Coffee with Salleh Marican, Founder of Second Chance Properties

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Terence Wong, CFA

CEO and Executive Director
Azure Capital

Blast from the past with Salleh Marican, founder of Second Chance Properties

Feb 23, 2021

I had coffee with one-time presidential hopeful Mohamed Salleh Marican, founder of Second Chance Properties, and his brother Hasan, who is the Deputy CEO. I am reminded of my growing up years every time I catch up with Salleh, as he built up one of the most popular clothing labels back then.

His first stab at business – as a tailor – failed a mere 4 months after he started out in 1975. He then ventured into readymade men’s clothing and aptly named it ‘2nd Chance’, something he sorely needed after his first failure. Salleh’s retail outlets mushroomed across the island and there were as many as 25 stores by the late-80s. His business went into a tailspin ironically after Salleh won his first business award, as it was revealed then that 2nd Chance was a local brand! He once again pivoted and started to accumulate retail properties. He took advantage of crises over 20+ years to build a property portfolio of almost $300m at the peak.

While he may not have the opportunity to watch over Singapore’s national reserves, he is keeping close tabs on his company’s coffers. He has sold off quite a number of properties the past few years to shore up cash, preparing to snap up good buys should there be a sell-down.