Recently, Singapore’s Water Princess, Olivia Lum, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Her company, Hyflux, has endured a torrid 2017, ending the year with a huge loss of S$116m, the first in the company’s history. But given so, how much do you actually know about her journey? You might have heard she was poor and came from Malaysia, but did you know that she was abandoned at birth, or that she started working at the age of 9 to support her foster family?

Olivia Lum celebrating the EY World entrepreneur award in 2011, the first woman to ever do so.

In part 1 of this special 2 part feature on the rise and fall of Olivia Lum and Hyflux, we will be covering the incredible entrepreneurial journey that started it all. From rags-to-riches to dodgy decisions, from entrepreneuring to empire-building, this is one story you wouldn’t want to miss.

P.S. Special thanks to Steffi Tan for making a cameo appearance. 

P.P.S. The Economical Rice Podcast has now hit 30 episodes! I’ve administered over many production and content changes since the beginning, and your feedback and comments on the show’s new direction would be greatly appreciated. 



Hyflux timeline


How Hyflux made a big splash in water industry

Singapore experiences its first post-independence recession

Malaysian Chinese success story



President’s Speaker Series

Can Hyflux find a ‘white knight’ to steer it out of trouble?

Donald Trump Says “China”


[Podington Bear – Sunset stroll into the wood]

[podington bear – gentle chase]

[blue dot sessions -low coal camper]

[blue dot sessions – castor wheel pivot]

[blue dot sessions – Hardwood lullaby]

[podington bear – lilywhite]

[podington bear – flutterbee]

[vanilla – summer]

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