Some of you may have read recently that Adcom, the advertising agency my father had founded in 1972 (44 years ago, even older than me!) is being applied to be wound up by SPH after failing to pay $1m in debts.
Not many companies are able to last for more than 10 years. For Adcom to have prospered and survived for 44 years (overcoming more than 5 major recessions is no easy feat). My father was one of the best bosses I know. He always empowered his staff to be the very best they could be and always conducted himself with the utmost integrity and honesty. These traits, I picked up from him.
In its glory years, Adcom ran some of the most famous advertising campaigns in Singapore… AIA Trust Campaign, the M1 Launch and building the M1 brand and many of the Ministry of Family and Social Development Family campaigns in Singapore (encouraging Singaporeans to get married, start a family etc…)
Although I was very proud of the business he built, my passion was in trading stocks and children’s education and building my own company (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group). Maybe if I had helped him to run his business instead, things would have turned out better. That is a regret I would always have.
Sadly, after many of Adcom’s recent clients failed to pay up (they closed down because of tough times), Adcom incurred bad debts of over $4 million dollars. The funny thing is that when the company’s clients do not pay, Adcom has to still pay SPH for the bill of $4m++… The clients get away scot-free… that’s just how it is.
I have seen my dad having to take millions of dollars of his own money to pay up clients’ debts over the years and having to sell properties to cover the bill. Although it no longer made sense to keep the business running, my dad kept it going for the sake of giving the staff a job (many have been with the company for 10-20 years) and paying back the debts slowly.
Then early this year, SPH decided not to give any more credit to Adcom. With Adcom having no more financial resources to keep going, and not being able to take on any more clients without credit facilities, the painful decision was made to let SPH wind up the company. Although my dad can afford it, I don’t think it makes sense for him to keep paying off his retirement savings into a business that is no longer viable. It is sad that something that is 44 years old has to come to an end but that is how life is. Nothing lasts forever.
I don’t know what SPH has against me but they decided to report that Adam Khoo’s company was being sued for $1m , knowing full well that I do not run Adcom at all (though I am technically a director and shareholder). Maybe it’s because I am well-known and they want to embarrass me so that my dad will pay their debts. Maybe they want to create conflict between my dad and me. Well, that will NEVER HAPPEN. I love my dad and am very proud of him and what he has accomplished as a businessman and I owe everything I have to him. For all the friends and students who have been calling me to ask me how I am, I thank you for your care and concern. I love all of you!