Alumni 1969 - Richard Tan


My name is Richard Tan, GBS class of ’69. Now 58, married with 4 children, no grand children. Yes, older, but not yet feeling totally past it, at least mentally... so far!

Life’s been a roller coaster. I spent most of my life after leaving GBS and High School, Malacca in the UK.  Chartered accountancy put bread on the table in my early working years but to help me shed the image of a boring accountant (sorry, joke, no disrespect to other accountants!) I also did a post-graduate diploma in marketing. Yes, there is life after debits and credits!
I am so proud and grateful to have had the privilege to have been associated with that educational institution!
I worked in the music industry - a very deliberate decision because I enjoy music and I was young once, Woodstock, Santana, love and peace and all that - Columbia Records (now Sony Music), Warner Brothers, and as MD for Art & Sound, a small group of music industry-related companies in the UK for 10 years.  
I tried my hand as an financial analyst in 1988 for one year with Hong Kong-based institutional stock brokers Crosby Securities in Kuala Lumpur, the year of the big stock market crash. I decided though exciting, this industry was not for me.  As a penance, I proceeded to join, and for over 20 years thereafter, saw the world with Mercedes-Benz, initially as group retail accountant at Mercedes’ head office in Milton Keynes.  But I transferred soon after to work in retail network development for the rest of my working life with them in UK, Europe, and Asia.  For example I spent 4 years and was responsible for opening and developing the Mercedes-Benz passenger car business in the People’s Republic of China. So, if 33 dealerships fail in the foreseeable future in the PRC, ok, it’s probably my fault! 
I finally left Daimler when I declined to move with them to Vietnam after I completed my contract in Malaysia. I decided then that my days living out of a suitcase were over. I spent one year as general manager with the Naza group at their invitation. But I felt the time had come to do what I really wanted to do, and that was to try and do my own thing.
Currently this is represented by an automotive consultancy business – I just can’t get away from it, can I? - where my principal client is the Singaporean Mr Ong Beng Seng’s automotive division, the Komoco group, which lists amongst its many franchise brands, Hyundai, Harley Davidson, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. To start to distance myself from the automotive business and to move into more fun projects I am also a partner in a 35 bedroom budget hotel, bar and restaurant in Malacca – –  to capitalize on the ever growing tourist business in Malacca and a niche market filler Left Handed Golf Sdn Bhd – – where it was primarily driven out of frustration by retailers not filling the needs of that minority and altogether overlooked group of left-handed golfers, not only in Malaysia but in the whole of Asia. You will have gathered, I am a left-handed golfer. So if you ever need a hotel room in Malacca or are aware of left-handed golfers wanting to meet other left handed golfers please let me know.
Best wishes to all who did time like me at the Gajah Berang Secondary English School, Malacca. What an establishment! A big thank you to all the teachers and friends to whom I now have the pleasure of knowing… and of them having had the misfortune of also having had to know me! Yuck! As I said at the beginning, it’s been one helluva ride
I am so proud and grateful to have had the privilege to have been associated with that educational institution!

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