'We run our business as one big family, not just for sons and daughters'

Updated: 2017-02-24 08:49

By Sophie He in Hong Kong(HK Edition)

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Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, 65, chairman and chief executive of Genting Group, sees himself as an overseas Chinese.

"My late father (Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong) was a migrant from Fujian province, so he was a very traditional and conservative Chinese, who wanted his children to have very good education," Lim tells China Daily, adding that he and his siblings were sent abroad to further their studies.

Lim joined the family business upon graduation from college.

"I learned everything from my father so, in that sense, this is a traditional Chinese family business, and we must have understanding between generations."

He says it's very fortunate he was in a position to take over from his father by learning from him. This should be the same for the next generation and he would like to see these good traditions being respected and maintained in the family.

"I hope our next generation will continue to work hard as success doesn't fall from the sky if you don't work hard."

Lim believes that generations change, so he does not expect his children to behave in exactly the same way he does.

"Each of them (my children) has had a good education, so I think they should make good use of it and do whatever they're interested in and do it well. If it so happens to be the family business, then it would make me even happier, but the important thing is that they're successful in whatever career they've chosen for themselves."

Lim, who holds the honorific title of "Tan Sri" - Malaysia's second-highest state honor bestowed by the country's monarch for his contributions to the national economy - calls his management style "hands on", which is just like that of his mentor - the elder Lim - who was a very practical, "hands on" person.

"I've learned to be very 'hands on', like my late father. He treated his workers like one big family, and here I would like to continue that tradition by seeing my colleagues as part of the family."

If anything can mean more to a family business, everyone who works for Genting must feel they're part of the family, and not just like daughters, sons and relatives, he adds.

Lim stresses it's very important that for big enterprises to survive, they must institutionalize their management. In other words, they have to be professionals and share the same beliefs in corporate culture.

To succeed in business, the crucial thing is that young people ought to have a dream and they have to pursue that dream and work harder.

They also need the confidence to proceed, and believe what they're doing is right and stick to it.


'We run our business as one big family, not just for sons and daughters'

(HK Edition 02/24/2017 page1)