Monday, 17 October 2011

World is a Stage.


Today is Sunday and it's my rest day. All my grown up children had left the house to enjoy their weekend and I'm left alone to pursue my interest without disturbance. Today I'm going to write something that I've never written before and it's something that I wanted to write for a long, long  time. That something is a true life story of an old friend whom I knew since my secondary school days....45 years to be precise. Lets call my friend, Sim.

Today, Sim is listed by Forbes as one among the 15 richest man in Singapore!. I could write a novel based on his life but for this posting, I shall write briefly on his humble past, how he build up his business, got his company listed and his present life. I didn't get his permission to pen this posting but I guess he won't read this because he is computer illiterate. I hope that you, especially my young readers, will get an inspirational uplift to go after your dream after reading this true life story of someone so real in Singapore. By the way, this entry might not be interesting to those who are fascinated by the mystique of a cabby daily adventure.

Now, lets get to the story.

Sim's beginning was humble, nothing extraordinary. He grew up in a rubber estate with only an elderly father. His mother passed away when he was a kid. They were poor.  In 1966, Sim left school after his Senior Cambridge to work as a clerk in a police station. With a pay of $180 per month, it was not enough for his indulgence in smoking, mahjong and drinking. He was good in maths and quickly realized that many business were making easy money. Getting into business was the way to get rich, he reckoned at an early age. He then joined a marine company as an accounts clerk after attending night classes in bookkeeping. He mastered simple accounting principles. It was in this job as a junior account clerk in a marine company that open his path to become a billionaire one day.

By the will of God, he landed a job as the only person in the company to manage the barge construction business. There were no other employee. The four bosses were sleeping partners and barge construction was their side line business. Sim was hired simply because there were no other applicants competing  for the job and also on account of his working experience in a marine environment, though he was only an accounts clerk. However, the bosses must have found something unique about that young man. In essence, Sim was employed to run a company like his own. In 1977, OPEC, an oil cartel doubled the oil price and the search for more oil went mad. Sim made millions for the company as demand for barges and other marine vessels also went mad.

Unsurprisingly, Sim left his job after 3 years and started his own company doing the same business. He had 2 partners, one a boss of a marine company and the other, a property agent. In a short time, at age 30, Sim was a multimillionaire. He achieved it through a combination of recognizable attributes like hard work, sound business principles and luck. He works his ass out, delivers what he promised and undertook risks. More importantly, he was a lucky man. He entered the right business at the right time.

Within a few years, he left his old partners and ventured out on his own with a new partner. It proved to be his best move as the company prospered from day one and eventually got listed in the main board of Singapore Stock Exchange. Within a decade, the share price of his listed company rocketed up 10 times through various issues. At 50, Sim became a billionaire. At 55, he decided to leave his business and sold his entire share to a foreign company. He's now "semi-retired" but still pursued other business interests.

So, what's the moral of this true life story?.

I'm not a motivational writer or speaker by profession, just a taxi driver. From my perspective of someone who knew intimatelySim for many years, I can safely say that life is like a stage. All of us are players. Each one of us is destined to play certain roles in life. We play our parts in the best way we can and exit when the show ends. Sim was assigned the role of a successful businessman and he played it well. He amassed a lot of money and the world is his oyster. For me, I played totally different roles compared to Sim and is happy with what I'm.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.


Kim O said...

Who determines value, worth? What is meaningful? For that, read a little book, The little prince:
From it: What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Actually the moment is all there is. Life is moment by moment.

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

"Try not to be a man of success but a man of value" - Albert Einstein.