Alan Tay, Joshua Research Consultants

Who or what is your biggest motivation or inspiration?

I see myself as a “People Developer” – I am motivated watching my staff members grow in knowledge, management skills and their careers. My ultimate goal is to allow staff to share the company’s success through profits and shares.

What was your childhood ambition?

From a young age, I’ve always retained an interest in doing business – I remember when I was 10 years old, I bought a few packets of candy and started selling them at the HDB lift area during my school holidays. Although the revenue I got was a mere $10-$20, the experience bought a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Tell us about guiding the company through some of the roughest periods.

Although our performances were affected by the 2009 global economics crisis and the 2011 Eurozone/US crisis, it only compelled us to transform and grow stronger than ever before.

When Mr Alan Tay took on the personal motto “I like challenges” as a 16-year-old teenager, never in a million years would he have thought he was cut out to head a market research company. But the executive director of leading specialty firm Joshua Research Consultants has since had a dramatic – and career-defining – change of heart.

“I always had the impression that market research was a professional service requiring lots of academic and statistical knowledge,” says the former YMCA general manager, who was recruited by JRC’s original founders for his strong business acumen in 2004. “But since I liked challenges, I took on the challenge of embarking on this path despite my own personal limitations and reservations.” The move was the perfect catalyst to launch Mr Tay’s career and reverse JRC’s previously ailing fortunes. Under Mr Tay’s expert guidance and sound tutelage, the company has grown from a modest outfit to one whose unparalleled research services are utilized by some of the biggest names in the industry. Financial growth has been unprecedented, while it achieved a corporate milestone in 2011 when it purchased four office units at the brandnew One Commonwealth, which incorporates JRC’s offices and state-of-the-art research facilities. Despite encountering setbacks and a myriad of challenges along the way, Mr Tay has stuck firmly to his principles and initiated ambitious efforts to diversify the company. Market research is still its bread and butter, but efforts to venture into investment and, among other things, a bread-making factory, have also yielded impressive results.