Starting out poor and being dumped by a girl because she saw no better life with a cleaner is truly a successful and inspirational story for a man who now makes fortune.
Instead of getting frustrated, Vernon Kwek used his heartbreak and the discrimination he went through from his girlfriend who chose a university guy over him as a motivation of working hard and striving further in life.
The 48-year-old is now Singapore’s Primech Services & Engineering CEO who owns a 10% share in the company.
Simultaneously, Vernon also runs A&P Maintenance Services and Maint-Kleen, two other cleaning companies handling some of the biggest companies in Singapore, including Changi Airport Group, with over 3,000 employees under his power.
Vernon was born to a humble family. When he was barely 13 years old, he helped his father find a new job after losing the latter’s job as a salesman.
After his father was accepted as a cleaning supervisor, Vernon manifested his hard work and family-orientedness by helping his father in cleaning toilets and offices during the weekends.
A year after, he gave up school just to work as a full-time cleaner to help his family. Being a responsible teenager, he was shortly promoted to cleaning supervisor at the age of 14.
“I asked the manager if he was sure. My dad became a supervisor only when he was 40. I was only 14. But he said: ‘Don’t worry. You have your dad’s genes. He has leadership qualities, you should have the same too,’” Vernon shared in Strait Times
Later on, he was again promoted to a higher position as a senior supervisor until he finally became the company’s CEO.
Nevertheless, Vernon experienced many downfalls in his journey but never lost hope as he was determined to have a better life. Now, he is a successful family man with four kids.