Robert Kuok is a Malaysian business magnate and investor who made his fortune in the sugar industry, but his career began in the corporate world working in the rice business.

Kuok is media-shy; most of his businesses are privately held by him or his family. Apart from a multitude of businesses in Malaysia, his companies have investments in many countries throughout Asia. The largest source of wealth is the stake in Wilmar International, the world’s biggest listed palm oil company. As of 2022, Robert Kuok’s net worth is estimated to be $15.5 billion USD.

Early Life
Robert Kuok Hock Nien was born on the 6th of October, 1923, in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Kuok is the son of a Malaysian Chinese family. He grew up speaking his parents’ Fuzhou dialect, English, and Japanese during Japan’s wartime profession of Malaya. He studied at Raffles Institution, where he was classmates with Lee Kuan Yew and English College Johore Bahru.

Career
Kuok claims he started out in a business as a workplace boy and later started a business with relatives’ support. Upon graduation, he worked as a clerk in the rice-trading department of Japanese industrial conglomerate Mitsubishi Shoji Kaisha during the Japanese occupation period between 1942 and 1945.

He was soon promoted to head the rice-trading branch. After the war, he took the abilities he learned from the Japanese back to the family’s business in Johor. In 1971, he built the first Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. His first foray into Hong Kong property was in 1977 when he obtained a plot of land on the newly reclaimed Tsim Sha Tsui East waterfront, where he constructed the second hotel, the Kowloon Shangri-La.

On 31 October 2009, under the flagship of Robert Kuok, PPB Group stated to Bursa Malaysia that it had decided to dispose of its sugar units along with land used to cultivate sugar cane for RM 1.29 billion to FELDA. The sales led to a one-off benefit for the company. The sugar unit and sugar cane plantation were the second-largest business section upon its grain and feed which have been topping the sales. Kuok made his first fortune in the sugar industry.

3 Inspirational Lessons From Robert Kuok

Now that you realize all about Robert Kuok’s net worth and how he achieved success; let’s take a look at some of the lessons we can learn from him: Success Is 90% Hard Work And Knowledge:  For instance, in the sugar business, Kuok studied the demand, supply, production, consumption, and the shipping process to stay on top. Success doesn’t come easy.

Be Brave: Every business has its risks. It’s okay to back off and pass over the possibility IF there’s a better one shortly. But in case you’re not bold enough and retreat every single time, then you will always be poor.

Employees Are Number One: Hotel is a service industry, and the most important element is your employees, and you depend on them fully to take of your customers; thus, we will make it our primary timetable to take care of our employees.

Favorite Quotes From Robert Kuok
“There is a risk in every business; if you are not brave enough to grab on the first or next opportunities, then you will be a terrible person forever.” – Robert Kuok.“Everything on earth is dynamic; I can only supply my kids a message, not money. If they observe it, we can go another three or four generations.” – Robert Kuok

“When I hire staff, I look for honest, hardworking, sensible people. When I look at candidates in the eye, they must appear very honest to me. I do not look for MBAs or brilliant students. You may hire a notable man, summa cum laude, first-class honors, but if his mind is not a fair one or if he has a warped attitude in life, does brilliance matter?”– Robert Kuok

“My mother knows that I am somehow a talented businessman, but she would not want me to turn to the dark side and be an evil businessman. She advised us to be a good person, and not be greedy about money.” – Robert Kuok

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