Ong Tze Boon
ONG&ONG Architects was founded in 1972 by the late Mr Ong Teng Cheong and his wife. Today, after more than 4 successful decades in the industry, ONG&ONG is a well-established brand in the business of architecture and interior design. They strive to be the premier architecture and design company, both locally and in the region.
Mr Ong Tze Boon is the current Executive Chairman of the group. He took over family business in 1999. As his circumstances were different from that of other entrepreneurs, he faced a unique set of challenges that he had to overcome. Initially, this family-run business had only 60 staff. However, Mr Ong decided to put his company on the path of sustainable growth. Now, the once traditionally styled architectural bureau has expanded to become an integrated, cross-disciplinary business with nearly 1,000 employees in 11 countries worldwide.
Mr Ong believes in the importance of innovation. He feels that changing mindsets and to seek innovative solutions instead of conventional ones has been one of his greatest challenges as an entrepreneur Personally, he adopts a risk-taking attitude and doesn’t shy away from challenging the status quo. Mr Ong encourages people to have “hunger in the belly” and to always be ready to try new things. “[It is] Insanity is when you expect different results when you do it over and over again – Do it differently.”
To aspiring entrepreneurs, Mr Ong advises them to be keenly attuned to the business and financial environment. For example, it is imperative for entrepreneurs to have an adequate knowledge of the interest rate in order to build and grow a successful enterprise as interest rate is related to other financial concepts like leveraging and debt. In addition, Mr Ong would like to encourage them to be active in exploring new avenues for improvement. The journey of entrepreneurship is riddled with uncertainty and one should be open to taking risks. Even though it may not always be easy, it is important for entrepreneurs to persevere towards success. Entrepreneurial journey is the one of self-discovery, and, in the end, this will be extremely fulfilling.
With Mr Ong’s exceptional leadership and work attitude, ONG&ONG has attained international success and has completed more than 1,000 projects worldwide. In addition, they are renowned for the high quality and standards of their work. Over the last 10 years, the company has received many awards and accolades, including the Asia Pacific Property Award, Best Architecture Single Residence (2015) and the BCA Construction Excellence Award for multiple projects.
As Mr Ong repeatedly says, “be ready for change; give it a go, give it a try”. His attitude towards taking chances and making change definitely serves as an inspiration to many others who wish to embark on the exciting journey of entrepreneurship.