Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo is sticking to S'pore, regardless

He said he has three passions in life. Singapore is one of them.

Belmont Lay | May 22, 2017, 07:33 PM

Creative Technology CEO Sim Wong Hoo is back in the spotlight.

The 62-year-old recently appeared in a May 17 video interview with Chinese daily, Lianhe Zaobao.

This follows the launch of Creative's latest product earlier this year that is set to rebrand the company: The S$7,999 Sonic Carrier, an all-in-one high-end speaker system, which is also the company's most expensive product to date.

This marks a significant leap from Creative's previous affordable, mass-market audio products, such as its most lucrative product to date -- the Sound Blaster, which has sold some 400 million units since 1989.

The last time Sim was in the news was in 2012, when Creative launched the HanZpad tablet in China.

Sim chaired the HanZpad Alliance, a get-together of 20 Chinese and Taiwanese companies that manufactures, markets and distributes the new HanZpad computer tablet.

This ability to keep trying and surviving, by relentlessly coming up with newfangled things that are unlike sound cards and speakers, has become part of the Creative lore.

And this spirit is also not new as Sim was quoted in the New York Times in as early as 1994:

"Singapore can be a tough environment for entrepreneurship," Mr. Sim said, "but if you can get by the tough part, you become very tough."

After having thrived better than ever -- Creative had at one point in its history achieved a market capitalisation of more than US$1.6 billion and Sim became a billionaire at age 45 -- Sim and his company is still exploring and making new products, but not with the same kind of impact as before.


In the video interview conducted in Mandarin, Sim revealed with good humour what he thinks of Creative's reputation now as a company that "survives".

Reporter: You mentioned repeatedly that it is good enough for Creative Technology to survive. Is this your approach in business?

Sim Wong Hoo: The most important thing is to survive. I'm happy just to be able to survive.

The video also shed light on what he is perpetually enthusiastic about, namely, technology, all things Chinese and Singapore.

All my life, I have three "passions".

I am passionate about technology. I am a tech junkie and I will dive into any new technologies and research and develop a lot of new technologies.

My second passion is Chinese. I am passionate about Chinese history and culture. I believe it is something we ought to know, because it is our background and history.

My third passion is Singapore. In fact, for Creative Technology, the best place to grow is in the US. We can move the entire company to the US, because Creative Technology is a tech firm. Don't stay in Singapore, just move everything to the US and look for talent there. There's so much talent there, especially in Silicon Valley. But we decided to stay in Singapore and invested in Singapore. All the marketing, technologies and methods are here in Singapore, we want to nurture locals. Even for projects involving the Chinese language, which should have been done in China, I said, do it in Singapore.

You can watch the video from Lianhe Zaobao here:

H/T Lianhe Zaobao

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