Honouring the Legacy of Dato’ Dr. Tan Hian-Tsin: Founder of Crocodile

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It is with profound sadness that we announce the demise of Dato’ Dr. Tan Hian-Tsin, the visionary founder of Crocodile. His pioneering spirit and unwavering dedication have shaped Crocodile into the iconic brand it is today, leaving an indelible mark in the fashion industry.

Dr. Tan Hian-Tsin- Founder of Crocodile

In 1947, Dato’ Dr. Tan Hian-Tsin, alongside his elder brother, established Crocodile in Singapore. Over the past 70 years, the brand has expanded into Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Bangladesh, becoming a prominent name in Southeast Asia. Crocodile is renowned for its timeless styles and high-quality garments, resonating with people across generations. Dato’ Dr. Tan’s commitment to excellence and innovation ensured that Crocodile products remained synonymous with style, comfort, and sophistication, with offerings for men, women, and children.

He was renowned for his philanthropic efforts and unwavering dedication to giving back to society. In 2002, he established the Crocodile Foundation, an endowment fund with part shareholdings in the Crocodile Group, reflecting his commitment to sustainable philanthropy. He also devoted significant time to Junior Chamber International (JCI), a global non-profit youth organization focused on providing development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. JCI members are driven by the belief that “Service to Humanity is the Best Work of Life.” His roles within JCI and the establishment of the Crocodile Foundation highlight his deep-seated commitment to philanthropy and societal improvement. His legacy continues to inspire others to engage in acts of kindness and community service.

Dato’ Dr. Tan also extended his philanthropic efforts to Sri Lanka, particularly through Tsunami Relief Assistance via JCI Operation Hope. In February and March 2005, he visited Sri Lanka to assess the needs of tsunami victims. Deeply moved by the immense suffering he witnessed, Dato’ Dr. Tan committed to donate US$300,000 for JCI members to rebuild a school and carry out other relief work in Sri Lanka. According to JCI Operation Hope guidelines, the donated funds were to be invested in long-term projects to benefit children. However, recognizing the immediate needs of the affected communities, Dato’ Dr. Tan realized that many fishermen were struggling to make a living due to the loss of their boats. In response, he donated 20 fishing boats to tsunami-affected fishermen in July 2005.

In February 2006, Dato’ Dr. Tan revisited Sri Lanka to fulfil his promise regarding the school. Surrounded by a large and distinguished gathering, he officially opened the rebuilt Arafath Vidyalaya Modera School in Moratuwa, which had been destroyed by the tsunami. His contributions have made a lasting impact, providing children in the area with a better environment to pursue their studies.

Dato’ Dr. Tan Hian-Tsin’s legacy is one of visionary leadership, innovation, and philanthropy. His dedication to excellence transformed Crocodile into a brand known for quality and style. His commitment to societal welfare, through the Crocodile Foundation and his involvement in JCI, exemplifies his belief that “Service to Humanity is the Best Work of Life.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to Dato’ Dr. Tan Hian-Tsin’s family, friends, and all who knew him. During this difficult time, we find solace in the knowledge that his spirit will forever remain a part of Crocodile. His principles of excellence, innovation, and philanthropy will continue to guide us, inspiring us to reach new heights in his honour. His memory will live on through the brand he built and the lives he touched, ensuring that his legacy endures for generations to come.


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