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How Singapore’s corporate darling Hyflux and founder Olivia Lum fell from grace

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In 2001, Hyflux – with Hydrochem as its wholly-owned subsidiary – became the first water treatment company to be listed in Singapore. It was a big deal. The company was founded locally in 1989 by Olivia Lum, then just 28, who left her chemist job to strike out on her own with one clerk and one technician. By the time Hyflux listed, the S$20,000 (US$15,000) she started the company with had multiplied to around S$70 million.And for a long time, Hyflux was a corporate darling in the city state.It…

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