Born in poverty in 1957, Sim had first hand experience of growing from the 3rd world to 1st world journey of Singapore through the market economy instead of relying on charity. He started business at age 24 founding 16 businesses ranging from building materials trading, manufacturing, franchising, real estate developments and the Australian International School in Singapore. After attaining financial independence at age of 40 as a businessman, he decided to quit the rat-race to devote the rest of his life to social work:
- 1998, founded the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS).
- 2001, founded World Toilet Organization (WTO) as a global network and service platform for toilet associations to promote sound sanitation and public health policies.
- Created the World Toilet Summit series which has been hosted in Singapore 2001, Seoul 2002, Taipei 2002, Beijing 2004, Belfast 2005, Moscow2006, New Delhi2007, Macau 2008, Singapore 2009, Philadelphia2010, Hainan 2011, and in Durban 2012 and Solo, Indonesia 2013; Also World Toilet Forums Shanghai 2005 and Bangkok 2006.
- WTO declared its founding day 19 November in 2001 as World Toilet day.
- 2004, awarded the inaugural Singapore Green Plan Award by Singapore's National Environment Agency for contribution to Environment.
- 2005, founded the World Toilet College
- 2005, successfully lobbied and changed the Singapore’s Building Codes to have more cubicles in ladies restrooms. US Congress passed a similar law in 2010.
- 2006, won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by Schwab Foundation of Switzerland and became a Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum.
- 2007, became a key members to convene the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance comprising of key players for sanitation.
- 2007, first Singaporean elected to be an Ashoka Global Fellow.
- 2008, Asian Development Bank names him an ADB Water Champion
- 2008, appointed to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Water Security and the GAC for Social Entrepreneurship.
- Time Magazine named him Hero of the Environment in 2008.
- Channel News Asia named him Asian of the Year 2009.
- 2009, created SaniShop micro-franchise for economic empowerment of rural folks.
- 2011, named an Asian of the Year by Reader’s Digest Magazine.
- 2011, founded BOP HUB in Singapore as BOP Global Trade Center. Made commitment at the Clinton Global Initiatives in 2011.
- 2011, WTO audience reached 1.5 Billion people
- In 2012, joins the Toilet Board at Unilever.
- 2012, his film “Meet Mr Toilet” premiered at Sundance Film Festival.
- 2012 WTO audience reached 3.3 billions
- 2013, Meet Mr Toilet screens at Cannes Lions Festival
- 2013, appointed Adjunct Professor at College of Management Academic Study, teaching Social Entrepreneurship.
- 2013, Elected Synergos Senior Fellow
- 2013, Graduated with Master in Public Adminitsration at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
- 2013, Successfully tabled through Singapore Government the UN General Assembly to Inscribe 19 November official as UN World Toilet Day. The Resolution was sponsored by 122 countries.
Sim's motto is: Live a Useful Life