As the only child of entrepreneurs Lam Tong Loy and Lam Ping Yee, Lam Tze Tze is well-versed in the achievements of her forward-thinking forebears. Her paternal grandfather started out as an entrepreneur in pre-war Singapore, and Tze Tze describes him as a pioneer in the pawnbroking, gold bullion, diamond trading and jewellery business.
When the time came for her father to enter the working world, he “did not rely on his comforts”, Tze Tze points out.
Instead, he first worked for an MNC, then struck out on his own in 1982 to launch Electro-Acoustics Systems (EAS), an audio-visual systems integration company in Southeast Asia that remains a market leader in innovation.
Similarly, Tze Tze decided to make her own way after completing her tertiary education in the UK. She lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, working first in the telecommunications industry, then the biotech sector, before moving back to Singapore in 2016. She is now an executive director of EAS, and her experience of different corporate environments has definitely given her a broader perspective and more agility.
The telecommunications field was fast-paced and extremely dynamic, whereas dealing with R&D and international regulatory agencies in the biotech industry required much more patience, she reflects.
Helping to run a family business is a different animal, in that “to a certain extent, parents never really consider you as just a member of the company. Expectations are higher when you are their child, which can sometimes be a challenge”.