Mr. Lim’s career originated in the textile business, but his real work was the legendary philanthropy shown by him throughout his life. In the early difficult years, poor folk might have no clothes to wear. So Mr. Lim started his career using needles and thread. In 1945, he opened the Sing Fook Knitting Factory in Hong Kong. In 1947, he set up Lai Sun Garment Manufacturing Company and by his hard work created employment and a legend.
In the 1950’s, textiles were a key element in Hong Kong’s economy. Doing business in those days could not depend on empty words. There were no magnificent blue-prints, but only orders for prompt delivery of finished products. One could only keep on working diligently meeting new challenges. One had to broaden one’s view by looking at the world and opening new markets. Mr. Lim succeeded in building a business empire. Hong Kong people can turn from yesterday’s difficulties to to-day’s glamour and fashion only because of our textile industry pioneers such as Mr. Lim Por-yen.
From garment manufacturing to the food and beverage industry, and from building to entertainment, Mr. Lim’s success contributed to Hong Kong’s success. But as Mr. Lim looked back to the origins of his success, he came to realize the utmost wisdom of human life. He never took pride in his own prosperity, but kept worrying about the public’s suffering and problems. He kept encouraging himself: “One’s life does not depend on one’s ability to work, one’s hunger for food or thirst for drink, but on one’s ability to give value to others.”
How many businessmen can differentiate between “price” and “value”? Mr. Lim shared his wealth with society by donating money to build libraries, schools and hospitals in his home country, and donating money in Hong Kong to develop education and art. He showed his deep concern for medical care and public health.
In 2003, when Hong Kong was attacked by the SARS epidemic which took away 300 citizens' lives, he fulfilled his idea of the duty of a Hong Kong belonger by donating on a large scale to front-line nursing staff and the Red Cross Society.