Name of Recipient:
Mr. Sim Wee Chee
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Believing in that very notion is Mr. Sim Wee Chee, founder of Alston Publishing House. Education cannot be stolen from you and can help you reach your desired goals. Only with the advent of education can people gain knowledge, think critically, explore alternatives and maintain intellectual curiosity.
With the aspirations to empower minds and improve lives globally through education, Mr. Sim joined the company in 2010. Since then, Alston Publishing House has successfully developed and published a multitude of educational resources, textbooks and workbooks, meeting the various needs of learners and educators today. In fact, the company specializes in creating materials that fulfills the curricula requirements of schools regionally and internationally.
When it came to naming the company, Mr. Sim shared that Alston Publishing House was named after the highest market settlement in England. The town Alston in Cumbria, England is about 1,000 feet above sea level and has many stone buildings dating from the 17th century. “Choosing this name signifies the goal that I have for Alston Publishing House, which is to be a beacon in education and to create a legacy,” said Mr Sim.
At Alston Publishing House, they believe in cultivating meaningful career paths with their employees. Their team of experienced editors, designers and production executives has consistently developed bestselling educational series for different markets. In addition to that, the company’s authors have also received significant recognition in the education field. Some of the awards include the President’s Award for Teachers, Outstanding Youth in Education Award, Outstanding Science Teacher Award, among others.
In order to have a competitive edge, Alston Publishing House publishes content based on the syllabi from Cambridge International Examinations and incorporates the Singapore approaches to learning Mathematics and Science. “After all, majority of the students in private schools regionally and internationally take the Cambridge Checkpoint examinations. Our textbooks which are based on the Cambridge syllabi are more relevant and effective to their learning,” added Mr. Sim.
In less than three years after Alston Publishing House began its operations, the company had already expanded their distribution network to more than 20 countries. These countries encompass those in Southeast Asia, North Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. On top of that, Alston Publishing House is the first homegrown publisher to receive an endorsement by Cambridge International Examinations for their primary science series – TOP Science.
However, the success of Alston Publishing House is built on the crests and troughs that Mr. Sim and his team shouldered on throughout the years. Reflecting on the challenges that the company had faced, Mr. Sim mentioned that hiring the right people who share the same vision of providing quality education in a sustainable way was actually one of the hardest challenge.
Nevertheless, Mr. Sim and his team did not give up. Despite the difficulties, Mr. Sim was determined to make things work. Whenever he experienced setbacks, he took it as learning lessons and continued to be creative and improve his business. Thankfully, Mr. Sim managed to have a few talented co-workers who have helped him tremendously throughout his entrepreneurial journey.
For Mr. Sim, being an entrepreneur means to chase a dream and to fulfill that dream relentlessly. He strongly believes that entrepreneurs should think differently and be impactful and useful to the industry. “To be an entrepreneur, you have to be proactive and you must persevere whenever you meet difficulties. In other words, you have to have grit,” Mr. Sim emphasized.
For the coming years, Mr. Sim hopes to bring Alston Publishing House to an even higher level. He plans to establish the company’s footprint in other continents, specifically Africa. Additionally, Mr. Sim wishes to hire more talented individuals who have the passion to empower minds and improve lives through quality education.
With Mr. Sim’s foresight and leadership, it is undeniable that Alston Publishing House will continue to ace and scale greater and higher heights in the future. By then, being awarded as one of Singapore’s Outstanding Enterprise in 2015 will only become one of its many milestones.
745 Toa Payoh Lorong 5
#03-07, The Actuary