Wong Jeh Shyan
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
|Dr. Wong Jeh Shyan|
|Born||17 November 1964
|Education||National University of Singapore, NUS|
|Occupation||Chief Executive Officer, CommerceNet Singapore; Director, Destiny Africa; Incubator, CNSG|
|Known for||Transnational incubation;
Philanthropist; Mega-development implementation;
|Parents||Mr. and Mrs. Wong Yon Loong|
Wong Jeh Shyan (Chinese: 黃哲賢; pinyin: Húang Zhéxián; Hakka (客家 Kèjiā), ) was the former-CEO of CommerceNet Singapore. He co-founded and served as CEO of Ecommerce Gateway Pte. Ltd., with strategic investment in Karachi and Middle East M.I.C.E. industry. The company project manages the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar and owns ITCN Asia, the largest ICT event in Pakistan.
Wong serves as the founding partner in Shyan Associates, Consulting Partner in CNSG Consulting Group, and have indirect interest in more than ten private equity and venture capital firms in China. His activities include the chairmanship of International Architects' Salon which executed the lobby for the conservation of Factory 798  in Beijing from 2003–2004, now transformed into Dashanzi Art District 798. His incubator known work scope include mentoring successful entrepreneurs, usually from established business families in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Pakistan, expanding to South Africa. He currently sits on the Board of Advisor (CS & IT) in Institute of Business and Technology (Biztek) Karachi and advises on Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education in Karachi.
- 1 Family background
- 2 Education
- 3 Pakistan ventures
- 4 Asean and East Asia ventures
- 5 Bahrain, Middle East and North Africa ventures
- 6 China ventures
- 7 Malaysia ventures
- 8 Mauritius ventures
- 9 Singapore ventures
- 10 South Africa ventures
- 11 South America
- 12 Affiliations and awards
- 13 Notes
- 14 External links
Wong is a third-generation Chinese Malaysian: his Hakka grandfather, Wong Men (born 1901-November 1988), emigrated from Yingde to Laoshimei (老鼠尾) village in Qingyuan county of Guangdong province to the Straits Settlements via Singapore in 1912 before settling down in the tin mining region of the Kinta District. The eldest of five siblings, Wong was born in Ipoh and grew up in the village of Ampang Baru, a wooden house unit number 200. His father Wong Yon Loong (born 1941) is a proponent of mainstream Chinese education and had served as headmaster in various primary schools in Kinta district. His second-generation Fuzhou-descendant mother, Goh Swee Kim (born 24 December 1936 – 1 December 1999) was an educationist, having been headmistress at various Chinese primary schools in Perak. Despite being Chinese educationists, they elect to send Wong to a Methodist school for an English education.
Wong graduated with two bachelor degrees from National University of Singapore, where he further his studies after completing his high school at Han Chiang High School in Penang. He did his secondary education in Anderson School, Ipoh after leaving Seri Putera (Seri Kepayang) secondary school in Fair Park, Ipoh as well as Ho Seng Ong Methodist primary school in Canning Garden, Ipoh. He spoke a number of languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien, Malay, English and a smattering of French, Korean and Japanese.
Wong led a campaign to save the Chinese Language Society in Anderson School from closure in 1982. He presided over both the Geographical Society as well as Photographic Club in Anderson School from 1982-83. At the National University of Singapore, Wong headed the Architecture, Building and Estate Management (ABEM) Club serving as the President in 1989-90; as well as elected President of The Architecture Society of National University of Singapore (TASNUS) also in 1989-90. He served the Student Union 10th and 11th Councils and served as the Secretary of Disciplinary Commission, looking into the voting abuse cases in 1990 Student Union elections.
Wong's interests include educating industrialists and entrepreneurs[who?] on Companies Act, the roles of legal entity, protection of minority shareholders' rights and the methodologies of fund raising. He introduced the concepts of aspirational visibility and aspirational clarity to entrepreneurs from China that attended his Entrepreneurs Roundtable networks, and the Miracles of Capital series of lectures. Wong was attributed[by whom?] as the origin of certain sayings among Chinese-speaking entrepreneurs and investors: 您的选择是您的选择；我的选择决定您的选择 (roughly translated to: Your choice is your choice, but my choice determines your choice) 可控制结果的叫‘投资’，不可控制结果的叫‘赌博’ (Any resources put into uncontrollable-outcome is called gambling, while any resources put into a controlled-outcome is called an investment; and 不符合您逻辑思维的就叫‘奇迹’ (Anything that does not comply to your logic is called a miracle.)
Wong practised Zen dispensation methodology, using a series of simple lines in probing and questioning. He uses mental displacement, disposition and Koan to convey business ideas, techniques and methodologies. He calls it the idiot's method of clarifying thoughts, a technique he uses in his lectures and presentations. Wong teaches corporate restructuring, financial engineering, Financial Road Maps, forward looking term sheet in corporate valuations.
Wong's first foray into Pakistan market was the purchase of US Publisher Pvt. Ltd. of the Jamal's Yellow Pages directory. He had been credited[by whom?] to have turned the company around and made it into one of the most profitable and largest directory publishing arms in Pakistan. Apart from Bahrain, he uses Karachi as his main base as a stage into Middle East markets.
Together with Ecommerce Gateway co-founder Dr. Khursheed Nizam, Wong helped jump-start and developed the young M.I.C.E. industry in Pakistan in the early 2000s. New to CommerceNet then, Wong led trade delegations to Pakistan from 2001 to 2007. From early-2008, he shifted his focus to building various international real estate funds with his Pakistan and China investment networks, investing and launching real estates projects internationally.[which?]
Wong founded the ITCN Asia series (named after Infocomm Technologies CommerceNet Asia) in Karachi, first held in March 2001. The project gained support from the Governor of Sindh then, H.E. Muhammad Mian Soomro and subsequently H.E. Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, the succeeding Governor; and the then Sindh Finance Minister, Senator Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, as a catalyst for investment into Karachi. The project was international in scope, with the support and attendance of former President Pervez Musharraf.
Wong established a physical MuslimBIG trade series. That was after several failed online attempts including MuslimBizHub and ePortal Exchange. He is an associate of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and the former secretary general H.E. Aqeel Ahmad Al-Jassem.
Wong announced his intention to leave his Ecommerce Gateway to focus on his Guangdong Portfolios and Indian Ocean and South African investments at the end of 2009. He however, maintained an interest in e-health, telemedical and remote care initiatives.
Wong planned the new 250 acres (1.0 km2) Dadabhoy University Campus in Hawkesbay, run privately by a not-for-profit foundation. The new campus is expected to ultimately house up to 28,000 undergraduates when fully developed. Wong proposed an integrated student and social housing scheme as part of the university township development, as a measure to partly relieve some pressure from Karachi's housing shortages.
Asean and East Asia ventures
Wong's Pan-ASEAN ventures are mostly centred in Bangkok, Phnom Penh with new projects in Jakarta. His known ventures are mostly related to environmental design, waste recycling, material science and project financing. His venture portfolio companies work with the promoter of Bogor Cyber Park in Indonesia.
He had financed high-risk Cambodian projects[which?] originally through the first venture capital company in the kingdom. He later withdrew from Cambodian market. He focused on environmental friendly building materials substitutes, including environmental bricks. He relocated his resources from Cambodia to Phuket, Thailand, for a while before consolidating the factories to Malaysia and China. In mid 2011, Wong started restructured his investments in Asean and East Asia to have the headquarters and operations systematically relocated to Hong Kong.
Bahrain, Middle East and North Africa ventures
Wong had co-founded Middle-east Transit Corporation (METRANS), together with Sheikh Saud bin Salman Al-Khalifa and Abdul Wahab Al-Zaid. The Bahrain-based company extends its arm over the entire Middle-east. The company had arranged for the facilitation of Monorail proposal into the City of Medina in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, working with MTrans Monorail of Malaysia. He had also financed MTrans Monorail's planners to explore the feasibility of Monorail Urban Transit into cities of Aman (Jordan), Istanbul and Ankara (Turkey), Karachi (Pakistan) as well as Cairo (Egypt). Wong aimed to move his Middle-east base away from Bahrain to Qatar.
Wong was an associate of the late Mr. Haitham O. Himut who founded Strategic Enterprise Corporation (SECORP) of Saudi Arabia. Haitham was also a shareholder in METRANS and was also involved in the original iTeknocity proposal of Bahrain. Haitham persuaded Wong to invest into Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Wong initially represented SECORP in Singapore until 2006 and extended his support for SECORP via the CNSG Consulting Group. The relationship led to the preparation of venture strategies covering Sudan projects, including the NGIP Programmes within the proposed Nubia Free Zone, in the Arabic-speaking part of North Sudan. SECORP also persuaded WONG to explore Ain Al-Sukhna in Egypt for a new technology township development. SECORP also lef Wong to Indonesia working on a version of Bogor Cyber Park proposal, taking up two of the seven plots in Phase I. Wong wrote off the bulk of his investment in MENA after the passing of Haitham, which halted all the projects. He shifted his focus to Côte d'Azur in France and Athens in Greece.
While most of his ventures in Saudi Arabia, including exhibitions (e.g. ITCN Saudi Arabia - Dammam), are all located to the Eastern Province, he was interested in 'Asir province and around the Red Sea for higher value-add technologies, health sciences and sustainable urban redevelopment projects. His difficulties in securing a feasible site in 'Asir prompted him to finally focused his efforts on African continent instead.
Wong first forayed into China in 1992 entering the new Hainan province then. His initially focused on construction management; architectural and interior design; as well as business facilitation and networking sectors. Subsequently, Wong operates out of the main cities of Guangzhou, Beijing, and limited exposure in Nanjing before broadening further to Shanghai, Chengdu and Xiamen. He has interests in hospitality, tourism planning and development projects. He is linked to more than ten separate and independent private equity groups, now loosely known as the 'Guangdong Portfolios'. Wong attempted to set up a Beijing based cluster, acting as their PEC. He was associated with more than 1000 Chinese entrepreneurs, private equities and strategic investors operating out of ASEAN into China.
Wong worked on the entry of various China's private equities in their internationalisation into ASEAN. Some had further moved into South Asia, Middle-East and Africa regions. Wong worked in the Chinese automobile market including an interest in alternative fuel and environmental vehicles. He also worked in linking-up Bufori with a local master distributor, headquartered in the Shanghai for the Chinese automotive market.
Wong set up environmentally friendly cellular lightweight concrete factories in Qingdao and Chongqing.
Operating out of Shanghai in a UNESCO heritage building by the Suzhou Creek, Wong incubated a portfolio of corporate entities in Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, Sichuan, Xiamen and Fujian provinces. The loosely grouped investment initiatives are known[by whom?] as 'The Cross-Straits Portfolio' focusing in Fujian and Taiwan projects. He also known conceived and invested into the Black Diamond Digital Studio, a corporate video production house in China focused on high-end animation, digital visualising and 3-D modelling.
Wong pushed the investment and venture funding community[which?] around him towards 'green urbanism'. His investment focus leans toward large-scale community projects including water filtration, waste recovery and recycling, top-soil recovery and rehabilitation techniques and energy saving gadgets and fittings. He initiated feasibility studies into large-scale topsoil rehabilitation programmes. He aims to reverse desertification after seeing sandy barren ex-mining land sprinkled all over his hometown. He further resolved to transform arid regions into arable land after the arid exposure to outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan and vast deserts of Inner Mongolia, China, and the Karoo of South Africa. Wong is interested in agriculture, including vertical farming. Early pilot projects include one aimed at transforming Lanzhou's barren soil did not yield any positive results. He implemented further application testing, using a formula of water retention gel mixture with barren soil. Critics[who?] pointed that Wong's 'fanaticism' towards environmental projects blinded him and often alienated him from other arising opportunities.
Wong's associates include founders of Yee Hup; Kinta Switchgear; and especially MTrans where he helped the company in breaking into regional urban transit markets, particularly in Middle-east and South Asia. The same applies to Bufori Motor Car company in Kepong, Malaysia.
His early Malaysian ventures had ended in failures, including the early dotcom days when he invested heavily in the website www.ipoh.com under Ipohcom and Ipohcom Technologies. Critics[who?] had labeled him having too emotional attachment to his hometown that clouded his otherwise cutting-edge investment judgment, typical pattern in his early ventures. He chose Penang and the less popular Kuala Terengganu to build his Malaysian business bases instead of Ipoh, including Penang Hill and the Cameron Highlands, where he developed a series of tourism-based investments. He initiated the Global Entrepreneurs Roundtable in Kuala Terengganu, together with Terengganu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCCI), for think-tank activities. He financed his proxies in the development of high-end boutique bungalows, similar to business models he replicated in China as well as Africa. His lesser-known initiatives include several Private-REIT, with the redevelopment of older housing into investable quality housing stock in Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
Wong's participation in Mauritius include conceptualising and master planning the Solares Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) at Flic-en-Flac, the largest Integrated Resort Scheme in Mauritius. Solares IRS is better known as the first planned township in Mauritius and a destination resort, and was among the first IRS approved by the government of Navinchandra Ramgoolam.
As an architect and urban planner, created a new proposed Uptown for Port Louis. He incorporated this into his transportation proposal for the city. He was commissioned by French national Patrick Yaich in 2008 to work on an Uptown proposal at a site within Port Louis, not far from his original Uptown location in his major transportation proposal. The land that Wong had designed on belonged to United Docks Limited. Yaich had commissioned other architects from Dubai and United States to also propose a design each, but Wong's proposal integrated financial engineering as part of the possible solution. He worked subsequently with United Docks Limited to plan the Port Louis Uptown proposal in Caudan.
One of his projects was the Mauritius Monorail lobby that he helped raise the initial finance and support. by both proponents and opponents to the idea. The promotion of MTrans Technology Berhad's monorail (now Scomi Rail)  as an alternative to Mauritius' buses and diesel cars. He lobbied MTrans to use Mauritius as a base to serve African region, notably South Africa and Madagascar. He is an associate of MTrans founder Mr. David Chew Keat Soon, who continues to control MTrans International Limited of Hong Kong. He also financed a study on whether Madagascar can be an alternative showcase to modern land and air transport solution in Africa as an alternative to Mauritius, having traveled to Antananarivo and had met Marc Ravalomanana when he was still the president there in late 2007.
Wong started the E-Global series, an award recognising intellectual ideas of aspiring and rising young individuals in Singapore. He collaborated with AMPRO, a Malay Muslim professional business organisation; Junior Chamber International, City JC Singapore; Innovators and Entrepreneur Association of Singapore (IdEAS) and other organisations to launch the E-Global Awards.
He partnered with Inderjit Singh, Dr. Khursheed Nizam and other Pakistani investor other Pakistani investor[who?] to hold Ecommerce Gateway as a private investment holding company for Pakistan business ventures. He later moved into private equity investment in 2004 after seeing the environmental destruction brought by the tsunami. His earlier acquisitions are all environmental related companies.
He was a partner in the desktop publishing firm Fu Manchu Designs (1991–93); worked in digital imaging and archiving where he authored the business plan and co-founded CD Imaging (1991–95), now known as Fotohub; was a founding partner in Rongsak & Shyan, an architecture visualising company (1994–96) before setting up his own architecture practice of Shyan Associates in end-1996. He headed CommerceTrust Limited, a public company founded by Dr. Toh See Kiat, a former member of parliament in Singapore.
Wong took over the leadership of CommerceNet Singapore in March 2000 as the Chief Executive Officer at the end of dotcom era, where he led its rebranding as 'CNSG', incubating companies that are undergoing transformation prior to seeking a listing on international stock exchanges as well as firms that had failed to secure normal funding from the open market. He also worked in the trust mark certification market in Singapore, rolling out CaseTrust before the internal split in CASE that led to a split between CNSG, Retail Promotion Centre and new CASE management. The split subsequently led to the launch of ConsumerTrust, BusinessTrust and PrivacyTrust in the trust mark market deployment programme. The programme was incorporated under the TrustSg programme. The programme subsequently made it to be part of Asia-Pacific Trustmark Alliance and Global Trustmark Alliance initiatives.
Wong co-founded the CNSG Consulting Group with Lawrence CS Ng, who currently heads the group. The group takes on projects mostly within ASEAN region and China. The consulting group often acts in tandem with CommerceNet's Consulting Partners. Together, changed the consulting group into private equity consultants (PEC) and a financial platform to 'project manage' leveraged buy-outs, corporate raids and reverse take-overs. The group led mergers and acquisitions in ASEAN and assembled the 'Guangdong Portfolios' .
South Africa ventures
Wong set up an investment base in South Africa under a new Private Equity group with an initial focus trained on Western Cape. He shifted his focus to the African region, despite lacking strong networks unlike those seen in ASEAN and the Far East. His earlier losses in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had nearly wiped out his entire portfolio. His earlier interest in Africa was held back by the difficulties of geo-political and social events, including the setbacks in Madagascar, the unstable Sudan, the Ain Al-Sukhna project in Egypt, which resulted to the delay in the market entry and subsequent limited presence in the continent
He led an integrated project with equity interest by FirstRand Group in George, a second line city in South Africa's Western Cape. His design firm was subsequently commissioned to design a notable MICE-centric R28 billion urban development project there, better known as Destiny Africa. The project was unveiled by the Premier of Western Cape, Helen Zille on 6 November 2009. Wong maps REIT model with a combination of a hybrid project finance and corporate finance model into real estate development. The developers however chose to sell off the project with largest approved urban bulk instead of developing it.
Wong developed a keen interest in Boutique Hotel sectors. Much of his initiatives included looking for potential sites regionally in mid-2010. He launched what he called an "integrated global procurement programme" originally seeded into M2C International of Hong Kong, also known as Gloproc, but the project suffered loses and leading to the closure of the South African operations. It was originally conceived to serve the "Destiny Africa" project, but after the stagnation of the project, Gloproc was changed to a stand-alone programme in Cape Town. The focus to Velodrome project in Cape Town yields little progress and led to its closure. Other known initiatives were in collaboration with a small core group of young consultants, entrepreneurs and private equities, mostly graduates from University of Stellenbosch, working on transformation of education, training and industry-centric initiatives.
Wong also invested into Lormont, a specialty collectible wine company via his Singapore joint-investment holding company, ShyanWest. He holds an equity jointly with Franco van der Weisthuizen. He is also to one of the backers of a new South African diamond investment fund with retail channel potential based in ASEAN.
Wong attempted to enter the market via Venezuela as part of a global procurement center, but without success.
Affiliations and awards
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2012)|
Wong leads the Chinese Entrepreneurs Network, with which he was affiliated and chaired since November 2008.
Wong received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, the highest honour given by the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF), awarded by Lions Club Ipoh Central in August 2011.
Wong was conferred his honorary doctorate by Dadabhoy University in 2007.
He is a practicing architect and registered with the Board of Architects, Singapore. He is also a corporate member of Royal Institute of British Architects and an associate of American Institute of Architects.
He was nominated and appointed the Chairman of International Architects Salon from 2003 to 2006. He was also a member of the jury for International Tianjin Music Hall Design Competition.
Wong also served as the head of organising secretariat for Singapore E-Global Awards of 2003 and 2004.
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