NEW: Spend a workday with… One World Duty Free’s Gary Leong

By Faye Bartle |

Gary Leong

Gary Leong, Marketing Director, ODF.

In the February ezine, TRBusiness introduced a new regular feature that delves into a typical workday of a high-profile travel retail executive.

It was launched in style by Gary Leong, Marketing Director at Singapore-headquartered omni-channel retailer One World Duty Free (ODF).

Here’s a glimpse of his day…


The day begins around 6:45-7:00am. I do a couple of sit-ups on the living room floor and then onto the most important part of the morning – grinding the coffee beans (a dark roast) for a double espresso shot.

I have been totally spoilt during my many years of travels to Europe and being privy to their incredible coffee, so a touch of Italy is arguably the best part of my day.

Breakfast is normally a slice of toast from a sour dough loaf with a simple fruit selection. It is then that my best thoughts and ideas are derived.

On the way to the office, I have a quick mental checklist in my head of items that need to be sorted for the day.

When I reach by nine-ish, I have a quick browse of the emails that came in overnight. The hours of 10am to 12pm are normally reserved for sitting down with my team to go through the daily and weekly agenda.

Lau Pa Sat, Singapore. Photo- Shutterstock.jpg

The ODF office is situated opposite ‘culinary gem’ Lau Pa Sat. Photo: Shutterstock.


In most cases, I will work through lunch to catch up on my emails.

It’s impossible to get a restaurant booking during lunch hour, as our headquarters are in the heart of the business district, Shenton Way.

However, as luck would have it, we are also right across the street from a culinary gem ‘Lau Pa Sat’, which is Hokkien for ‘Old Market’. It is a colonial metal structure that has existed for over 100 years, and now houses the best compilation of hawker food in Singapore.


Afternoons are mostly reserved for meetings with brands and partners. I schedule it this way so that I am up to date on all new occurrences before heading into any meeting.

Towards the mid-afternoon, I catch up with the rest of the marketing team on the ongoing projects for the month.

Wrapping up the day

Towards the end of the day, I try to schedule an occasional catch up or quick chat with our founder Keira Zhang on any upcoming meetings and projects.

Part of my responsibilities is to oversee the communications and marketing for 35A Scotts, a private members club, founded by Zhang. Occasional meetings are held there towards the late evening with clients and ODF management.

As it also houses a whisky museum (with the world’s second largest whiskey collection), one cannot turn down the offer of a vintage whiskey at the club.

35A Scotts

Private members club 35A Scotts is a go-to evening venue.

After hours

Apart from spending time at 35A Scotts in the evening entertaining our various brand partners, sometimes we go on whiskey and cigar club visits to observe the evolving clientele and selection of whiskies habits.

If the day ends back at home, then it sees me sitting back on the sofa enjoying a good glass of red either before or during dinner. Sometimes my wife Lilith and I cook together, but if not, we’re out on the town exploring new eateries and nightlife.

TRBusiness February 2024 ezine

This feature first appeared in the TRBusiness February ezine. he next edition of ‘Spend a workday with…’ will appear in he March/April 2024 issue.

READ MORE: NOW LIVE: TRBusiness February 2024 ezine

READ MORE: One World Duty Free opens flagship Singapore Flyer duplex store

READ MORE: Ex-Foreo GTR head Gary Leong joins One World Duty Free in senior role


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