To mark its 50th successful year, the man behind global hotel chain Hotel Grand Central Limited decided to turn a special occasion into a meaningful one.
Students at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will greatly benefit from the generosity of Mr Tan Eng Teong, the Executive Chairman and Managing Director, through the establishment of the Hotel Grand Central Scholarship in Sociology. The organisation hopes to nurture outstanding NUS undergraduates majoring in Sociology, who will go on to make a positive impact on the community.
“We have been in this business for 50 years; almost as old as Singapore. We grew up with the nation, and have evolved with the times. I feel a duty now to nurture the young generations of my country,” shared Mr Tan.
It was indeed a long journey for Mr Tan and his late father Mr Tan Chee Hoe, when they started with one hotel in Orchard Road. The first Hotel Grand Central was born in 1968, amidst tumultuous times following the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. But the far-sighted businessmen saw the golden opportunity to break into the local hospitality scene.
“It wasn’t an easy time, but my father had the foresight and the tenacity to keep the business going,” Mr Tan recalled.
The company grew alongside Singapore, enjoying the economic leap and bounds the nation made as it transformed into a leading global city-state. In a quick span of 10 years, the father and son duo grew the company exponentially, eventually listing it on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 1978 and expanding its hotel and commercial property developments into Australia and New Zealand in the early 1990s.
Today, the chain has hotels in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and China.
Mr Tan recognised that the University can effectively realise his desire to give back to the nation by helping future generations.
“This is a milestone for us and we want to commemorate it by supporting our young people. Doing our bit for education is, in my view, a long term investment that will yield everlasting results.”