Singapore is fast becoming a hotbed for young startup owners. With the country becoming dubbed the next Silicon Valley, many Singaporean youths seek to make their own mark in the world, building businesses from scratch to make their fortunes, looking for newer and better ways to solve the world’s problems and break new boundaries.
Instead of working with a big corporation or starting his own company, Morgan said that he had always wanted to take over the business that his father, Roger Yeo, had started years ago. After being retrenched, Roger had built up his own company, what was then called JR & P Industries Pte Ltd, that specialised in creating system furniture and included a custom furniture arm that catered to both corporate and residential spaces.
Morgan said that despite going through rough patches in building the business, his father never failed to put food on the table, and he aspired to be like him. He prepared himself by taking Business Studies in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Business Management in Singapore Management University. After graduation, he worked with a property developer, looking to get the experience needed to eventually help his father’s company grow.
However, when things took a turn for the worse, plans changed.
“I graduated from SMU last year and wanted to have a few years of working experience before helping my dad, but my dad was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year. Upon knowing the diagnosis, I quit my job immediately and told my dad that I am taking over the company so that he can fully concentrate on fighting the cancer.”
Sadly, Roger soon lost his fight to cancer later that year. He left his life’s work, JR & P Industries Pte Ltd, to Morgan.
“I was a blue horn and I knew really little. My Mandarin and Hokkien are not up to the standard I’d like them to be. And with our craftsmen and some of our dialect-fluent partners, sometimes it poses a challenge. But you know what they say, 10,000 hours of practice. It’s no secret that the renovation and construction industry is very rough.”
However, Morgan’s passion and his source of strength, according to him, comes from his family. Despite having their own paths and commitments, his mother and two younger brothers have come together to work in what is now the family’s company, newly dubbed “Roger&Sons” in Roger’s memory. Lincoln, 23, is in charge of Product Development and Marketing, while Ryan, 19, helps out in the operations on top of completing his final year in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Their mother, Maisy, is affectionately titled the “Accounting & Care Officer”.
“I was really lucky that though my brothers had their own commitments, they decided to also come in and support the business and help it grow together. I think the fact that we want to work together as a family to keep this business, and by deciding to rename the company, shows that we are in this for each other as well.”
Since then, Morgan has grown into his role, and is still learning on the job. Taking over a company at the young age of 26 is no mean feat, but he’s hit the floor running. With a brand new makeover, a new website, and a snappy new catchphrase (“We don’t cut corners, we make them!”), he’s excited to bring quality carpentry to Singapore, which he sadly admits is a dying trade with young Singaporeans.
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