Richard Eu Yee Ming
Richard Eu Yee Ming (b. 29 October 1947, Hong Kong1–) is the chairman of Eu Yan Sang International Ltd.,2 a healthcare company that focuses on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). He is the man behind the transformation of Eu Yan Sang from a TCM business into a modern company that provides integrated TCM healthcare products and services worldwide.3 He was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Traditional Healthcare in 2011.4 In 2010, he was recognised as CEO of the Year at the Singapore Corporate Awards.5
Richard Eu is the great-grandson of Eu Kwong Pai, founder of Eu Yan Sang, and grandson of Eu Tong Sen, a well-known tycoon and philanthropist.6 Born in Hong Kong in 1947, Richard Eu has been living in Singapore since 1949. He attended Anglo-Chinese School; Kent College, Canterbury; and completed his law degree at the University of London.7
A man of diverse interests, Eu was a merchant banker, stockbroker and a venture capitalist before joining Eu Yan Sang as a general manager in 1989.8 At the time, his uncle had just retired from the company and Eu felt that a family member should remain directly involved in the business that his family held stakes in.9
During Eu’s first few months as general manager, several family members sold their company shares to construction and property development group Lum Chang Holdings, and by February 1990, Lum Chang had become the majority shareholder. It was 1993 before Eu and three of his cousins staged a buy-out of the pharmaceutical arm of the company at a sum of $21 million. Three years later, Eu further consolidated the business through the acquisition of and delisting Eu Yan Sang (Hong Kong) Ltd.10
Under Eu’s leadership, Eu Yan Sang flourished. He broadened the appeal of TCM by launching more convenient and easy-to-use products such as Chinese medicine in capsule form, bottled birds’ nests, herbal soup mixes and ginseng in tea bags, geared towards the busy consumer who has no time to boil and prepare herbs the traditional way.11 Eu also revamped the company logo, modernised retail outlets,12 and distributed its products in supermarkets, pharmacies, and health-food stores.13 He began employing more English-speaking staff to introduce and promote TCM to the younger generation.14 In 2001, the company partnered with the YourHealth Group and entered the Australian market, providing integrative medicine services from Western and Eastern medical traditions through integrated health clinics. It also entered the American market that same year by acquiring Elixir Store and its health tonics and teas.15
Eu represented Singapore as part of the national water-ski team in the Southeast Asian Games in 1983 and won a bronze medal. Apart from water-skiing, he also enjoys snow skiing and tennis. A lover of jazz music, he has occasionally performed at pubs and charity events.16
Wife: Mary Eu17
Children: Richard Eu (the Third); Anthony Eu; Christopher Eu; Rebecca Eu.18
1. Low Kar Tiang, ed., Who's Who in Singapore 2006 (Singapore: Who's who Pub, 2006), 134. (Call no. RSING 920.05957 WHO)
2. Marissa Lee, “Eu Yan Sang Boss Steps Down after 28 Years,” Straits Times, 8 July 2017, 7. (From NewspaperSG)
3. Henry Wai-chung Yeung, Chinese Capitalism in a Global Era: Towards Hybrid Capitalism (London: Routledge, 2004), 147–52. (Call no. RSING 330.12208995105 YEU)
4. “Richard Eu Entrepreneur of the Year 2011,” Ernst & Young, n.d.
5. “Board and Leadership,” Eu Yan Sang, n.d.
6. “Birth of a Medicine Empire,” Straits Times, 2 September 1993, 6; “The Eu Behind EYS,” Straits Times, 5 July 2000, 5 (From NewspaperSG); “Interview with Richard Eu,” APBN 11, no. 18 (2007): 1222–8.
7. Tommy Koh et al., eds., Singapore: The Encyclopedia (Singapore: Editions Didier Millet and National Heritage Board, 2006), 183. (Call no. RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
8. Koh, et al., Singapore: The Encyclopedia, 183; W. C. Kang, “Manager@Work: Growing and Managing a Legacy,” Edge Singapore, 7 July 2008. (From Factiva via NLB’s eResources website)
9. L. Y. L., “Medicine Man,” Singapore Tatler 12, no. 136 (January 1994), 48. (Call no. RSING 959.57 ST-[HIS])
10. Jaime Ee, “Measure of Worth,” Straits Times, 31 May 2003, 3 (From NewspaperSG); “Eu Behind EYS”; Kang, “Manager@Work”; Yeung, Chinese Capitalism in a Global Era, 148.
11. Sharon Loh, “Eu Family Regains Eu Yan Sang,” Straits Times, 2 September 1993, 6 (From NewspaperSG); Ernst & Young, “Richard Eu.”
12. T. Saywell, “CEO Call: Richard Eu, Eu Yan Sang,” Far Eastern Economic Review (7 August 2003). (From Factiva via NLB’s eResources website)
13. “Eu Yan Sang Sets Up Retail Chain,” Business Times, 21 July 1992, 4. (From NewspaperSG)
14. L. Y. L., “Medicine Man,” 48.
15. Koh, et al., Singapore: The Encyclopedia, 185; “Our Milestones,” Eu Yan Sang, n.d.; “Interview with Richard Eu,” 1228; Ee, “Measure of Worth”; Rachel Ong, “Eu Yan Sang Net Profit Rises 6.6% to $6m,” Business Times, 30 August 2002, 4 (From NewspaperSG); Saywell, “Richard Eu, Eu Yan Sang”; Alvin Foo, “An Old Hand on the World Stage and Still Growing,” Straits Times, 2 July 2013, 11. (From NewspaperSG)
16. Corrine Kerk, “Medicine Man Who Sings the Blues for Relaxation,” Business Times, 28 June 2000, 2 (From NewspaperSG); Koh, et al., Singapore: The Encyclopedia, 183; Saywell, “Richard Eu, Eu Yan Sang.”
17. L. Y. L., “Medicine Man,” 48.
18. L. Y. L., “Medicine Man,” 48; Joyce Hooi, “Entrepreneurs With the X-factor,” Business Times, 11 November 2011, 14; John Lui, “Singing 60s,” Straits Times, 2 July 2013, 4. (From NewspaperSG)
The information in this article is valid as of June 2020 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.