Past Event

Are You Prepared for Failure?

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WOU Free Public Talk organized by School of Business and Administration on 9th September, 2023 (Sat) at 3pm at Theater 2, WOU Main Campus.

Topic: Are You Prepared for Failure?
Date: 9th September, 2023 (Sat)

Time: 3pm-4.30pm
Venue: Theater 2, WOU Main Campus

The talk titled "Are You Prepared for Failure?" explores the importance of expecting and planning for failures in our careers and in business. It challenges the negative stigma surrounding failure and emphasises its role as a catalyst for growth and resilience.

It encourages the participants to adopt a mindset that embraces failure as a stepping stone towards success by learning from failures. The talk concentrates on the importance of setting realistic expectations, adaptable to internal and external surprises, and proactive in developing strategies to navigate and recharge after setbacks. The talk aims to encourage individuals to face failure with confidence, extract valuable lessons from it, and ultimately increase their chances of long-term success.

Speaker: Dato' Dr. Tan Tat Wai

Dr Tan started his career in Bank Negara Malaysia in the 1970s. He launched the housing start and housing completion surveys, the industrial survey and study of the external services trade encompassing shipping, insurance, investment flows etc. Apart from desk studies, as a complement to and more in-depth understanding of the industrial sector, he took his team to visit 2-300 manufacturing/insurance/shipping/tourism/housing companies.

After he left BNM to become the CEO of Southern Steel in 1984, he was involved in steelmaking, rolling, steel bar, wire rod, various wire products, steel pipes, steel service center, marine container and galvanized sheet businesses.  In doing so, he visited world leading producers to negotiate joint venture and licensing agreements.  He took Southern Steel from RM30m turnover to RM3b and listing on Bursa Malaysia with an average profit of RM100m a year for the 10 years prior to his retirement in 2013. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) that occurred after he brought in external investors and diluted his family interest to <10% (Was he conning others and ended up conning himself? Or no foresight?).

Concurrently, he helped supervise his family’s rubber related business from raw rubber processing and trading (RSS, Crepe and SMR) to rubber shoes, rubber thread and rubber gloves (examination and industrial). He brought in the then leading LCD manufacturer to set up a JV company in Bayan Lepas. He was appointed by the then Prime Minister to be a member of the 5 men Fab Task Force to bring in a wafer fab manufacturing investment, including leading the negotiation with Intel.

He was also appointed as independent director to the Board of NSL (previously Natsteel) who was one of the biggest industrial conglomerate in Singapore (steel, prefab concrete, electronics, solid and liquid waste treatment, and venture capital), Lotte Titan Petrochemicals (PE, PP ..), Shangri La (Malaysia) Hotels & Resorts, MIMOS, Malaysian French Bank, Malayan Banking group, Nanyang Press and others. In Penang, he sits on the Boards of Hospital Lam Wah Ee (largest private but not for profit hospital in the country), Phor Tay Schools, Penang Chinese Girls School and the Home for the Infirmed and Aged, as VP or other office bearers at different times. He was 1 of 3 members of the Government appointed Malaysian Member of APEC Business Advisory Council.

Please scan the QR to secure your seat.


Wawasan Open University
George Town Institute of Open and Advanced
Studies (GIOAS)

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