Hiro Tan is the Founder of Rotiboy. Born in a sleepy village in on a hot late morning in Batu Ferringhi, on the tropical island Penang, Hiro’s childhood days are a challenge as his younger adult days.
Events that shaped Hiro’s purpose includes ponteng school for 2 weeks, due to not able to pay school fees, losing the10 Sen daily school allowance in primary schooldays, seeing how his mother struggle to take care and bring up the family, and seeing a friend younger than him having a baby just after leaving school.
Other such events that shaped his life’s purpose are his struggle to complete his Tertiary education, having no source of income or support from the family. But as God would provide, Hiro got free meals from some kind souls led by James in Melawati and financial and material support from his cousin brothers and sisters in Kuala Lumpur.
All the above and a bit more made Hiro realise that he has to help himself before he can help others and that developed into his purpose of building something that can make a positive difference to himself and others around him.
The journey towards realizing that purpose in Rotiboy has its challenges as well.
The first venture into the fresh mushroom business did not succeed but provided two valuable lessons. Never venture in to a business when:
A short but enriching stint of 9 months with Prudential Assurance enhanced Hiro's understanding about human values, about doing the right thing.
Training as a Station Manager for Singapore Airlines in 1991 ended in "disaster" but also made Hiro aware of the intricacies of Excellent Customer Service. Meeting challenges and exceeding expectations becomes a natural and indispensable trait and commitment. One significant effect of the "disaster" is the realization of what human compassion and corporate compassion means and that is one value that is very evident in Rotiboy's human resource policies.
Starting Rotiboy in 1998 is only beginning of a long and challenging journey to realize a certain amount of progress towards fulfilling his purpose.
Embarking on this journey would not have been possible without the assistance his elder sister who provided all recipes and most importantly the rotiboy bun and his younger brother and mother who are actively assisting him in the early stages of the journey.
Leading the Rotiboy business to what it is today is often fraught with challenges within and without the organisation. While much time and effort is spent to build the company and brand much credit also goes to God for the blessings and providence throughout the 19 years journey.
Hiro Tan is all about passion, focus, perseverance, determination and undying commitment. Today, Hiro Tan is about achieving success without compromising on his values, creating wealth to be shared with his colleagues, accepting development without destroying the planet, wielding power with compassion. Most of it all, Hiro Tan is about making a positive difference to the people around him.
Noble intentions that may not be fully achievable but then again, everything starts with a dream and an intention, don't they?
Success is when we achieve anything we set out to achieve, tiny, huge or small, without sacrificing our values and beliefs.
Personal success is when we are able to elevate the status and standard of living for all the people in the organisation. Success is not driving expensive cars and have a big house when there are people in the organisation that does not have food on the table or able to provide education to their children.
One Ringgit on the table of a wage earner is more valuable than the Thousands of ringgit sitting in the bank account of a rich man.
It does not really matter what we were and where we came from but it does matter what we have become and what values we have adopted.
Running a business is like living our life. We must adopt the same values in both aspects because the values that make our personal life work, will make our business work.
There is only one Purpose in life that will not end or being completed until we breathe our last, that is, to make a Positive difference to the people around us.