Happy Labour Day! Be the best that you can be

On this Labour Day holiday in Singapore, be inspired by this migrant worker’s rags-to-riches story and his big-hearted ex-employer who encouraged him to strike it out on his own. You can read the full article that was published in the Straits Times here.

The son of poor rice farmers in India, Mr Mani came to Singapore as a penniless migrant worker. Through his resourcefulness and eagerness to learn, he became a boss of his own company that recorded a revenue of S$2.5 million last year.

Mr Mani alludes his success to God and his former employer, Mr Ang, who taught him and encouraged him to strike it out on his own. Mr Mani said of Mr Ang: “He said, ‘You go out and fight. If you are not successful, you can come back.’ Where to find boss like that? Even I cannot be like that. I was so happy I cried,” he says.

With Mr Ang’s blessings, Mr Mani started his own company while he was still working for Mr Ang’s company. When he eventually quit his job to focus full time on his own company, his generous ex-employer, Mr Ang, passed him contracts.

When asked why he was so generous to his ex-employee, Mr Ang said: “It’s very simple. I’m growing old. There’s also a lot of work to go around. If he can chiong, let him do it,” he says, using the Hokkien word which means to take risks. “You cannot keep everything for yourself. Anyway, if he’s successful, I’m happy for him.”

Mr Mani said: “Workers are very important. Without them, we are nothing.” He added: “I’m very lucky. All my Singaporean customers have been very good to me. They like me and give me a lot of jobs.” He also shared in the video that accompanies the article: “If you work hard in Singapore, you don’t have to worry. If you’re lazy, you have to worry.”

Happy Labour Day! Like Mr Mani and Mr Ang, may you always strive to give your best to those around you so that you can be the best that you can be.

Straits Times  l  Migrant Worker Goes from Painting Condos to Boss of Own Company.jpg.png

By Joanne H. Lim

Photo Credit: Straits Times

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