This second article of a three-part series by Swiss watchmaker Breguet extols the virtue of a man who successfully built a billion ringgit fortune from scratch.
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Above Datuk Kelvin Tan is wearing Breguet Classique Grande Complication 5359 in white gold. (Photo: Shaffiq Farhan)

Agent Of Transformation

Datuk Kelvin Tan, the spine of TSH Resources Bhd, Ekowood International Bhd and Innoprise Plantations Bhd, is best known for turning back the hands of time in the style department. 

Ditching his previous staid businessman mien, Datuk Kelvin’s transformation has been nothing short of inspirational. The dapper gentleman has truly perfected the art of slaying. Just take a look at his Instagram account, “taking on the world, one bite at a time” with over 11k followers and counting.

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Above Datuk Kelvin Tan finds happiness in adapting to change. (Photo: Shaffiq Farhan)

Grit: Key To Success

But above all else, his record of achievements are salient features of remarkable business acumen and strategic foresight. With a solid presence in the palm oil industry for over three decades, he has successfully built a billion ringgit fortune from scratch while turning TSH Resources into the region’s prominent plantation player.

For all his accomplishments in the palm oil industry and his contributions to environmental conservation and forestry, Datuk Kelvin became the youngest recipient  of the honorary doctorate in philosophy by the University of Malaysia Sabah in 2006.

“My journey has definitely not been a bed of roses. I had to teach myself the power of grit and determination in overcoming obstacles and trials along the way. For that, my journey thus far has been more than meaningful where every moment counts and I savour every second of it.”

He also shares with us some nuggets of wisdom about time management and his motivations for success.

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Above The stylish businessman remains down-to-earth through impressive success. (Photo: Shaffiq Farhan)

What does time mean to you?

Time is the most valuable resource for me. I keep asking myself “Is what I’m doing right now worth my time?” just to ensure that I live my life to the fullest.

How do you make the most out of your time?

Planning is very crucial. I spend a few minutes each morning to plan for my day’s priorities and then again before I sleep, for the following day’s schedule. It’s important to stay focused and be time-effective while just enjoying every single moment.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?

I have established an attitude, the idea that every day is a brand new day full of promises and new opportunities. Each new day is another 24 hours to make a difference. There will always be new excitement and challenges waiting to greet me around the corner. With systematic planning, I can do anything and it’s a drive that keeps me going day in, day out.

How do you reinvent yourself?

Just embrace the grace of every moment. To live life to the fullest, one needs to keep on learning and never stop growing. Always be alert and ready to accept changes. I find happiness in adapting to new situations in life.

What’s your biggest strength?

Happiness. The secret lies in the simple act of counting your blessings and being grateful. I keep celebrating every moment in life and focusing on what’s going well. Most of all, I find joy in spreading the happiness to others, especially to people who are close to my heart. 

When did you consider yourself a success?

Success is a journey and for me, never a destination. It keeps me going and fuels the desire to achieve greater things along the way. When I will consider myself a success? It will be for others to decide.

What is your favourite quote?

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken” by Oscar Wilde. In other words, be true, be unique, be happy, be humble and be honest.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading a couple of travelling books. People and cultural diversity fascinate me.

In case you missed it, find out what keeps investment banker Lee Jim Leng going.

For more timepieces, jewellery and latest news, visit the Breguet website here

Photos: Shaffiq Farhan

Special thanks: The Astor Bar, The St Regis Kuala Lumpur

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