Jordan Lee was not coerced into the family business. A longing for a set of wheels to call his own led him straight out of school and into his father’s automotive lubricant company, where he has remained ever since — taking over the reins outright in 2012. Today, LubeWorld Holdings employs over 230 staff from its humble beginnings of just three in 1979, and has a blending facility, a state-of-the-art fully automated packaging line and a presence in East Malaysia.
On growing up
My father gave me a hard time in the early days of my career, I was treated exactly like any other member of staff. I went through the warehouse, the administration office and even a sales stint in East Malaysia so I knew the company inside out, including the hardships of starting at the bottom. Nowadays my old man pops in just to read the papers and watch some television; our relationship is more of buddies than our old boss-employee dynamic.
On learning from the best
When I joined the business in 1995, without any experience, I spent the next few years visiting the plants of other international oil companies to observe their processes. Taking in these learnings, we developed a more modern outfit, from scratch, to blend lubricants locally starting in 2001. I believe that hard-earned money doesn’t come easy. I don’t believe in shortcuts, you really have to work for things. Also, be sincere in your relationships with people.
I’ve been into cars all my life, so I definitely have a deep interest in my work. Most of the time I’m a lone ranger, I like to take relaxing solo drives and stop where I please. Once in a while I will join my friends for a convoy up to Gohtong Jaya or for a simple weekend drive. I buy cars that appeal to me, not for others to appreciate. The first impression is seating position, if its right there’s a very high chance I’ll go for it. Sometimes I check out popular review channels on YouTube such as those from Chris Harris for some insight, then I test the car myself to compare notes.
Sunday mornings are usually the time to wash and polish my cars — this is my pastime. I don’t allow anyone else to do it. When I drive one out and it gets dirty, there’s a real feeling of satisfaction of cleaning it up, parking it in the garage and throwing the cover back on.
Every day I try to leave work at 4.30pm and run on my treadmill when I get home. I’m quite particular about a healthy work-life balance. Sometimes the situation doesn’t allow it and I have to put in more hours at the desk, but it is important to divide your time well between work, home, family and of course, yourself.