The founder of Bob Agency – The Late Mr. Bob Tan Swee Seng
Mr. Bob Tan Swee Seng was truly a visionary man. His rags to riches story has inspired so many generations to be ambitious, and to chase their dreams. In his short life, he had achieved so much more than many could in a lifetime – leaving behind such profound impact on the real estate industry as well as Penang.
Born in 1929, Bob Tan was an illiterate who started work at the tender age of 5 as a push boy, pushing goods carts. Those days in 1934, carts pulled by men were cheaper options to bull carts. Throughout his childhood and early adolescent, he had gone through all kinds of menial work from a push boy to a sundry shop delivery boy, even a sailor and finally a taxi driver, which will be his turning point for his success.
One day in 1959, while driving a RAAF housing officer, the office had enquired from him about rental housing accommodation for his personnel. That simple enquiry changed his destiny forever. An opportunity was presented and he grabbed it. Bob Tan soon attained his first rental transaction that same year. Having nicknamed Robert (or Bob in short) by the Australians as they had difficulty annunciating his Chinese name, the company was therefore registered as Bob Agency – Northern Malaysia’s first real estate agency.
At the prime of his business career at the age of 40, he passed away from a massive heart attack whilst he was in the hospital in 1969. Although only 10 years in the industry he had introduced and built, Bob Tan had paved the way and foundations for the future of real estate businesses. After his demise, Dato’ Leslie Lee bought over the business and renamed it New Bob in 1975. And the rest is history.
The founder of New Bob Group – Dato Leslie Lee
Dato’ Leslie Lee Kim Guan is the Founder and Group Executive of New Bob Group of Companies. Upon completion of upper six in Penang Free School, he left for Hong Kong to further his studies and obtained diploma in navigational officers from Hong Kong Polytechnic two years later.
Dato’ Leslie is the key driving force behind the phenomenal growth and success of the company. He undertook the real estate business in 1975, founded and started New Bob Group. Today, the group business repertoire is very diversified ranging from property development, rent-a-car, auctioning, MM2H, property management to hotel and hospitality. In recognition of his achievement, he was conferred with a Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN), which carried the title “Dato” by Penang State Governor in 2000.
Throughout the years, Dato’ Leslie has contributed his time and financially to various professional associations and charitable organizations. Dato’ Leslie is also the founder of D’Home, a non government organization founded in 2004 where he fully finances and supports. It was established with aims of catering for the mentally unwell, their carers and family members. Following his immense contributions towards the real estate industry, Dato’ Leslie was bestowed the Real Estate Leadership Award by MIEA’s National Real Estate Awards in 2012.