Special Sauce

The ordinary and simple oyster sauce and soy sauce that our mothers added to their lovingly cooked food to enhance the flavours as we were growing up, the same seemingly boring sauces that were right in front of our eyes that we took for granted for decades.

Who would have known that the Lee Kum Kee group would grow to become the world’s largest oyster sauce and soy sauce company over the decades (and perhaps centuries)? Lee Kum Kee, the inventor of oyster sauce, is also the number #1 soy sauce company in China.

In the following video, Mr Lee Man Tat, 3rd Generation Leader & Patriarch of the Lee Kum Kee Group, shares the secrets to the Group’s success since its founding days in 1888, almost 129 years ago, and across 4 generations of Integrity, Passion and Innovation.

I particularly like his sharing on what it took for the group to transcend the world wars, the great depression and many other financial turmoils, and to ensure that the leadership and culture pass on for 4 generations and more to come, which comes down to this:

思利及人; To consider others’ interests – Mr Lee Man Tat

Lee Kum Kee group is not listed, however, there is a company with a direct link to the Lee Kum Kee’s traditional sauces business. This business partner has an amazing 104 years track record of its own and has grown steadily into the country’s no.1 cooking condiment company by being mums’ beloved partner in the kitchen. Interestingly and expectedly, good people and good businesses tend to come together at some point.

And importantly, the company has been quietly expanding its operations in the US, China and ASEAN region as well. I have personally used their products in my cooking adventures and am impressed with their products. In fact, I’m quite sure you have tasted their products before too!

If you own a business similar to Lee Kum Kee, would you be able to sleep soundly knowing what the business and its management stands for?

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run it is a weighing machine” – Benjamin Graham