A Humble Beginning
A Vision that Becomes the Journey of a Lifetime
A Story from the Little Red Dot
I'm from Singapore, a city state known as the Little Red Dot of Asia. Singapore's roots are a little like a start-up, launched in haste and our of necessity, back in 1965. Metamorphosis was its only hope for survival.
And it's the kind-of the story of me, too.
I am third generation Chinese. My grandparents were originally from the province of Fujian, China. My paternal grandmother was a shrewd businesswoman who made money in real estate. But the wealth withered over time so by the time I was born, my family was extremely poor. From aged 12, I self-financed my education with vacation jobs, loans and government bursaries. Like Singapore, metamorphosis was my only hope for survival.
My late uncle did not finish secondary school but was able to start a trucking company. With his business, he was able to feed his family and send his two sons to medical school. Inspired by my uncle and paternal grandmother (the real estate queen), entrepreneurship became, for me, not just a methodology for survival but a valid expression of human creativity. So, despite the financial challenges, my 18-year-old-self knew she wanted to "be expert in doing business" in Asia (and she was totally clueless about what that means.) Also, the idea of travelling, meeting and working with people from mysterious markets far away from home was beguiling.
Back to my roots
In 2002 I joined a prominent Singapore logistics firm and spent seven years working in China. I became very knowledgeable in international trading and China logistics, helping foreign clients plan their distribution network to penetrate the Chinese market. It was also during those years I had a taste of my first entrepreneurial stint - for a year I was an independent consultant in Shanghai, helping clients review and re-design their supply chain process. My 28-year-old self finally knew what "to be expert in doing business" meant for her.
During those years, I witnessed how China evolved and prospered. But I also saw how businesses, as paymasters, can influence the moral compass of society. From this I strongly believe that businesses must be led by highly principled leaders, driven by customer centricity and an awareness and respect for the society and environment in which they operate.
Back to the classroom
In 2013, it was time for graduate school.I started my management consultancy IOResources on the side during my Masters degree program but it was not until 2015 that I really began to develop the business. In April 2016, I won a prototyping grant of SGD 200,000 for my client, a Singapore SME from the marine engineering sector for a two-year project, which was finalised successfully in January 2018.
My goals are to help businesses develop competent, principled leaders and to become more customer centric. It's my journey, but there are plenty on this path because good business means a good society. Will you join me?
Janet Lim, Founder
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