I was born in a slum in Singapore in 1957. Except for the British, almost everyone else was poor. My father worked in a grocery shop and his salary as a shop assistant could hardly feed his family – three kids, our mother, and our grandmother.
By necessity, my mother Tan Siam Kheng had to think up new ways to raise the income level of our household, as her kids were growing and needed to go to school.
At first, she tried cooking pancakes, hoping to piggy-back on our neighbor who peddled fresh fruit from a pushcart.
But the attempt failed, as our neighbor did not promote the pancakes and instead returned all the unsold products in the evening. My mother gave up her first start-up enterprise after three nights of distributing ...more