Source: This is an interview conducted by

Small and Medium Business Association Singapore (SMBA)

Proven & Innovative Accelerated-Learning Strategies,
Inspired by Fun

Mr Tan Chai Kwang, Jack Adam Smith Learning Centre Pte Ltd


“To witness my students not only secure their distinction, but to also grow and become confident individuals who can contribute to society.” That is Mr Jack Tan Chai Kwang’s primary motivation to embark on a career in the education industry. He first began teaching as an Economics lecturer at a local Junior College in 2001. While the job was fulfilling, he left it 7 years later in 2008, to focus on full-time private tutoring. Mr Tan wanted to cultivate the appreciation of Economics as a subject that is applicable to everyday lives. “It is imperative to understand and appreciate Economics, and the workings of our very own Singapore economy!” exclaims Mr Tan.


And in the middle of 2010, Mr Tan had an epiphany: He realized entrepreneurship was the only way that would enable him to reach out to more students than he ever could. He then incorporated Adam Smith Learning Centre in 2011 and has since achieved an outstanding track record in producing academic excellence. Out of all of its students, approximately 85-90% have achieved distinctions for their GCE ‘A’ Level subjects. “Our academic achievements are only made possible by the great dedication of our teaching staff, tireless administrative support from the non-teaching staff, as well as the strong support from parents and students who showered us with referrals,” explains Mr Tan.


But this booming success was not attained overnight, Mr Tan shares, “I remembered that, in my first class, there were only 4 students! Now we have the fortune and privilege to grow to a yearly student enrollment of about 200 students, in terms of physical classroom lessons.”


Since its inception, Adam Smith Learning Centre has also expanded its service offerings to provide online lessons as well and has reached out to over 2000 students. Mr Tan attributes the success of the learning centre to its motto of “making sure each and every student truly learns.” It has also successfully adapted to industry changes, such as changes in Ministry of Education’s directions, school activities as well subject syllabi.


In the pipelines for Adam Smith Learning Centre are newer and more effective pedagogy, technological infusion and expansion beyond Singapore that are bound to create even greater success for Mr Tan in the future.

Up Close & Personal

What qualities do you think an aspiring entrepreneur should possess? One must be willing to learn. Being a knowledge based economy. One must be able to learn new things and take action. Also, an entrepreneur must be able to get his individual staff members to act as a team. Teambuilding cannot be taken for granted as a company’s ability to move towards her mission and vision depends on how the team functions.


Finally, be open to new ideas. Keep an open mind. This can also be extended to advice to be open to learning, be brave to take action, and be able to motivate others to work well as a team.

How do you measure success?

The Journey of life like a marathon, the race preparation and running practices form the bulk Journey to towards the actualization of the marathon itself. Yet, I can only complete the marathon because of these preparations that I have made.


Similarly, to realize of the company’s mission and vision. The success lies in the Journey I undertake – the learning, the actions taken, the mistakes learnt and the improvements made. Furthermore, being an educator. I am actually more concerned about personal growth and development.

Be it learning how to have better relationships with children and spouse, improve communication skills. Improving our health. These are all journeys that one can take towards “success”.

In short, as long as I am learning and doing new things. I am being successful.