Chas­ing Uni­corns

Prestige (Singapore) - - EDITOR’S LETTER - Lau­ren Tan | ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF

THE LAST TIME cover per­son Rob­bie An­to­nio was fea­tured in our magazine, it was 2013 and he was 35. His most su­perla­tive real es­tate de­vel­op­ment at the time was un­der con­struc­tion, and he was be­ing talked about as one of Asia’s top art col­lec­tors. Here for an art fair, he spoke about em­pire-build­ing with as much pas­sion and in­trigue as he did of the artists then on his radar (Mar­i­lyn Min­ter, Mau­r­izio Cat­te­lan, Kenny Scharf and Tracey Emin). He was well-spo­ken, well­read and am­bi­tious.

It’s no sur­prise that he’d go on to scratch an­other one of his en­tre­pre­neur­ial itches, this time dis­rupt­ing the global prop­erty mar­ket. Founded in 2015, Revo­lu­tion Pre­crafted is a tech-based distri­bu­tion chain that en­lists the world’s top ar­chi­tects and cre­atives to de­sign pre­fab homes, pavil­ions and even con­dos. To­day, the Philip­pine’s first uni­corn has clinched US$7.2 bil­lion in deals.

It’d be safe to say that had Pres­tige pub­lished a Philip­pine edi­tion, An­to­nio would have been one of the poster boys for its 40 Un­der 40 list­ing (back when he still made the cut, age-wise).

I’ll be the first to ad­mit that fea­tur­ing the likes of An­to­nio, and pretty much every­one else within our pages, keeps me grounded. It o‘ers a huge re­al­ity check. How did the busi­ness lead­ers build mil­lion- or bil­lion-dol­lar com­pa­nies? How did the in­spir­ing tri­umph over ob­sta­cles? How did the for­tu­nate step up to land oth­ers help­ing hands? Gosh, which fa­cial­ist worked that mir­a­cle?

How did they…? And what about me? Am I a slouch?

Next month, we re­lease The Van­guards: 40 Un­der 40, our an­nual list­ing of youngish (my nieces would ar­gue age 40 is hardly young) dis­rup­tors and thought/ in­dus­try lead­ers. After help­ing to cu­rate the list for eight years — and work­ing with some of the most abled team mem­bers in the process — I’ve come to re­alise I’m never go­ing to scale Ever­est; I’m never go­ing to push the fron­tiers of med­i­cal sci­ence; and I’m un­likely to mas­ter my own fi­nances, let alone stew­ard a start-up into a uni­corn.

I will say though, I’m grateful ev­ery individual who has been fea­tured in this magazine trusted us to tell their sto­ries. Be­cause as I my­self start to grad­u­ate out of the age bracket we salute, I’m learn­ing that I am do­ing what I was meant to do: Sto­ry­telling (some­thing I’d ar­gue is bet­ter done with a glass of fine wine in hand.)

Till our next is­sue,

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