4 Leadership Lessons from a 32-year-old Chairman of a Listed Company

As a business administration graduate from Singapore Management University (SMU), Mr. Tung Chi Fung, who is currently in his early 30s, paved his way to success in the finance industry. A believer of continuous innovation and persistency, Mr. Tung is currently the Chairman and Executive Director of Sheng Ye Capital Limited, a company focusing on the provision of supply-chain financial services to clients in selected industries using financial technology.

Below are the key leadership lessons from the winner of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2018.

#1 Create Opportunities, Learn from Experiences

Since young, Mr. Tung have always dreamt about owning his own business one day. His father, a serial entrepreneur, has been his inspiration and role model. The entrepreneur initiated two different business with his friends while he was studying in SMU. One business was called Thatgreenman, which was an environmentally friendly company. The core business was to develop some eco-friendly products for office use. For example, the company developed a pen made by used paper, an ink made by coffee grounds and they also converted bagasse into paper. His other business was named Colours Diner, which was a restaurant that served food to students in SMU. The experience of running the restaurant became the fundamental of Mr. Tung’s sales skill in Sheng Ye’s business and emboldened him too further explore the field of business.

During his studies at the university, Mr. Tung also participated in an exchange study trip in the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and Harvard University in the United States. The international vision strongly helped Mr. Tung realise his passion in life and the things he should focus on in life.

#2 Strive to Be Different

Being inspired by his University’s slogan “A Different U”, Mr. Tung always strives to deliver innovative solutions. When he first entered the Chinese financial market, he noticed most of the financial institutions (e.g., banks, trust funds and insurance companies) aimed their business at large enterprises. He also realised that around 85% of the business in China comprised of small-medium enterprises (SMEs), which was a huge untapped market. He took a risk to select SMEs as his target audience and started Sheng Ye Capital in 2013. This was one of the best decisions he has ever made.

Headquartered in Shen Zhen, Sheng Ye Capital currently has about 200 personnel divided into specialised teams, servicing the four cities of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Tianjin, with a clientele of over 2000. The company became the first commercial factoring company listed on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) of Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK).

#3 Strike a Balance Between Growing Your Business and Benefiting the Society

On one of a public welfare project in Luoyang, a city in China, Mr. Tung was inspired to put more effort in being a social entrepreneur, rather than merely focusing on profits. He currently serves as the honorary committee member of Raleigh China, Vice Chairman of Handpicked Love Foundation, member of The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society Kowloon and committee member of Singapore Management University International Advisory Council.

The Chairman is also extremely grateful to SMU in shaping him to be the person he has become today. In order to thank what his University taught him in the past, he set up a $1 million P.A.K Entrepreneurship Fund with his best friend Mr. Twoon Wai Mun in SMU. The purpose of the fund was to assist, support, encourage and stimulate ideas among the students at SMU, and to provide continuous support for the growth of the University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

#4 Believe in Yourself

Being a young entrepreneur himself, Mr. Tung encourage youths to not underestimate their own strengths and abilities. He mentions, “Age is just a number. I truly believe that young entrepreneurs growing up in a great environment will have more chances to provide more job opportunities, more economic growth and more social responsibilities to the entire world.”