Africa-Press – Lesotho. WHILE children of wealthy people all over the world usually fight over inheritance of material possessions, Dato Tiffanee Lim went for something better. Lim inherited her parents’ brains.
Lim, the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’s global vice-president and founder’s daughter, knowingly or unknowingly, designed her own destiny.
Tiffanee Lim, 30, a carefree young woman who interacts with everyone and laughs at jokes, made education her pillar of strength instead of making her wealthy parents her gold mine. She grew up with the knowledge that she had to earn what she puts in her purse through hard work and she focused on her studies.
She is not the vice-president of the international university merely because her father, the late Professor Lim Kok Wing, founded it but because she qualifies irrespective of her young age.
“Growing up in an environment of academics, I was exposed to high quality conversations which shaped my career today,” Lim told thepost in an exclusive interview last Thursday.
Lim says she has been working hard to push the vision of her late father. Besides being a Chief Brand Officer of the Limkokwing University, she is an author of several books including Think With Your Heart, The Mind Speaks and Late Have I loved Thee.
She is also a fashion designer who has participated in big international fashion shows such as the New York Week fashion show. Lim explains that she was surrounded by highly educated people since her childhood.
“Both my parents are academics,” she says. Lim was exposed to the campus life at a very young age due to her father’s position as the founder of the university.
“I remember growing up in this office which was the university,” she says. At the age of 12, Lim was taken to the United Kingdom to study.
She came back and joined the university at the age of 16 as a student in professional communication. She graduated at the age of 20. Lim says she started working while she was a university student.
“When I was a student, I was already like a student ambassador.
I had interest in whatever that was going on,” she says. When she was 21, she published her first book. “I have now published four books,” she says. She says she later moved from being a reader to a publisher.
Lim says she was raised in a family where reading was the norm. She then developed a love for magazines. She says at a very young age, she developed a passion to learn how to produce magazines and being in the magazine as well.
“I was the first person to be featured in Vogue Magazine,’’ she says.
She says she spent a year working at Invoke, a Malaysian non-profit organisation founded by the Vice President of the People’s Justice Party (PKP). She holds a Master’s Degree in Fashion Design.
“I made myself a fashion designer as well,” she says. She started several fashion labels. At the age of 20, she launched her first fashion label.
Tiffane says she then ventured into retailing where the brand has spread into several countries including Lesotho. She says through this brand, they managed to open six stores in the world including in London and Indonesia.
“We became the first Malaysian company to become available online on the biggest international websites,” she says.
She says she has been working hard to push for the participation of students in international fashion shows. “We also participate in London fashion week each year including the China and Japan fashion shows,” she says.
She says she is seeking to host Africa’s biggest fashion shows which will start in Lesotho. “I believe it will make international news and show great talent from here,” she says.
Tiffane further says the university was able to participate in a fashion week in New York. “We became the first university in Malaysia to independently showcase our fashion products in New York City,’’ she says.
Tiffane says for the past few years her focus has been on talent development. She says she was privileged to be trained by the best people in the world.
This has instilled the passion to spot talent, anchoring and guiding young growing entrepreneurs to be the best. She says since the university is broad, it allows an individual to bring all the knowledge altogether.
Tiffane says she was able to bring together her working skills as well as fashion skills while pursuing a communication career. “This benefited me a lot,” she says.
She says the university is global, it has allowed her to build a bigger network in various countries. She says when she came from the UK, she was surprised by the number of foreigners.
However, she says she came to understand why people move from their countries to Malaysia. “I came to realise that the founder was a special person,” she says.
However, she says being a daughter of the president was tough. “If I didn’t go to class or I was late, everyone would know. They made it a point that they let me know,” she says.
The founder was a visionary man, a good designer and effective at his business. Tiffane says this piled some pressure on her since people expect her to excel.
She says her father’s death has left a huge void in her life. She says her late father was her guide, mentor and inspiration. Tiffane says it has been a huge challenge for her to inherit the university as a young woman.
She says there is pressure both internally and externally to be at the same level as people with more experience. Teffani says most of the leaders in the industry are men.
She further says even the decision makers, policy makers, legislation makers and accreditation bodies are led by men. “Being on one table with senior people who are even double my age, it’s so challenging as a young woman,” she says.
As a young female in this industry, she says one has to be conscious about these things all the time. She says her late father, Dr Lim Kok Wing, had a huge impact in the lives of people.
“This also naturally puts pressure on me,” she says. Tiffane says the mission for the university remains huge. She says it can sometimes be a challenge to talk about technology because it moves quicker than the accreditation.