Chairman and CEO, Prima Group
The heir of a pioneering flour-mill and global food company, Primus Cheng’s Prima Group has an illustrious, continent-spanning history in flour production and baking
Primus Cheng is the chairman and CEO of Singapore-based food company Prima Group, which employs a 4,000-strong workforce in over 40 markets across five continents. He has run the firm since 1998, when he took over from his father, founder Cheng Tsang Man, who retired after serving as executive chairman for 37 years.
Prima Group was founded as Prima Limited, Singapore’s first flour mill, in 1961. The company produced locally milled wheat flour, which slowly started to replace imported flour. The company expanded and by the 1970s was managing flour mills in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, before making a foray into China in the 1980s. The business diversified further in the years that followed with the popular Prima Taste line of sauces and pastes, and the PrimaDeli chain of bakeries launched by the younger Cheng.
Most notably, the company has built enduring business ties with Sri Lanka, underpinned by investments and various CSR efforts. Among other initiatives, the group set aside SG$2 million to start a scholarship programme for outstanding incoming Sri Lankan students in 2018, to mark four decades of business ties with the island.
Prima Group also gifted SG$6 million to the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Institute of Technology in May 2021 to support education and research in food sciences.
Did You Know?
Founder Cheng Tsang Man gave his company the name Prima, which means “first” in Latin, because it had an international feel, was easy to remember, and acted as a reminder that the firm would continually evolve to stay at number one.