Bottling the Future: Kenny Lim

August 17, 2022

When Kenny Lim started working as an Event Sales Representative for Malaysian bottled water producer Spritzer Bhd in 2003, he didn’t get a free ride just because his father had founded the company. “My father treated me like a regular employee,” Kenny says. “I had the same KPIs and the same protocols to follow. I worked my way up to Sales Executive and several other roles before becoming Group CEO and it has been about 20 years since I started with the company.”

Kenny admits that the road hasn’t always been a smooth one. “My father’s right-hand man and left-hand man had been with him for a long time,” he says. “Then when the son comes in and is maybe at that time too young and has different opinions, that is what made me grow up. I had to learn to give everyone the opportunity to have a voice and give them time to adjust to change. Instead of saying, ‘This isn’t a good way’, we used numbers and simulations to show how things could be done. And slowly, people started to be more supportive and feel comfortable in believing in team work.”

The Spritzer team learned to work together to combine the best of the old and new guards. “My team is young and those that have been working with my father from the beginning are still with us,” Kenny says. “I think everyone is happy to learn from each other because one group can give experience and one can share ideas. When the two come together, it can be fun. We challenge each other openly and when there’s a problem, we always discuss it. The key is for every employee to have a sense of ownership. Trust is very important in how I manage.”

But being Group CEO of the largest bottled water producer in Malaysia comes with its challenges. Whereas Spritzer’s focus a decade ago was squarely on increasing its market share, the industry has now shifted towards a focus on sustainability.

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