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World Bunkering Autumn 2010 25 INTERVIEW Passion for the business Lim Teck Cheng, chief executive of Singapore- based supplier Hong Lam Marine, talks to David Hughes W ith some 33 years' experience in the bunker business, Lim Teck Cheng knows a lot about the industry and, in particular, how to run a successful company. He recalls: " I joined my father's company in 1976, a sole proprietorship called Hong Lam Marine Services Co. This company operated two wooden barges for Esso. Later, in 1981, together with my father, we founded Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, which had two steel tankers and these were timechartered to Esso. " We have come a long way since then. I have been involved in all aspects of the business, growing and running the company. It has been a challenging and exciting journey to date. " He adds: " I set the overall vision for our company, and oversee its entry into new businesses and the building of new tankers. I have been and am personally involved in the inspection and purchase of all second- hand tankers and all newbuildings." That is quite some task, as Hong Lam has commissioned and delivered 35 newbuilds from Japan and China since August 2001 and has several more for delivery next year. He is also active in the industry: " I am a member of the Technical Committee of the Classification Society Bureau Veritas and Singapore Technical Committee of Nippon Kaiji Kyokai. I am also a member of the Services Committee and the Bunkering Sub- Committee of Singapore Shipping Association and a member of the SPRING work-ing group on mass flow meters on bunker tankers." Developing a successful business So how do you stay profitable and still grow your business? He answers: " First and foremost, passion for the business that you are in. With passion comes the desire to learn and acquire new knowledge and to improve the processes of the company. Equally as important is business integrity. Your customers must be able to trust you and trust the way you conduct your business. " Even if you have these two qualities, you still need to cascade Lim Teck Cheng