Staff Reporters
Dec 7, 2022

40 Under 40 2022: Timothy Chan, GOVT

Fearless, strategic, street-smart, and tenacious is how Chan’s colleagues see him. And they are happy that he is in their corner.

40 Under 40 2022: Timothy Chan, GOVT
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Timothy Chan

Executive creative director and partner

Timothy Chan’s shins have gone viral on TikTok with over 8.7 million views and counting. Anyone who understands Muay Thai knows that there is as much patience, persistence and resilience needed as there is practice. These are qualities that have helped Chan develop solid shins, and also grow from a hungry, enthusiastic young leader to a calmer, more seasoned one who is always solutions-oriented.

When Chan started as a copywriter in 2004, he quickly realised that everyone else was far more talented than he was or would ever be. So, he came up with a simple solution: Work harder than everyone else. So much so that there was a day and age when Chan’s life was either spent working or drinking, to a point where he experienced burnout and a brief falling off with advertising. However, he is too much of a ‘mad man’ to stay away for too long and decided to merge his love for creativity with entrepreneurship by joining GOVT as a business partner in 2015. He also decided to turn his life around making his physical and mental health top priority.

Within his first two years at GOVT, he led a small team to win five pitches, won multiple awards and doubled the agency size and revenue. Soon after, he landed the agency’s largest client, OCBC Bank. It’s a relationship that has lasted for six years and contributes to 47% of the agency revenue. In 2022, Chan’s effort as ECD contributed to 20% year-on-year growth and profit margins have risen from 23% to 25%. Post-2021, GOVT went through a period of high attrition. Through this year, he has rebuilt the creative department by hiring nine new members to the creative team. On the awards front, he led GOVT to the Independent Agency of The Year gong at the Singapore Creative Circle Awards in 2021.

Chan is a boss, mentor, and fellow creative all rolled into one and is sensitive to what young creatives crave. In 2022, he broke down barriers between two creative departments with a free flow of information and synergies. As planning for 2023 begins, Chan is spearheading improvement in evaluation processes, new training benefits, and additions to welfare benefits including subsidising wellness pursuits, and changing the working hours from 10am-7pm to 9.30am-6pm.

Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 


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