpected outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted all of Mr. Leong’s plans. Stores were closed during the MCO period. TAKA Group, however, once again overcame cash-flow issues by transitioning to online business. TAKA offered online ordering services for family members far apart to order and deliver customized cakes to their loved ones. Surprisingly, the market demand was overwhelming, and this had allowed the company to survive through the hard times.

Later in April 2023, Taka Patisserie invested in open kitchen design in April 2023. Using five senses to create a better experience, the new concept of an open kitchen not only allows customers to smell the fragrance of freshly baked bread but also see the pastry chefs in action.

From products to customer experience to application scenarios, Mr. Leong has transformed TAKA business model inside out, leading Taka Patisserie to the new height

As of 2023, Taka Patisserie has opened 33 branches in East Malaysia, pioneering a fashionable trend in Kuching’s cake shops. Mr. Leong further expands TAKA territory nationwide where two new branches will open at Kuala Lumpur in February 2024. 

As TAKA Group rapidly expands its footprint, what accompanies the growth is the potential risk of cash-flow problems.

“At that time, our bakery stores had stunning renovations but our brand was losing its soul. While we call for innovation everyday by introducing various flavors of bread, we lacked core products that could grab the majority of the market share. With 80% of the branches falling short, hiring became challenging. Employees couldn’t see hope in the baking industry, let alone dare to dream big.”

Mr. Leong believes that the greatest risk is being afraid to take risks. “If you remain stagnant in your comfort zone, you’ll quickly be bogged down by the next wave of challenges.”

Journey of Performance Rewards System

Mr. Leong came across VIMIGO in 2020. Subsequently, he subscribed to the VIMIGO performance rewards system and joined Founder Camp. Led by Shane Mun, the camp lasts for immersive five days where top management of participating companies review and come up with solid business plans with their core team members.

“Founder Camp in December 2022 was a pivotal moment for us. Driven by the desire for change, our team flew all the way from East Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur. In that five days, we planned our OGSM, at the end only to realize that much of our previous effort was amiss! So we set a goal for ourselves – we must bring about a change within three months.”

Two months later, Shane Mun and Big Bath CEO Fong Yee flew to Kuching to attend the opening ceremony of the new BIG BATH branch in Kuching. This encounter offered Mr. Leong the opportunity to learn from the two business leaders the importance of data analysis and attention to detail.

“Regrettably, three months passed, and we still couldn’t get it right, and couldn’t meet our target. I truly felt discouraged at that time. Why, despite putting in so much effort, did we not achieve the desired results? If we don’t meet our targets, how can we give rewards to our people?”

Upon reflection, he pondered, “How can we ensure that the team won’t give up midway? Are our vision, mission, and goals aligned? Is there the cost of quitting? Have we communicated with the team why setting vimiGoal is essential? We often neglect to tell the team what consequences might happen if we don’t perform well. So, I told myself and the team, let’s give it another three months. Reorganize, and set out again.”

Fortunately, TAKA re-discovered the essence of the bakery business during Kuching ODDA Tour in May 2023, Mr. Leong took Shane Mun’s advice by introducing more customer-experience elements into the bakery stores. They also adjusted the reward system by incorporating short-term incentives like daily goals for frontliners to share immediate rewards.

In December 2022, Mr. Leong and the core team flew from East Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur to participate in the 5-day Founder Camp

Shane Mun accompanied by Mr. Leong during an inspection of TAKA branches, offering guidance and advice


TAKA implements the daily goal + daily commission mechanism, motivating teams in all branches to hit targets

>> Learn more VIMIGO functions

Win-Win for Employers & Employees

“Deeply grateful that the team chose to walk this challenging path with us. After a year of hard work, we finally see the dawn,” said Mr. Leong.

Now, TAKA has rediscovered the taste of bread and successfully created hot-selling products (up to 10,000 pieces sold monthly). The new branch of Taka Patisserie has also become a hotspot for young people to visit. Through the VIMIGO buddy system, the TAKA team has grown from 160 to 360 members. 80% of the branch not only hit targets but surpassed previous standards. Even the least-performing departments achieve amazing results.

“More importantly, on this day in January 2024, we surged out of Sarawak, penetrating West Malaysia market, and are ready to step into ASEAN!”

One year into implementing the VIMIGO performance reward system, TAKA has provided employees with the opportunity to fulfill their life dreams, such as travel, insurance, children’s education funds, buying cars, and houses.

Now, the team has a clear reward system and goals. It’s no longer mundane work but daily adventures filled with motivation and passion. They know how to move toward their goals and share the substantial rewards.

For TAKA team, “Now work is not just about making a living but for realizing personal and team dreams. Here, we can bravely push our limits and showcase our talents!”

This year 2024, TAKA team member Chin Jia Jenn also received Best Performer of The Year award at VIMIGO IIO Award Night. Starting as a cake baker three years ago, he was promoted to manage the bread department at the Bintulu branch. His hard work paid off. Under the guidance of Mr. Leong, sales of that branch increased by 60-100%, wastage reduced to less than 2%, and net profit soared to 18-20%. Today, he can stand on his own as a credible leader, training the team at the Kuala Lumpur branch.

TAKA team fulfilled her dream of owning her first dream house

TAKA team Chin Jia Jenn received Best Performer of The Year award at VIMIGO IIO Award Night 2024

Bright Future Begins with Transformation

As Jack Ma once said, “Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong!” As a leader of a medium-sized enterprise, Mr. Leong carries a significant responsibility. Through TAKA platform, he is determined to help at least 100 people achieve their life dreams within three years.

In the face of past anxieties, sorrows, frustrations, and thoughts of giving up, Mr. Leong along with his team persevered through a year of restructuring. TAKA is now on the path to successful transformation.

From dreaming of becoming the sole bakery brand proud of Sarawak to stepping beyond its borders into ASEAN, Mr. Leong holds ambitious aspirations. He is leading the company to march to broader markets while leading his team towards realizing their dreams.

There is no traditional industry, only traditional models.” Taka Patisserie is expanding from multifacet of products, applications, and territories. Mr. Leong hopes that when people think of ‘love,’ they would think of Taka Patisserie, just as its slogan says, “Love begins here.”

Moving forward, Mr. Leong’s plans of building a tourist factory and a bakery chain empire are in full swing.

In this journey full of challenges, hope, and accomplishment, VIMIGO has witnessed Mr. Leong’s resilience and courage as well as the remarkable achievements as the company is transforming. Our hope for TAKA is to continue writing its glorious chapters, promoting Sarawak’s local brand and bringing fame to the nation — Together we make it happen!


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