Before he began his presentation, Mr Edmund Cheng expressed his gratitude to more than 200 Singaporeans in Sydney for attending the Distinguished Business Leaders (DBL) Series and spending their Friday evening with him.
The affable Mr Cheng, Deputy Chairman of Wing Tai Holdings, shared stories of Wing Tai’s humble beginnings as a small garment manufacturing company. Within 50 years, Wing Tai has transformed into Singapore’s leading property developer and lifestyle company with total assets exceeding $3.7 million.
Mr Cheng shared his personal stories and stories of the development of Wing Tai
He, along with Ms Tan Hwee Bin, Executive Director of Wing Tai Holdings, updated the crowd on Wing Tai’s development and achievements in both the property and lifestyle retail industries. Some members of the audience expressed surprise by the extensiveness of Wing Tai’s portfolio in the different markets.
Be loving critics of Singapore
Mr Cheng shared his childhood in Hong Kong, sharing a small flat with more than 10 family members, and his life in USA, before returning to Asia to help his family expand the property arm of Wing Tai Group.
He also spoke of his decision to renounce US citizenship and to take up Singapore citizenship as he saw Singapore as a place for him to fulfill his aspirations, providing him a sense of belonging. He advised Singaporeans to be “loving critics” and show love for the country and fellow Singaporeans by constantly contributing ideas that will benefit Singapore in various aspects.
Always challenge yourself and take calculated risks
During the Q&A session, Mr Cheng was asked a question that many had on their minds: “What are your views on the property market in Singapore? Should I buy a house now?”
A member of the audience asking for Mr Cheng’s outlook on Singapore’s property market
The room echoed with laughter when the question was posed. But it quickly fell silent as the audience listened closely to his advice. Mr Cheng said Singapore’s property market is growing and had the three factors that would support the growth of the property market – location, good governance with sound policies to ensure political stability and job opportunities for the people to sustain economic growth.
Mr Cheng taking questions from the floor
Questions for Mr Cheng flowed freely as Mr Cheng mingled with the crowd during dinner. His friendly nature and sincerity had resulted in some attendees willing to forgo the sumptuous Singaporean fare so that they could hear more about Mr Cheng’s life and share their own personal experiences with him.
Mr Cheng listening to the experience of fellow Singaporean in Sydney
The topics of discussion with the audience at dinnertime ranged from personal wellness tips, corporate governance and Wing Tai’s business philosophy, to small-medium enterprises in Singapore. No matter what the topic was, Mr Cheng was happy to share his insights and anecdotes with the Singaporean community in Sydney.
Mr Cheng sharing his views with an attendee
To about a question on how to maximise one’s potential, Mr Cheng shared his story on how he never fared well in school but he kept learning and constantly challenged himself. His mantra was simple, “Always challenge yourself and take calculated risks so that you can push your limits”. It was clear that Mr Cheng had applied the same mantra when he took on the responsibility of expanding Wing Tai to what it is today.
By Yang Yanyi