Class of 2022
Passionate about the planet, Travin Singh learned early on that food should never be wasted – if ever food was left on his plate as a child, his mother would turn it into something else the next day. Thus his upcycling spirit was born. Fast forward two decades and Travin is the founder and CEO of Crust Group, a food tech start-up that turns food waste into beverages and other products – think artisan beers in fresh and youthful flavours like Kaya Toast Stout, named after the traditional Singaporean breakfast dish. The company operates two lines of products: Crust, a range of sustainable, artisan beers made from surplus bread and other ingredients like coffee and tea, and Crop, a line of non-alcoholic drinks made from fruit and vegetable waste such as peels, seeds and rinds.
After studying business management and working as a financial consultant, Travin was determined to start a company that was value-based, not just for profit. He had his ‘eureka moment’ after home-brewing beer and realising that the preservation of bread is linked to the oldest forms of beer-making. Seeing an opportunity in the large amounts of unsold bread, he honed his own brewing skills via YouTube and, one year on, founded Crust Group. The company aims to empower businesses in foodservice and retail to upcycle their food waste and loss into high-value products. Travin ensures his team values local produce, using a locally grown plant called ulam raja instead of importing hops for their beers. With this combination of commitment towards sustainability and local-grown produce, Travin is turning lifelong beliefs and passions into an upcycling business that ultimately aims to cut food waste and reduce carbon emissions.
“As an entrepreneur, it is important to keep an open mind and be constantly adaptable, especially in a start-up environment; to be understanding and open to feedback.” – Travinder Singh