UCL Innovation and Enterprise


Old School Thai

16 August 2013

Who is Old School Thai?

Old School Thai manufactures and distributes two lines of Thai curry paste – red and green.

Thai food

How did UCL help?

Brett Cowie, one of the founders, initially approached HELO to help with putting together a business plan to use in pitching for funding. The focus changed after meeting with the student team and the brief changed to identifying aspects of the business which could be improved, in particular reducing production costs.

The initial fact finding looked at expenditure, logistics, ingredients, production and preparation and steps Old School Thai had already taken. The findings identified three ways of reducing costs, from taking the production in-house, to investing in equipment and reducing labour costs to finding a larger manufacturer and bringing down the unit cost.
“The students were hard working and delivered an invaluable piece of research which detailed the costs savings and a list of potential manufacturers. This opened up new possibilities we weren’t previously aware of.”

“We are currently exploring the manufacturing options as this will reduce our costs by 30%.” Brett Cowie, Founder, Old School Thai

What were the results?

As well as showing the cost saving, the research looked at potential manufacturers leading to invaluable information for Brett.

The students worked independently after the initial briefing sessions which left Brett to focus on other areas of the business.

Old School Thai’s short term objective is to secure another manufacturer and put those cost savings into practice, then improve logistics and marketing to increase sales with the longer term view being to add other products to the range.

“The research presented new manufacturers we weren’t previously aware of.”

The final word

“Once we have started working with a new manufacturer, we will be in a position to look to UCL Advances again for their input, possibly working with a mentor for marketing and sales needs. I would definitely recommend the UCL Advances services to help start-up businesses like mine.”