FYE23 ANNUAL REPORT: LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER
I am writing this whilst staring out at the Southern Aegean sea, post-World of Coffee Athens. It seems that 2022 came and went in a flash. But it was at times excruciatingly slow, painful and lacking progress on so many fronts. I said 2021 was harder than 2020. Well, 2022 was harder than 2021. The first half of the year was dealing with the effects of geo-political tensions, rapidly rising costs on all fronts, and fundamental changes in the workforce, from changing attitudes to labour shortages.
Late in 2022, early 2023, we started the critical work of restructuring the organisation to address what was no longer working and to set the new foundations for operating differently for the future.
It required us to take a long hard look at ourselves, and to critically question so many things that had come to be our "truth" for the past 12 years. To recognise what was no longer working, to be willing to challenge ourselves to be better and relevant for a very different, and
rapidly evolving world.
This was not easy.
Change is hard, and to succeed, we must be willing to put in the work to go through the roller-coaster of the change process - the emotional highs and lows, the conflict, the tension (within and without).
I am proud to say that the team pulled together, went back to basics, worked on managing costs, improving profitability, optimising for more efficiencies, and refocusing on our core strengths. One step at a time, one day at a time, and the wheels of change gained momentum.
There is more to do, but we have made great progress, especially the last quarter of the FY, and we are already seeing results. Revenues have surpassed pre-covid levels, we are hitting new highs in multiple areas across the business, and all achieved with 15% fewer people than in 2020-21.
Key highlights include:
Bettr Academy confirmed our Programme Partner status with SkillsFuture Singapore, which means we are now able to offer the highest levels of funding for a variety of beverage education to Singaporeans and PRs. We have expanded our offerings to include specialty tea, non-alcoholic beverages, mixology and an array of service-related courses.
Bettr Coffee Roastery clocked in our highest production volumes and revenue ever as our wholesale clients and partners recovered from pandemic challenges.
Bettr Coffee Bars team refocused and consolidated to deal with the challenging manpower shortages and rising costs, reorganising and getting ready for our next stage of growth.
We continued to expand our preventative social programmes with schools and the community, in conjunction with our flagship HT and BWT programmes.
We embarked on an ambitious rebranding project which will be officially launched later in 2023 (stay tuned!) and we also did a complete overhaul of our digital properties: bettr.academy and bettr.coffee
There is currently a renewed energy and momentum that we were struggling to get in early 2022. We need to continue to build on this energy so that we may continue to tackle the very challenging work of producing profit and purpose with real impact. Our work has never been more needed and more important.
Inspired by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, as long as we remember that
"Everything flows, and nothing abides, everything gives way, and nothing stays fixed",
I am confident we are ready for what the future will throw at us, because the team has shown their tremendous resilience and grit in the face of a tumultuous 3 years. We remain grateful for the opportunity to create impact through all the work we do.
Pamela Chng on behalf of Bettr