Lim Lai An
Mr Lim Lai An founded Toyoplas Group of Companies in 1996. Under his leadership, Toyoplas now owns manufacturing facilities of over 700,000 square feet. These manufacturing facilities are strategically located in more than eight different locations in Malaysia, China and Indonesia, so as to better meet the needs of Toyoplas’ clients and strategic partners. Toyoplas has, over the years, bagged many awards such as The BrandLaureate SMEs Best Brand Award and has been consistently ranked as one of Singapore’s top companies in the annual Singapore 1000 ranking for top corporations.
Mr Lim shares that his rags to riches story is similar to that of Hong Kong business magnate, Mr Lee Ka-Shing. Through his entrepreneurship journey, he has also lot of inspiration from Mr Lee Ka-Shing. Mr Lim recalls that his father was unable to provide three decent meals for their big family and that he had to take on part-time jobs to make ends meet while he was still in school. After completing his secondary school education, he was determined to prove his worth and get out of poverty.
Mr Lim possesses a relentless drive for achieving success through diligence and grit. He feels joy at being able to lead his team, work hard together with them and overcome challenges over and over again. An avid golf player, Mr Lim draws a parallel between business and a game of golf : “ If you did not play well in the first hole, it does not mean that you will lose right away. What you need to do is to remain calm and strategize play in the subsequent 17 holes. In business, there will be ups and downs. Similarly, you need to remain calm and deal with adversities accordingly.” He adds that the immense joy and excitement of being able to deliver more than what is expected is indescribable.
Flexibility, Innovation and Trust (i.e. F.I.T. System) are values treasured by Mr Lim. He lives and breathes by these values and also believes that being sincere and responsible helps in cultivating good relationships. When such alliances are forged, people will automatically lend their helping hand in times of need.
Having experienced hard times during his childhood, Mr Lim appreciates every hard-earned dollar and cent. He would spend only on his needs and not his wants. “Even if you only possess a small sum of capital, with sound financial management, the capital will grow substantially in the future.” Mr Lim believes that the sooner one starts practising sound financial management, the sooner one will gain financial freedom.
“Singapore is a law-abiding country. However, she has also created an environment that encourages the co-existence of innovation. We need to respect and honor what we have, be thankful and not take things for granted. The youth of today should study hard and set their ambitions early for their future.” As a word of advice, Mr Lim added : “Hard work alone will not suffice in this new century, with globalisation and immense competition. In addition to hard work, one must progress and engage in constant learning, innovate, and be unique in order to create a successful business. Wisdom is essential for success.”