Courage, Vision, Drive, Tenacity, Charisma, Compassion… They have it. These are Singapore’s Top Young Business Leaders.
Fresh out of university Tan Wee Beng was roped into the family business, and never looked back. Dad had started Wee Tiong, a successful but traditionally run sugar and rice importer and wholesaler back in the 90’s, and Wee Beng’s job was to take charge of its trading arm. An electrical engineering graduate, one of his first moves was to wire up the company and high-kick it into the digital century.
Today Wee Tiong — led by dad Tan Siong Kern, brother Tan Wee Tiong and Wee Beng — averages more than $200m in annual turnover, with 2010 figures hitting a record high of $350m, of which about 90 percent came from overseas trading. Like international trade houses, Wee Tiong offers a wide spectrum of futures hedging and options tools, and in taking a page out of the Cargill and Olam playbook, is on its way to opening its first sugar refinery in Indonesia, which will extend their reach to buyers. Ask the sports and supercar enthusiast to sum up the ride, and he says: “Gratifying certainly, but it can be stressful at times, especially during these last couple of years whereby prices of commodities have been swinging like yo-yo.” And his proudest achievement? Having a hand in steering the company to its sixth consecutive Enterprise 50 Award.