Club 25 is our way of honouring the continuous excellence of the diving community over the last quarter of a century. In the run-up to the 25th edition of ADEX, we will be profiling each member of our Club 25. Today, we profile Christopher Lee, founder of Simply Scuba and one of the leaders of Singapore diving.
Christopher Lee has always loved the outdoors so when it came time to decide what he wanted to do in life, the decision was exceedingly simple.
“Sitting in an office was never my plan for life. So when I first plunged underwater in 1988, I knew that was what I wanted to do for a living.”
With his love of the outdoors and his independent nature, Chris knew deep down that running his “own business was always the plan”. And when he discovered his passion for diving, turning what he loved into a livelihood was essentially a no-brainer.
After spending three years as a scuba instructor, Chris founded Simply Scuba in 1994, first in Singapore and then in Pulau Tioman. Now celebrating his 25th year in the diving industry, he shared with us his secret to his longevity.
“Lots of hard work, consistency and always looking forward to common trends. My passion to educate people about diving is the main driving force for me to be able to run my dive business for so long.”
His journey, though, has not always been smooth sailing, especially in the face of global epidemics and recession.
“Many years ago, when SARS hit us, the economy was doing very bad globally. We were badly hit as a business as not many people were keen to learn how to dive. They had more important things to do with their monies. The sport of scuba diving itself was never a mainstream need for most. It was something people did to pass time with spare cash. We had to come out with different ideas to entice customers and we also had to downsize for a while to keep the company running.”
As he looks forward to the future, Chris sees an evolution in how people view underwater diving.
“I see people wanting to learn scuba diving not so much as a sport, but as a lifestyle. With so much emphasis on saving the world, learning scuba diving lets the people see what the other 70 percent of the earth is like, and in turn changes their mindset on their every day lives.”
With so much experience accrued from a quarter century of hard graft in the diving industry, Chris had some valuable pearls of wisdom to pass on to all young divers out there.
“Continue to educate the people about this wonderful sport of diving. Share your passion for the underwater world with sincerity and constantly work hard to keep yourselves consistent. And always look ahead for future changes and adapt!”