OUR MILESTONES

EVOLVING THROUGH THE ERAS

Adding Value and Positively Impacting Life

  • 2020
  • 2000
  • 1995
  • 1970
  • 1948
  • 1920
  • Late 1800s

Co-Creating the Well-being & Happiness Economy

Co-Creating the Well-being & Happiness Economy

12 April 2024, Launch of TPC Brand Name

The TPC brand represents four generations of a family business grounded on a simple phrase: “Evolve to Serve the Era.” The brand is rooted in the business’s original tradename, Tsao Pao Chee.

28 December 2023, Joining the World Economic Forum

IMC Pan Asia Alliance became a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Chavalit Frederick Tsao shared insights at six sessions during the WEF Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland from 15 to 19 January.

November 2023, Establishment of IMC Ventures

IMC Ventures focuses on delivering sustainable returns and operational synergies through collaboration with start-ups. We help start-ups scale by providing access to our network of clients, infrastructure, and people.

October 2023, Establishment of No.17 Foundation

TPC's Corporate Philanthropy Platform that creates and curates the conditions for our planet’s citizens to collaborate on initiatives and projects that stewards the flourishing of Life.

September 2023, Core Member of Philanthropy Asia Alliance

No.17 Foundation is one of the critical voices and core member of the Philanthropy Asia Alliance, by Temasek Trust, to catalyse solutions for humanity’s shared sustainability challenge.

September 2023, Launch Restore Nature Foundation

Organised to champion causes committed to restoring humanity’s true nature and pursuing the flourishing of Life, in particular, nature. Nature is a natural healer.

April 2023, Launch of OCTAVE Well-being Economy Fund

An ethical fund that invests in innovative companies and initiatives that contributes towards serving the Well-being and Happiness Economy.

January 2023, Consolidating the OCTAVE Brand

AITIA Institute (S) Limited changed name to OCTAVE Institute Limited, representing the final integration of the well-being brands under OCTAVE, a business ecosystem for well-being.

July 2022, Transforming Working Space

The Singapore office relocated to Springleaf Tower, featuring a redesigned space to enhance collaboration. This marks another step towards the company's transformation into the Well-being era.

2022, Creation of the Well-being Mandate

Chavalit Frederick Tsao embodies his awakening journey, worldview, wishes and declaration for the sustainability and well-being of the business in a mandate that guides the business.

November 2021, The Octave Wellbeing Economy Institute (OWEI) Established

OWEI was established to promote the consciousness shift through its theory of change, leading systemic transformations towards ethical business reform.

February 2021, Chavalit founded “知了x FUTURE”

A lifestyle magazine for modern Chinese, it aims to explore new expressions of Chinese Beauty in the context of the revival of Chinese culture.

Stewarding towards the New Era of Well-being

Stewarding towards the New Era of Well-being

2020 to 2022, Reflection Time

During the pandemic, we took the time to reflect on our purpose and role in the crisis. This reflection led us to the realisation that action is urgently needed to co-create a sustainable future for all. As a business, we believe we can take a lead by transforming our own business.

November 2019, The Second AT ONE International Festival

The Second AT ONE International Festival, an annual event organised and held in SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE, was held from 15 to 17 November 2019, with the theme “New Paradigm, New Era of Well-being.”

November 2018, The Inaugural AT ONE International Festival

The Inaugural AT ONE International Festival, an annual event organised and held in SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE was held from 9 to 11 November 2018 with the theme “Common Destiny for Humanity.”

March 2017, SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE Grand Opening

The grand opening of SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE, a learning, coaching and healing living community centre in Suzhou, China. It is the second location in the OCTAVE well-being lifestyle ecosystem that supports building, healing and maintaining healthy relationships in the Life system.

November 2016, 27th Family Business Network International Global Summit

The Global Summit was held in SANGHA Retreat, a new location that supports relationship building. Family business has a special relationship between family and business that uniquely positions and aligns it to the global sustainability agenda.

October 2016, The Sustainability Mandate

Chavalit Frederick Tsao signed the Sustainability Mandate, supported by A Management Perspective and the Cultural Pillars Guiding Note, as his declaration of the business purpose, which is to serve humanity. In 2022, the mandate was replaced by the Well-being Mandate.

October 2016, The Birth of AITIA Institute

AITIA Institute (S) Limited, a not–for-profit organisation, was established as a future-form management school for Quantum Leadership and evolutionary organisation. It was renamed as OCTAVE Institute Limited in January 2023.

October 2015, THE LIVING ROOM (TLR) by OCTAVE Grand Opening

The grand opening of TLR by OCTAVE, an urban lifestyle well-being centre in Shanghai, China. It is the first location in the OCTAVE well-being lifestyle ecosystem that supports maintaining healthy relationships in a busy urban environment.

September 2014, The AITIA Family Institute (AFI) Grand Opening

The grand opening of AFI marks the establishment of an institute dedicated to supporting the building, healing, and maintaining of healthy family relationships. Family is where we learn, receive, nurture, and give love. It provides the foundation from which we acquire the skills necessary to cultivate positive relationships in life.

2012 – 2013, Establishment of Heritas Capital Investment Pte Ltd

The investment arm of IMC was reborn as Heritas Capital Investment Pte Ltd in October 2012 to redirect its investment focus into the well-being economy. In December 2013, they obtained a Capital Market Services licence.

2010, OCTAVE Grows

IMC Real Estate was folded under the umbrella of OCTAVE to align with the shift from harmonious communities to the well-being economy.

2008, Establishment of Family Business Network Asia Ltd (FBNA)

Under the sponsorship of the company, FBNA was formed as the Asian Chapter of the Family Business Network International (the largest family business network in the world), to bring together family businesses in Asia, in the spirit of learning, sharing, collaborating towards co-creating a new future for humanity.

2007, OCTAVE was Conceived

Chavalit Frederick Tsao conceived OCTAVE as a new business model in the Well-being Era. A five-location well-being ecosystem was created as a new business model. The real estate hardware-focused business was repositioned to a lifestyle business that serves life as its primary purpose, expressed with a bit of style.

2004, Diamond Day, A Management Declaration

The management declared in 2004, at a retreat in Krabi, Thailand, to embark on the sustainability journey. This occasion was named Diamond Day, and it is celebrated every year throughout the Group as a reminder and check-in on the progress made annually.

2002, Taking the Business Private

IMC Holdings Ltd was privatised through a scheme of arrangement in 2002 to clear the path and pave the way for the transformation of both leadership and organisation so the business can evolve to serve the needs of the new era of well-being.

2000, Launch of the Corporate Community Games (CCG)

The first Corporate Community Games (CCG) was organised in 2000 to promote the bonding and collaboration between Singapore's corporate communities. It was subsequently rebranded as AITIA Community Games (ACG) in 2018. A total of seventeen CCGs—ACGs were held between 2000 and 2019.

Evolving Through Alliances and Innovation to Serve Trade Globalisation

Evolving Through Alliances and Innovation to Serve Trade Globalisation

1999, Chavalit Frederick Tsao Elected Chairman of Intercargo

Chavalit Frederick Tsao, the fourth-generation steward, was elected Chairman of the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners. As Chair, Chavalit was not afraid to push boundaries and created several platforms to promote collaboration within the Maritime sector.

1995 to Present, Leading Innovation In Its Industry

Innovation leads the way in evolving the company's products and services.  There is several notable firsts in its industry:
  • In 2016, IMC Shipping launched the largest 64k DWT Multi-Purpose Vessel (MPV) to meet the changing global trade demands.
  • In 2016, Aurora Tankers launched a 55k DWT medium-range chemical tanker, the largest of its kind at the time, as part of its chemical supply chain solution.
  • In 2012, MV Ore Fabrica, the world’s largest iron ore transhipment vessel of its time, went into operation off the coast of the Philippines. MSI Ship Management Pte Ltd managed the vessel, which facilitated the supply chain of ore cargo for China and other Asian markets.
  • In 2004, IMC Shipping unveiled the first in-house-designed Floating Loading Facility (FLF) to efficiently and effectively serve coal miners' loading needs and reach the market. This led to other operators building many FLFs.
  • In 1998, IMC Shipping, in partnership with GMV and GATX, launched the largest of its kind at the time, 45k DWT Medium-Range Chemical Tankers.

1995 to Present, Growing through Alliances

Chavalit Frederick Tsao, an entrepreneur, recognised the significance of collaboration for humanity's success and failure. He implemented the strategy of forming alliances for sustainable growth. Many long-term partnerships and collaboration relationships were developed consequently:
  • In 2010 and 2013, we established joint ventures in China to build deep-sea ports in Lianyungang and DongJiaKou, Qingdao as part of our iron ore supply chain strategy to support industrialisation.
  • In 2005, a joint venture to establish IMCYY, a company specialising in ship repairs, was sealed. Since 2020, we own 100% of IMCYY.
  • In 2005, a joint venture with MODEC Inc. and Mitsui & Co. Limited for the newbuilding of IMC’s first Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. Named Stybarrow, the ship entered service at the Stybarrow field off the northwest Australian coast in 2007.
  • In 2004, NORIMC, a joint venture with China North Industries Corporation, was formed to participate in China's domestic chemical shipping business. This collaboration was crucial to enhancing the chemical supply chain strategy.
  • In 2000, a joint venture between Unithai Shipyard & Engineering Limited and Clough (Thailand) Company Limited formed Clough-Unithai Engineering Limited (CUEL), with Asia Construction Limited (today's Chevron) subsequently joining the partnership. CUEL is an engineering and fabrication company that builds and installs wellhead platforms to serve the Asian oil and gas industry. IMC took over CUEL as a 100% shareholder in 2021.
  • In 1999, two joint ventures were established in the marine & offshore engineering sector. The first was with Miclyn Express Offshore, and the second was with Svitzer. The goal was to offer services to Thailand's oil and gas platform operations.
  • In 1996, Qingdao Ocean & Great Asia Transportation Co., Ltd, a freight forwarding company, was established through a joint venture with COSCO Logistics Qingdao.

Serving Asia Industrialisation

Serving Asia Industrialisation

1995, East West Cultural Development Centre Ltd (EWCDC) Formed

With questions on sustainability and family business legacy, Chavalit Frederick Tsao started a research centre, EWCDC, in Singapore to research sustainability and modernity. EWCDC has published and organised dialogues, and eventually, this work was taken over by OCTAVE Institute.

1995, Fourth Generation, Chavalit Frederick Tsao Takes Over Stewardship

Chavalit Frederick Tsao, takes over as Chairman of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Corporation. He ponders sustainability questions, his role as a steward, the role of business in society and its impact on sustainability.

December 1991, IMC Pan Asia Alliance Corporation (IMCPAA) Formed

Chavalit Frederick Tsao saw that the success or failure of humanity has been about its ability to collaborate or otherwise. He formed IMCPAA with the purpose for business to relook at collaboration and partnership as the way for business sustainability.

1991, Relocating Business Headquarters to Singapore

The IMC Group relocated its headquarters and dry bulk cargo business from Hong Kong, China to Singapore to establish a new maritime hub for shipowners and operators.

December 1989, IMC Holdings Ltd., listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange

The IMC Group business flourished and obtained a secondary listing on the Singapore Stock Exchange under the name IMC Holdings Ltd. It obtained its primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in October 1972.

1970s to 1990s, Establishing Presence in Thailand

Chavalit Frederick Tsao, the fourth generation of his family business, spearheaded the company's development and expansion in Thailand.
  • Then, in 1990, United Shipyard & Engineering (UTSE), the largest shipyard in Thailand, was established.
  • In 1987, the company increased their investment and repositioned United Thai Shipping Corporation (UTSC), now known as Unithai Group, into a profitable business unit.
  • In 1985, the company established Lifelines Produce Co Ltd, which commercially farmed high-value fruits and vegetables for local and export markets.
  • In 1978, the company invested in United Thai Shipping Corporation (UTSC), marking the entry of the family business in Thailand.

New Frontier for the Family Business

New Frontier for the Family Business

1978, Building Presence in Modern China

The family business invested in the fourth building of Shanghai Aibang Plaza, marking its first investment in modern China.

1977, Fourth Generation, Chavalit Frederick Tsao Joins the Family Business

Chavalit Frederick Tsao, joins the family business after graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and a Masters in Industrial & Systems Engineering.

October 1972, Listing of the business on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

The family business was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as International Maritime Carriers (Holdings) Ltd.

1960s to 1980s, Establishing Presence in Malaysia

Frank Tsao Wen-King played a key role in the development of the maritime industry in Malaysia. For his contributions, the King of Malaysia conferred him the noble title Tan Sri, equivalent to a knighthood. His contributions include:
  • In the mid-1980s, a bulk carrier was converted into a cement storage and unloading facility, and it became the first logistics provider of its kind in Kedah, Malaysia.
  • In 1973, Malaysia established its first shipyard, Malaysia Shipping & Engineering Sdn Bhd.
  • In the early 1970s, Formed Transglobal Bulkers an Asian commercial shipping pool with MISC and Brostrom.
  • 1968, Participated in establishing Malaysian International Shipping Corporate (MISC), Malaysia’s national shipping line.

1950s to 1960s, Relocation to Hong Kong, China: Industrialisation of Northeast Asia

Frank Tsao Wen-King relocated the family business to Hong Kong, China, to serve the needs of the industrialisation of Northeast Asia. He invested in diverse businesses, such as textile and agriculture businesses in Southeast Asia, and simultaneously established maritime branches in Japan and the United States.

1949 to 1960s: Building the Maritime Business

Frank Tsao Wen-King, the third generation of the Tsao family, expanded their family business into the maritime industry from their new base in Hong Kong, China. Here are some notable events that took place under his leadership:
  • In 1966, International Maritime Carriers Ltd was founded to own and operate general cargo vessels. The company was later renamed IMC and is now the mother company of IMC Industrial Group.
  • In 1957, the Hong Kong Shipowners Association was formed with eleven charter members, laying the foundation for Asian shipowners.
  • In 1950, Frank Tsao Wen-King bought the Eastern Trader, another ocean-going vessel with a deadweight tonnage of 3660, solidifying their position as one of the first Asian shipowners. Frank Tsao later became known as one of the four Shipping Kings in Hong Kong, China.
  • In 1949, the family purchased their first ocean-going ship, the Ebonol, which had a deadweight tonnage 1200. This purchase established their shipping enterprise, Great Southern Steamship Co. Ltd.

From Prosperity to Turbulence

From Prosperity to Turbulence

1948 to 1949, the Move to Hong Kong, China

The Tsao family left Shanghai in 1948, heading southwards to Hong Kong, China, and westwards to the Americas. Frank Tsao Wen-King, who was a third-generation member of the family, remained in Shanghai to oversee the family business. In 1949, Frank Tsao Wen-King relocated the family assets and business to Hong Kong, China.

1945, Third Generation, Frank Tsao Wen-King Joins the Family Business

Frank Tsao Wen-King graduated from Shanghai Saint John University's Department of Economics in 1945 and joined the family business as the third-generation steward of the Tsao family business.

1930s to 1940s: Turbulent Times

During a period of turbulence, with World War II spreading to Asia, the Tsao Family business suffered a major setback. They lost a significant part of their assets and business. This chaotic period forced the family to reevaluate their options. However, amidst all the chaos, new opportunities emerged for the family business.  

1920s, Growth & Prosperity

In the 1920s, the Tsao family business, led by its second-generation, George Tsao Ying-Yung, expanded and diversified its services to meet the needs of North Asia's industrialisation. It was a time of growth and prosperity as the company evolved to serve the needs of its era.
  • From the 1910s to the 1920s, the transportation business grew to include cargo transport, and Tsao Pao Chee evolved into a comprehensive water-transport logistics business with warehousing and banking services.
  • This period of expansion and prosperity saw the business grow from strength to strength. Nancy Tsao-Ng Yu-Shun, George's wife, operated a large jewellery store in Shanghai known as the Tien Bao Cheng Jewellery Shop.
  • The Tsao family business had multiple businesses in Shanghai and along the Yangtze River.

Every Story Has a Beginning

Every Story Has a Beginning

Beginning of 1900s, Tsao Pao Chee Established as the Trade Name for the Family Business

The first generation and founder of the family business, Tsao Wa-Chang, established Tsao Pao Chee as the trade name for the family business, anchoring the company's roots with an identity. Tsao Pao Chee means the treasures of Tsao and is the inspiration for the TPC brand launched in 2024.

Late 1800s, during the Qing Dynasty

Every story has a beginning, and TPC’s story began in the late 1800s, towards the end of the 20th century, during the Qing Dynasty.
  • Tsao Wa-Chang (1866 – 1929) observed that there were insufficient docks at the Huangpu River in Shanghai, which served as a gateway for foreign trade to China. The shallow waters of the Yangtze River also created challenges. Sailors and passengers of large foreign ships had to switch to small boats for landing. So, he acquired a small wooden boat and started his humble water transport business.
  • Once, Tsao Wa-Chang, the first-generation and founder of the Tsao family business, found a purse containing bills of lading and cargo titles, which were very important documents for the sailors. One of his passengers, a ship's officer, left it behind. Acting with integrity, he returned it to their rightful owner.
  • With gratitude, the officer personally financed Tsao Wa-Chang towards his purchase a docking ship, which was the breakthrough for the family business. From this, the company grew and expanded from passenger transport to cargo transport.
  • The expanding Shanghai economy and improved train connections and docking harbours increased the volume of cargo transported, and the foundation of the family business became increasingly stable.
  • This is the start of the family business, which eventually traded using the name Tsao Pao Chee. Integrity and hard work were his values.

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