Two years after leaving the food and beverage industry where he had carved his career for the past two decades, Singaporean Lee Meng Tat is now living a wild life – quite literally.
Heading the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) which owns the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and the newly-opened River Safari, the 50-year-old has nearly 13,000 animals under his charge, though he admits that he knew little about the job initially.
"I know nothing about running a zoo but after 12 years with Fraser & Neave I was looking to move on to something new," the zoo's chief executive officer told CNBC's "Managing Asia."
"[After I was approached] I took the weekend to visit the zoo. Walking around, I felt a sense of pride among the staff in their work," he said.
What he lacks in experience, the mechanical engineering graduate makes up by taking daily walks around the various parks and keeping his ear to the ground. "Every week, I meet staff for lunch just to know them and what they think of the company. I'm still doing it after two years [but] now it's about once a month."