Khoo Swee Chiow

“In these days when most people expect instant gratification, it is most reassuring to find someone who treasures patience and perseverance, courage and determination and most importantly a person who lives by these precepts. Swee Chiow is one such person. I should be immensely proud and happy if Keppelites find in him an outstanding role model. I hope more Singaporeans will do so too. ”

Dr Lim Chee Onn, Executive Chairman, Keppel Corporation Ltd

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1998 – Mt Everest

1990 – South Pole

2000 & Summits

2001 – Shishapangma without oxygen

2002 – North Pole

2003 – Cycling Singapore-Beijing

2004 – Swimming Straits of Malacca

2005 – World’s Longest Scuba Dive

2006 – Mt Everest

2007 – World’s Longest Journey on Skates

Mr Khoo has given 260 talks to organizations ranging from kindergartens to MNCs, from CEOs to frontline staff. 71,000 people have attended his talks.

He uses his powerful first hand experiences from organizing high-risk expeditions to surviving in the most remote and hostile parts of the world to speak on topics such as:


“Believing in what others consider impossible.”


“There is no shortcut to hard work.”

Life-long learning

“Why did I climb Mt Everest? Because I have never done it before.”

Performing under pressure

“It’s not about skills. It’s how calm and clear-headed you are.”


“The future belongs to those who take risks.”

Fear of failure

“You don’t set out to fail. But if you dare not try, you have already failed.”

Peak performance

“The amazing state of mind and body where one overcomes the challenge in an effortless manner.”


“The fuel of life that propels one into achieving excellence.”


“The good news is, everyone can learn to overcome his or her fear.”


“A leader sees the vision, takes risks and acts with deep conviction.”


“The magical power greater than the sum of each individual.”


  • Microsoft
  • Motorola
  • IBM
  • HP
  • Keppel Corporation
  • Seagate
  • DHL
  • Caterpillar
  • Discovery Networks Asia
  • Disney Television
  • Astro
  • F&N Coca-Cola
  • OCBC Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • DBS Bank
  • Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts
  • Keppel Offshore & Marine
  • Gillette
  • Procter & Gamble
  • British American Tobacco
  • Nu Skin
  • Hitachi Asia
  • Norwegian Embassy & Norwegian Business Club
  • Montessori Kindergarten
  • Singapore Management University
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Education
  • Defence Science Technology Agency


“Swee Chiow is an excellent living example of daring to dream. He has the
guts, grit and gumption to pursue his dream, overcoming all odds and moving
on to new challenges. He is an example of the CAN-DO spirit.”
Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman & CEO, Keppel Offshore & Marine

“Khoo’s overwhelming positive nature is one crucial factor that we had a successful and safe quest to Mt. Everest in 2006. His thoughts, words, and actions personify this character throughout our expedition and he radiates a strong sense of assurance to the team that nothing is insurmountable. He is a role model to those who seek accomplishments beyond their dreams.”

Datuk Vincent Loh, Executive Chairman & CEO & Everest Summiter, LKT Industrial Berhad, Malaysia.

“Business, like life itself, is a series of challenges and targets. Swee Chiow embodies how determination and enthusiasm can reduce the toughest of goals into a realistic objective: a valuable lesson for business…and life”

Clive Saffery, CEO, Swire Beverages, China

“Swee Chiow is truly inspirational in his approach to goal setting & achievement. He is a role model for all in the audience. He brings out the practical aspects and lessons learnt of both success & failure. The way the application of his philosophy can be applied in the business world is truly inspirational. Thanks for motivating the Asia Region team”
Graham Lythgoe, Asia Region Manager, Caterpillar Asia Pte Ltd

“Swee Chiow is very inspiring. He shares his experience and paints a vivid picture on how he achieves his dreams. It’s a story of leadership, commitment and teamwork. Success is taking one step at a time to reach the goal. Nothing beats hearing the story from a local boy who has reached top of the world literally.”

See Chin Teik, VP, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific

“Your session was inspiring and provided our leaders a different
perspective of team work, leadership and passion for achievement. It offers useful lessons which can help them achieve their business objectives and ambitions.”

Satish Khatu, General Manager, IBM ASEAN/South Asia Region

“Your messages were very succinct and relevant and you were able to convey that through sharing your experiences which really made the messages come alive. You have the ability to connect with the audience, no easy task given the fact that we’re all from many different countries throughout Asia and the US. Your casual,
easy and personal style resonates well. You were able to be “one of us”, and not just another speaker on stage, and that makes your delivery come across so much more impact.”
Teh Ban Seng, VP & MD, Asia Pacific Sales and Marketing, Seagate

“Our delegates very much enjoyed your dynamic and highly inspirational presentation and are still talking about it. They specially like the video highlighting core values of teamwork, positive attitude and efficient execution through your experiences.”

Brad Levitt, Group Head Capital Markets, Standard Chartered Bank

“For an individual who has scaled great heights and challenged the limits, Swee Chiow is an unassuming and amiable person and a very engaging speaker. His insights into the key ingredients for success draw many parallels with the business world and he delivers his message in a very simple yet effective manner. Many of the things he said struck a chord with the audience and everyone felt uplifted after his presentation. Definitely one of the best speakers we have ever engaged for our workshops.”

Madhu Rao, Chief Financial Officer, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

“Swee Chiow’s energetic and enliven accounts of his life as an adventure certainly puts many of us to ponder and wish we had lived that part of his life. It takes great courage, strong determination, and high Adversity Quotient (AQ) to do what he had decided for his life. He shared on mind over matter and learning new skills. Certainly, we see the applications in our business world – our mind is what limit us, our skills if not sharpened or re-learned also limit us, if we do not focus on important things at critical time, it also limit or may even kill the business. Surely, Swee Chiow has lived up to his passion and we must learn from him on how to build that passion in our lives.”

Koh Ching Hong, Managing Director, Fuji Xerox Singapore

“Swee Chiow is a tremendously gifted and inspiring speaker who shares from experience how you can achieve your dreams through courage, passion, commitment and tenacity. His sheer determination to achieve the extra-ordinary provided an exalting example to all of us. His experiences to pursue your dreams and adventure into new territories are a motivating force for our growth journey.”
Paul Lageweg, Area Director East Asia, British American Tobacco

“The talk was tremendously inspiring to our staff – even to those of us who were hearing you for the second time. The business situation we are facing as a team is very much like your Everest ascent – full of ups and downs, and we are in it for the long haul. So it was very apt and well tailored to our context.”

Nayantara Bali, General Manager, Procter & Gamble, ASEAN/Australasia/India

“Khoo Swee Chiow – his is a beautiful and inspiring story of human endurance, courage and relentless pursuit of what’s in the heart. Swee Chiow delivered a dynamic message that resonated with our delegates – drawing many parallels between the conquest of the Everest and our daily organisational life. Delegates walked away with refreshing insights and new meaning to leadership, team work, conflict resolution, as well as some questions which are best left to each to ponder and internalise. Hearing Swee Chiow was an unforgettable experience.”

Pan Wei Cheong, COO, Kurnia Insurance, Malaysia

“Swee Chiow’s determination, courage, focus and passion shine through in his journey to achieve his dreams. His talk was highly captivating, realistic and truly an inspiration to many for the challenges to come.”

Peter Jhaveri, Managing Director, Tetra Pak, Malaysia

“Mr Khoo’s life experience was both touching and inspiring. His courage reflects what the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation is all about: to serve as an inspiration to others, to encourage us to dare to dream and leave our comfort zones and to help make a difference in other peoples lives. In so doing, we get to live our short life to its fullest potential.”

Charlene Chiang, President, Nu Skin Enterprises Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei

“Your talk helped us convey the essence of our conference to the sales management team from a very different perspective. It was a fascinating and inspirational experience for all of us. You have set the standard for our future conferences.”

Glenn Havener, VP, Sales & Marketing, FCI ASIA

“Listening to you was like a journey to the limits of human capabilities in defiance of all fears and dangers. Your achievements and your attitude single you out as an extraordinary hero of our time.”

Aldo Margoni, Executive Sales Director, AMC Asia Pacific

‘Swee Chiow sets lofty goals for himself, and achieved them through careful planning, sheer determination and lots of hard work. He has inspired us to believe that each one of us can also similarly achieve the goals in life we set for ourselves.’
Moses Lee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health

“Mr. Khoo proved a most engaging speaker for our 900+ high school student body. Students and faculty were not only impressed by his achievements but also inspired by the lessons Swee Chiow has learned from his experiences.”

Paul Chmelik, Principal, Singapore American School


AXN – 7 Summits (24 minutes), aired January 2001

NHK – Asia Who’s Who series “An Adventurer From Singapore” (24   minutes), aired January 2003


Brand Ambassador for Royal Umbrella Rice (2003 – 2005)

Brand Ambassador for Ball Watches (2005 – 2007)


Singapore National Youth Award 1998 (Sports & Adventure. Team)

Excellence Award by Totalisator Board 1998 (Team)

SPORTSCITY’s Personality Award 2001

Singapore National Youth Award 2002  (Sports & Adventure. Individual)



2007 – Guided 3 groups of students & teachers to Mt Kinabalu in Malaysia.

2006 – Guided Malaysian Datuk Vincent Loh to the summit of Mt Everest.

2006 – Guided Malaysian Datuk Vincent Loh to Mt Aconcagua in Argentina.

2005 – Guided students to Mt Ophir in Malaysia.

2004 – Guided students to Mt Kinabalu in Malaysia.

2004 – Guided staff of NORCA (a Thailand company) to Mt Kinabalu.

2001 – Guided students to Mt Kinabalu.


In year 2000, Khoo assisted Springfield Secondary School in training for their mountaineering expedition to Nepal. He also went to Mt Kinabalu with students from Hai Sing Catholic School.

In 2001, as part of the North Pole expedition, he collaborated with Marine Parade Community Development Centre to raise funds for the intellectually disabled children and the tetraplegics. The mission is called Extreme North Charity Mission. The total amount raised was $255,000.00.

In June 2001, he participated in Riding For Life to raise funds for Action For Aids. The project raised $50,000.

In July 2001, he joined an international team of 7 Everest climbers to climb Mt Ararat in Turkey and raised funds for AKUT (Turkey Search and Rescue Association).

Khoo is a regular volunteer with NYAAC (National Youth Achievement Award Council). Khoo conducts motivational talks and workshops to youth in NYAA. In 2003 and 2007, Khoo collaborated with NYAA to stage photo exhibitions, book launches and seminars for youth on the theme of Adventure and Leadership.

During the World’s Longest Scuba Dive event in 2005, NYAA collaborated with Khoo by organizing a team of 30 young people to record the feat on video, provide documentation and logistic support on site 24×7 for 9 days. It was a rare and interesting learning opportunity for the youth to be part of a team to break a World Record.

Volunteer with CARE (Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association).

In 2006, Khoo collaborated with Hougang Primary School and Edgefield Primary School on educational projects on Mt Everest.

In 2007, in the World’s Longest Journey on Skate project, Khoo collaborated with Shuqun Primary School. The school sent a team of students to Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur to learn about photo-journalism, culture and geography.


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