ASE Podcast

#19 Entrepreneurial Survival, Growth & Impact with Elizabeth Tan

Over the past decade Elizabeth Tan expanded her family’s shoe business to 50 stores in 10 countries and founded Sight to Sky, which has provided eye care to 15,000 people living in the Himalayas. What has she learned?

“I think it’s about having the passion, energy and commitment to start and see something through. Even if the first try doesn’t work out, just do it again and keep going at it. Be consistent because you believe in it. Because something will click eventually if you’re learning from your mistakes.”
Elizabeth Tan

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Elizabeth Tan shares her intertwined journeys leading her family business, Heatwave Shoes, and starting the non-profit Sight to Sky, which provides eye care to people living in remote communities along the Himalayas. She also opens up about the challenges of having a job, running a NGO and raising a daughter, and what’s she’s learned about goals and work-life balance. 


  • Growing up in a family business (6:40)
  • Expanding Heatwave Shoes (15:00) 
  • Founding Sight To Sky (27:00)
  • Balancing Work & Life (54:45)

Elizabeth Tan

Elizabeth Tan is a Venture Partner at Quest Ventures focusing on sustainability and impact. As CEO, Liz grew her family’s business, Heatwave Shoes, to 50 stores in 10 countries, and is Founder of Sight to Sky, which delivers eye care to remote communities in India and Nepal. The Straits Times named Elizabeth as a Singaporean of the Year finalist in 2018. Liz got her B.A. in History from McGill University and MPA from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Show Notes


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