Joy Lim (BAcc & BBM, 2006) is an alumna who doesn't view the entrepreneurial world as one between men and women. Born into a family business of raw materials, Joy founded Tomal Global Pte Ltd, a company that utilises the best source materials to develop customisation in the water filtration industry. In a world dominated by men, Joy bucks the trend by embarking on an entrepreneurial journey to dispel the myth that only men can succeed in the business world. With her chutzpah, we envision big things for Joy to break through the proverbial glass ceiling.
You graduated from SMU with a double degree BAcc & BBM in 2006. Did you enjoy the SMU experience? How did it contribute to your entrepreneurial spirit?
The SMU experience was rewarding! I had the opportunity to serve in the 3rd SMUSA Exco, and life in the old Bukit Timah campus was very different from the current City Campus. In fact, I had the opportunity to have a tea session with the late Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew and that was very memorable. Also, with the small community of students, there was always a chance to pioneer a new club or activity. Lots of firms were curious with SMU students so getting an internship was easy and I remember that the GM of a bank who granted me a 3-month long internship gave me a chance to be on the trading floor trading up to 1MM of funds. Along with some business case competitions, and setting up an education firm, the environment at SMU allowed me to hone the entrepreneurial spirit in me to develop new ideas and execute them by forming a team.
Tell us about your current company, Tomal, and what inspired you to start this?
Tomal is an innovation company centred on refining living. Tomal focuses on being the source of materials and we are pioneering customized water solutions. We focus on sourcing the best materials in water filtration and incorporate them into the product range which tailors to both the consumer segment and industrial segment. Personally, I’m keen to make an impact on the way people live through basic needs like water and air. The quality of water and air has been declining and so Tomal is focused on refining by customizing water and air solutions relating to buildings. By developing solutions, Tomal hopes to resolve real problems of everyday living and to make a difference in lives globally.
(Joy with her water filtration products)
In 2014, you won the My Paper Executive Award in a nationwide competition in Singapore. Please tell us more about that, and how you came to win it?
The award was a My Paper Executive Challenge and we had to go through a series of tests in public speaking, networking and social skills. It was a nationwide voting compeititon organized by Singapore Press Holdings and I won the prize due to the highest votes cast throughout Singapore.
This was a prize I won when I was working at Seaward Chemicals Pte Ltd.
(Image courtesy of My Paper Executive Facebook page)
What brings you most joy as an entrepreneur?
The joy to see someone's life changed. Just recently, Tomal went to Cambodia and we realized that the water quality is really bad in most areas and health is affected as a result. With more affordable solutions with premium membranes, we are able to reach more people to get premium drinking water that can transform their health. Also, more jobs have been created in Cambodia with the Singaporean partner we have who now lives there.
If you didn’t become an entrepreneur, what would you have embarked on?
I would have embarked on a social enterprise to create more jobs for the less abled, and to work towards reducing slavery and poverty in the region.
What is your wish for the future of Tomal?
That Tomal Global will indeed go global and create more inroads to Southeast Asia and create a true Singapore brand of customized solutions in Water and Air. I also wish that Tomal will support more social projects other than the ones we already support.
(Joy and her team)
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
It’s pure hard work! There are discriminations in the business world especially when they view women as the “weaker” one in terms of being a business leader in certain industries such as engineering and technology. My thoughts would be to not let stereotyping affect us as women and stay true to our cause in creating value and solving problems. In due time, the reward is not to be recognised as women but to be recognised by the contributions we can offer to make a difference.
Last updated on 25 Jul 2018 .