"I need to name the game that I want to play and I also need the room and the freedom to decide the rules and regulations."

Kenny Yap

Qian Hu

Qian Hu is a home-grown company that was incorporated in 1998 and has been listed in the Singapore Exchange since 2000. They specialize in aquarium fish breeding, being particularly famous for their dragon fish, as well as the manufacture and distribution of aquarium accessories. The business has also expanded to reach out to international clientele. They export their fish to more than 80 countries, and their accessories to approximately 40 countries.

Mr Kenny Yap is the CEO and Executive Chairman of Qian Hu Corporation. Upon graduation from the university in 1999, Mr Yap returned to Singapore and started a job in a bank as a forex trader. However, after two-and-a-half months, he decided that he did not want to continue there. As Mr Yap says, “I need to name the game that I want to play and I also need the room and the freedom to decide the rules and regulations”. Mr Yap believed that he would much rather work for himself instead of an employer. While recuperating from a slipped disc operation, he then made the decision to commit and devote to his family fish farm business.

The journey to success for Mr Yap was trying. He listed three key mistakes that led to several obstacles. Firstly, Mr Yap admitted that he was greedy and only focused on how to get rich overnight. This then led to a reckless buying of merchandise and fish without understanding how to properly maintain them. For example, Mr Yap and his brother bought a special breed of fish but were unaware of how sensitive and susceptible the fishes were to shock. During transportation, they all died, and this led to massive losses. Next, he put all his eggs in the same basket and did not bother to engage in product differentiation and expand into different markets. Lastly, in the process of doing business, Mr Yap sometimes forgets that there are always new things to learn. It is important for one to have the right attitude towards learning as the environment changes all the time. This is especially so for the fish industry, where there is constantly new knowledge being discovered about fish species. It was only after Mr Yap had experienced the aftermath of these mistakes and learnt from them, that he was able to get the fish farm operating to his ideal standard.

The greatest satisfaction that Mr Yap has derived from running Qian Hu is the significant impact that the company has had on the people around him. As his family is involved in the operations of the business, its success has allowed them all to gain financial independence. In addition, he is heartened that he is able to provide many job opportunities to his current employees.

Qian Hu Corporation Limited has proven to be one of the leading companies in the local fish and aquarium industry. They have won the Singapore Corporate Awards (Gold) for 5 consecutive years.


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