Platinum Category

Wan Li GD Pte Ltd

  • Mr SoonHow Chen JH  ·

Manufacturing prism and lenses since 2008, Wan Li GD Pte Ltd initially inaugurated only in trading and supplying, has since come a long way from its former small trading business in 2006. With its core business in optics, supplying products such as lenses, prisms, mirrors, filters, beam-splitters, reticle and subassembly for used in military, commercial and consumer products industries, Wan Li now takes on big players and international clients such Leica Group (Germany); Swarovski Optics (Austria); SAAB Group (Sweden) and Carl Zeiss, to name a few.

Man Behind Success

In 2006 when Mr SoonHow Chen JH first set up Wan Li GD Pte Ltd, he shared that for the first year, he handled all operations single-handedly. The one man show then expanded the following year where he managed with just a couple of staff.

Today, Mr SoonHow employs a total of 150 staff, locally and in China where he set up his factory in 2008. He also established a joint venture in the U.S, launching his own brand of lenses, “Norden Performance” with an American counter-part, in 2011.

Some may wonder how he managed to climb the ladder of success in a short time span. To Mr SoonHow, he puts it simply explaining that, “one must possess two key ingredients in business – the first, understanding and knowledge of the market and business and the other, delivering a trusted service.”

All of which he developed from his 14 years of experience working for Leica Singapore prior to going entrepreneurial.

“This is a unique market”, says Mr SoonHow. “Our direction has always been focused on the highest precision market. This is also how we established our business from upholding a greater level of quality and standard”.

The Malaysian born came to Singapore in 1990 at an opportune time after completing tertiary education A’ Levels, as Singapore Optical Organisation had opened up spots for candidates in their established training centre. While working, he pursued his Bachelor’s in Engineering Management part-time.

He was given Singapore citizenship in 2007 – a country where he now calls home and believes to be “one of the best places to do business because of its effective anti-corruption governing laws, fair opportunities. It also provides a good education system”, says the father of two.

Diversifying the Business

Now diversifying to an overseas market with “Norden Performance”, Mr SoonHow hopes to internationalise his products eventually to Europe after some years. He is also looking into Mechanical production to complement the exterior support of optical assembly, providing a complete service and finished product for his clients and “constantly upgrading”, he emphasised.

“Lucky Opportunities are only for those who are always ready with a right attitude and knowledge.”