Jason Tan’s big networking secret is to drive supercars. The 32-year-old undoubtedly finds joy in the glamour and experience of zipping around the island in his grand Rolls Royce Dawn or sporty Ferrari 488 N-Largo. But more significantly, the serial entrepreneur, whose portfolio of companies includes medical supplies firm Labmed, which shipped over 65 million medical masks and 38 million virus transport medium kits globally last year, has discovered that cars make for great business development, too.
“In car clubs, supercars are a common passion, so having conversations about one’s wheels with other owners are an icebreaker that can eventually lead to business discussions,” Tan elaborates.
A self-made businessman, he first experienced success with LabelTech by LabelLink SG, a pioneering crypto-mining fintech company he founded in 2017, during the early days of the blockchain revolution.
“When I was young and did not have many resources, the only way to create an opportunity for myself was to start a concept in a field that wasn’t saturated,” says Tan, who is from a humble family of six and whose father was a delivery driver and his mother, a part-time store assistant.
Determined to make something of himself, he would devote up to five hours a day in pursuit of new knowledge. He focused on cutting edge technology and read up on such topics voraciously, participated in online forums and joined virtual meetings featuring pioneers in these sectors to glean as much information as he could.
In 2015, he chanced upon cryptocurrency when it was not yet fully regulated and knew this could be his big break. He established LabelTech (formerly MegaHash Mining) and has never looked back. Today, the Singapore-based company has scalable crypto-mining operations in Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei.
Tan then went on to launch a string of other business ventures, including UTP499, a property acquisition firm specialising in group commercial property procurement and co-sharing office
concepts; Labellink, a wholesaler and distributor of beauty products from Korea, China and Taiwan; and medical supplies company Labmed that achieved a turnover revenue of $220 million between February and August last year.
Many of his leads, he says, come from close connections he has been carefully cultivating over the years. “Money is a tool and my clientele and leads are my assets. The trust that has been forged in the people I’ve met on my entrepreneurship journey has provided a lot of advantages for even other business ventures,” Tan says.
Still, he acknowledges that it takes guts to stay the course. “The biggest challenge would be taking that leap of faith at the start when you have no certainty about whether your business will work out or not. You just have to push and recalibrate.”
He also pursues business ideas that dovetail with his appreciation for the good life. Last December, he invested in Karl Arte, a fine leather goods company founded by a group of leather crafting artisans, whose first product range is supercar key fobs made of nappa and alligator leather.
He also launched Face, an Asian fusion restaurant in Club Street, partly because he needed a comfortable place to entertain in and network. These investments are also an opportunity to pay it forward by supporting the next generation of young upstarts.
At the same time, Tan says he has not forgotten his roots. The filial son has no qualms about showering his mother with generous red packets and once splurged on a lavish Rolex watch for her birthday. He also watches out for his team. “Whatever I have, I will share with my staff because of the work they have done and the trust we have in each other.”