Five business heirs bring their traditional family trades into the new century

Family-owned shoe brand Heatwave taking business into digital age

Managing director of family-owned shoe brand Heatwave, Ms Elizabeth Tan, might just be 30, but do not dismiss her as an entitled heir.

The brand was started by her father, Mr Tan Guan Huat, 61, in 2001 as his first retail venture, following 16 years in the business of designing and manufacturing shoes for companies such as Tangs Studio.

But despite growing up around shoes, Ms Tan, a National University of Singapore history graduate, initially did not intend to join the business. READ MORE HERE

Local furniture firm rebrands to preserve family legacy

Mr Morgan Yeo's takeover of his family-owned furniture business, JR&P Industries, happened under a dark cloud.

The Singapore Management University business graduate had been working in property development for only slightly over a year when his father, Mr Roger Yeo, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February last year, forcing him to take over the reins earlier than expected.

"It came as a shock to the whole family," says the 27-year-old bachelor, who quit his job to help with the business while his dad went for treatment. Mr Yeo died in August last year, aged 64. READ MORE HERE

Taking over family's bookbinding business a childhood dream come true

Some children shun their family business or become reluctant successors.

Not Ms Winnie Chan. In fact, her childhood dream was to join her family's bookbinding business, Grandluxe.

"Growing up, my ambition was to be my dad's secretary," Ms Chan, who is in her 40s, tells SundayLife! with a laugh. Her father, Mr Percy Chan, 68, is chairman of Grandluxe. READ MORE HERE

From being a high-flying management consultant to manufacturing traditional Chinese medicine

At one point in his life, 30-year-old Dylan Hu was a high-flying management consultant in a top international consulting firm after graduating in 2009 from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

That jetset lifestyle took a 180-degree turn in 2010 when he joined his family's traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) manufacturing business, Poli Medical.

It was something he had always planned on doing, in contrast to his two older sisters who have no plans to join the business. Mr Hu declined to reveal their professions. READ MORE HERE

No cushy corner for third-generation scion of local nuts and chips brand Tai Sun

Ms Esther Loo, 33, might be the third-generation scion to home-grown nuts and chips brand Tai Sun, but there was no cushy corner office waiting for her when she graduated from university in 2004.

"I thought I was set on the job front, but to my horror, my mother refused to pay me anything more than $500 unless I had some real-world experience," the University of Melbourne graduate recalls with a laugh.

Taking her parents' advice, Ms Loo spent seven years honing her skills in advertising and marketing for brands such as L'Oreal before bringing her expertise back to Tai Sun. She joined the business as its marketing manager in 2010. READ MORE HERE

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