Jalan Besar: The Land Of Many Business Opportunities


Holding historical importance and known for its old-world charm, Jalan Besar is a place in Singapore where you can find an array of long-standing eateries, quaint cafès, countless shophouses, engineering workshops, offices, bookstores, and hostels that add up well to its richness.


The unique streetscape of this area remains familiar and memorable to locals even though the neighbourhood underwent several changes. Nevertheless, Jalan Besar’s inviting and welcoming environment for trade and commerce catch a glimpse of abundant business opportunities.


Boasting A Rich History 

Jalan Besar (or “big road” in Malay) was once a swampland of nipah palm, fruit trees, and betel nut owned by the Norris brothers in the 1830s. With the onslaught of urbanization after World War I, shophouses, religious sites, and factories later took over the landscape–together with municipal refuse facilities and like abattoirs (the street was formerly called “the slaughter pig depot in Kampong Kapor.”)


Lined with Late, Transitional and Art Deco architecture, the now-conserved district was also a place of entertainment. The New World Amusement Park attracted the night crowd with its host of opera performances, cabaret shows and boxing matches, while football enthusiasts gathered at Jalan Besar Stadium.


A better understanding of your place of work can significantly help a business owner or an entrepreneur in finding and deciding on the best location for your operations. One of the factors to look for is accessibility which is something that Jalan Besar takes pride in.


The area did not get the name, “the big road or wide road” for no reason. The street is indeed a long road that stretches from Cavan Road, Allenby Road, Hamilton Road, Foch Road, Kelantan Lane, Horne Road, Kitchener Road, Kelantan Road, Maude Road, Larut Road, Syed Alwi Road,  Ophir Road, Tyrwhitt Road, Pasar Lane, Townshend Road, to Weld Road.


And while sitting just outside the boundaries of the Little India Historic District, Jalan Besar also connects Lavender Street in Kallang and Rochor Canal Road in Rochor, Singapore.


This is advantageous to entrepreneurs and traders alike as strategic location and market proximity help minimize travel time while maximizing the number of potential consumers.

A Healthy Mix Of Old And New

All the way to the cultural roots and heritage of Indians at Little India, the lavender street covers places such as the up-and-coming hipster Jalan Besar. It is where traditional meets modern with Jalan Basar being declared as an official conversation area for its vintage charm and abundant history.


This has also resulted in restaurateurs and hawkers being able to hone their craft without interruption for many generations. That’s why they became home to popular culinary veterans like Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant, Lavender Food Square, Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup, and Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice.


Today you can find some of the city’s sleazy nightspots and other ‘establishments’. Jalan Besar’s status as foodie heaven lures Singaporeans and expats alike to explore this fascinating place on foot. With a new batch of cool bars, creative offices, and hip eateries, the sophistication and depth of what Jalan Besar has to offer is growing.

The Birth Of Art Scholars

Formal art and music education programmes were first established in Singapore in the 1920s and 30s by the British colonial government. Following this, private schools in the city have been putting the arts at the heart of the curriculum and helping to produce the next generation of designers, actors, writers, and musicians.


And from this endeavour sprang the best art schools in Singapore such as the School of the Arts (SOTA), LASALLE College of Arts, and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). The fascinating thing is, you can find these art schools near Jalan Besar, allowing young artists in the district to showcase their crafts and talents through career opportunities waiting for them in the large land.


After a stream of hipster cafès, bars, and coffee joints that perked up the snoozing Jalan Besar almost nine years ago, a second wave came to plunge into the neighbourhood. Today, Jalan Besar has become a hotbed for creative genres, drawing social media marketing and branding agencies as well as architecture firms. Art establishments, such as The Artists Village and At Ease Gallery are also building on another dimension to the city’s eclecticism. 


The first local artist colony in Singapore is TAV which was established by the contemporary artist Tang Da Wu in 1988. But before settling down in Jalan Besar, the community, which was originally from 61B Lorong Gambas in Sembawang, moved several times from one place to another. Since then, they continued to encourage and promote alternative and experimental arts in Singapore, having produced projects such as the Public Art Library in 2003. But it didn’t stop there. 


Just this July 2021, an independent art organisation known as OH! Open House launched a new audio walk called, “New World’s End”. This show offers a glimpse into the city’s incredible history through a multi-sensory combination of film, art and music. [1]

Flourishing Businesses In Jalan Besar

According to the World Bank, as an entirety, Singapore with a GNI per capita of US$ 52,090 and nearly a 5.5 million population holds second place among the 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rank for 2018. [2] There are over 3,000 multinational corporations in the Lion City that are dubbed as one of Asia’s economic tigers. 


Furthermore, with the island being the gateway to Asia, many would want to reap the benefits of the sustainable business environment here. Singapore is where the eastern converge with western businesses, creating an attractive and diverse corporate network.


For these reasons, non-residents, residents, multinationals, and even micro-business entrepreneurs opt to incorporate or settle in the sovereign city-state – covering some of the promising parts of the metropolis including Jalan Besar in order to take advantage of the many business opportunities.


As a result, a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs look up to which businesses and industries flourish in the city. Even with the saturated and competitive markets, masses of entrants will want to make a mark on the island. With the right plans and a good strategy, countless entrants can make it through the initial challenges of running a business and grow to maturity. 


Widen your reach to the global community with some of the top businesses around Jalan Besar.


Industrial Workshop 

The famous business around Jalan Besar is an engineering workshop. As a whole, industries thrive in the smart city due to its business-friendly and ideal location along with government support, workforce and infrastructure.


This is also the reason why you’ll find a line of motorcycle shops and workshops in Jalan Besar. Some of the prominent ones include Lim Ah Boy (which has been in the industry for forty years), Regina Specialties (which offers the most affordable motorcycle gears & accessories), and Chip Lee Company (which started its business in 1965).


Moreover, Lionel Wong, a senior tech recruiter at Indeed.com, noted that engineering talent in the country is fluid and mobile. “The best and brightest will move to wherever they feel will provide them with the best career satisfaction and quality of life, where they will have greater access to opportunities that allow them to work with cutting-edge research or technology while living in a country that is serious about tech and the digital life,” said Mr Wong during his interview with EDB Singapore.


Technology & Electronics

In line with engineering and industrial workshops, Jalan Besar is also known as a business district where buyers can find many electronics and component supplier stores including Tong Ah Radio & Electrical Dealers (which is recognised as a top electronic shop in Singapore) and Sim Lim Electronics (which is the most concentrated marketplace for electronics and just situated near the Jalan Besar MRT (DT22) station).

As you stroll further along the street, you’ll also spot a range of flashy and arresting computer/IT shops around Jalan Besar. Some of these shops have been in the industry for over a decade now and are publicly known for their high-end gears and PC gaming components as well as impressive expertise in the field. These notable shops are Bizgram Asia Pte. Ltd. & Fuwell International Pte. Ltd. (which are both located in Sim Lim Square) and Dynacore Technologies Pte. Ltd.(which offers a wide variety of IT components).


Household Merchandise (Hardware, Lighting Shops & Bathroom Accessories)

As of 2020, the total land area of Singapore was reported at 709 sq. km. [3] Looking at this measurement, it’s no secret that the country is facing a land scarcity issue. Yet somehow, the city-state managed to house 5.7 million residents in the tiny red dot and the government continues to look for a solution regarding the limited space.

From bungalows to cosy one-bedders with the best space-saving architectural design, the country has spoiled its residents and non-residents with house choices. That also explains the emergence of top-quality hardware, furniture, and interior housing equipment and home accessories in the region.


Not to mention, the aesthetically structured and preserved row of shophouses used as spaces for business. Some of the rare, non-conservation ones are recently being sold for a steep price for commercial use. [4]


Just within the vicinity of Jalan Besar alone, you’ll discover a raft of hardware stores, lightning shops as well as the finest bathroom accessories store in Singapore.


Hardware Stores

Some of the known hardware stores near Jalan Besar include Chuan Heng Hardware Trading, Poh Joo Hardware Engineering as well as Allinton Engineering & Trading Pte. Ltd. (which is also one of the official distributors of the popular hardware brand BOSCH in Singapore).


Lighting Shops

Lighting serves as a foundation of architectural buildings. It can alter the perception of space, the texture and shape of the materials as well as enhance the aesthetic features of the property. It also plays a significant role in ensuring the comfortability of the occupants.

Hence, when it comes to home renovations, architects and interior designers alike focus more on selecting the most suitable kind of lighting supplies in a particular home type. This set of home lighting supplies can be found on well-known manufacturers. 

Some of the familiar lighting shops in Jalan Besar include Light Makers Pte. Ltd., Design Light, and BLighting Singapore–they are known for their top-notch manufacturing and years of expertise in the business.


Bathroom Accessories

A dwelling place is not complete without bathrooms; at the same time, we cannot enjoy the splendour of bathrooms without bathroom accessories. 


Whether you’re renovating your abode, surveying for potential partners or competitors in Jalan Besar or simply looking in the area, you can visit some of the district’s most recommended bathroom accessories shops such as GR Link Marketing, Fullsun Marketing and Summer Hardware Trading (which mainly sells bathroom products under the local brand OTTO.)

Jalan Besar’s Hidden Gems

There are more business opportunities in the hippy sector besides top gizmos and housewares.

Nestled on the east side of Singapore, the vibrant neighbourhood of Jalan Besar is home to an assortment of local eateries, mouthwatering delicacies and hip cafés too. You can comfortably spend the whole lazy afternoon hopping from one spot to another, all while tucking into classic French pastries, hearty brunch plates and modern takes on old-school dishes. The neighbourhood is also making a name for itself as a haven for Third Wave coffee–allowing Singaporeans and tourists alike to gobble up tons of fuel for their trip.


There are a wealth of recommended restaurants and cafes in Jalan Besar to choose from and those that will surely satiate a hungry belly. Some of which include:


  •  Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant–one of the most amazing dim sum places in the area.
  •  Chye Seng Huat Hardware–considered one of the best Jalan Besar coffee shops with an old-school, rustic lounge to relax in.
  • Red Eye Smokehouse–An American-style joint that offers an extensive menu of barbecue and smoked meats.
  • Wimbly Lu–A must-visit place in Jalan Besar for those who have a fondness for sweets.


The fun activities in Jalan Besar do not only end with savouries and treats as the big road is also making a splash in sports, meaning there is a range of options for recreation and entertainment.


Known as the “birthplace of Singapore football,” the Jalan Besar Stadium is the home ground of the city-state’s LIONSXII soccer team and has held many sports events such as the Malaysia Cup tournaments, Lion City Cup (2006), Asian Youth Games (2009), Youth Olympic Games (2010), and Malaysia Super League (2013). Visitors and sports enthusiasts can also break a sweat, or jog around the stadium. 


For explorers who are looking for a great place to cool off, you can also find the Jalan Besar Swimming Complex stationed within the same premise and is one of the best public pools in the district.


Beyond the eponymous sports stadium, there are a myriad of bookstores, old-fashioned cloth shopping places, and craftsmanship to go to and explore. In essence, Jalan Besar has tons of interesting activities to offer –which is not only a must-visit place for tourists but also takes a gander of how certain businesses can thrive in the area.

Creative Outdoor Advertising At Jalan Besar PlazaThe Perfect Media. Creative Outdoor Advertising for Moto World. Located at Jalan Besar Plaza, Kitchener Road, Singapore.


One Of The Busiest Districts In Singapore

Although there is a perk of being connected to multiple roads such as easy transportation while reducing travel time, being situated near the fringe area like Little India makes Jalan Besar one of the bustling streets in Singapore. 


But that’s not all, thanks to famous spots like The Tiramisu Hero and Chye Seng Huat, its neighbouring Tyrwhitt Road and Lavender Street can get pretty occupied too. This means Jalan Besar road can get rowdy for those who are looking for a quieter and tranquil staycation.


However, when looking at it from an entrepreneurial perspective, there are upsides to living or doing business in the city fringe. These include, but are not limited to: access to resources, deep talent pools, employees’ convenient transportation, chances of growing your professional and social network, larger target population with diverse cultures, and most importantly, a likelihood of getting your brand to be known through outdoor advertising.  


Adding to Jalan Besar’s feature is the long-time and eminent Jalan Besar Plaza–that is located in District 8 at 101 Kitchener Road Plaza, just 5 minutes away from the Central Business District (CBD). Jalan Bazar Plaza is also home to an extensive list of businesses such as retail shopping outlets, restaurants and cafes, massage and spa, and health services.


Business owners can benefit from Jalan Besar Plaza’s location as it is well-connected with influential and familiar spots and amenities such as:

  • Nearby malls (One-Stop Supermarket, Mustafa Centre, City Square Mall, NTUC FairPrice);
  • Hotels (Aqueen Jalan Besar Hotel, Classique Hotel, Cultural Hotel, New Society BackPacker Hostel, Pinnacle Hotel);
  • Schools (LaSalle College of Arts & the Singapore Management University);
  • Hospital (the Raffles Hospital); and
  • Restaurants (Ming Chung 1933 Food, Rendang Village, and Authentic Mun Chee Kee King of Pig’s Organ Soup)


As you can see, being stationed in a highly geographically targeted area can help with brand awareness and meet and greet new potential customers.

Creative Outdoor Advertising Mustafa Centre


The Perfect Media. Trivision Advertising for TPG Mobile. Located at Mustafa Centre, Syed Alwi Road, Singapore.


A Bright Future Of Businesses In Jalan Besar Through Outdoor Advertising

Did you know that 70 per cent of purchases are made outside major retail and shopping centres? Research conducted by the Outdoor Media Centre in the UK found that outdoor advertising is the last step that creates a great impact on customers before buying the product or service.[5]


For effective advertising, business location also needs to be taken into account. And looking at the attributes possessed by Jalan Besar, the street is an ideal site to consider for business as well as for marketing through outdoor advertising. The only thing to do now is to look for agencies that offer outdoor advertising near Jalan Besar.


With almost two decades of outdoor media experience in South East Asia, The Perfect Media has expanded to over 300 media spaces across 20 cities and 12 countries and has worked with more than 600 industries and companies. We also offer a wide selection of out-of-home (OOH) media approaches to various local areas including Jalan Besar. 


To know more about how we can help you build your business through OOH advertising, you can contact The Perfect Media Group to discuss your plan with us today or get info on the best Jalan Besar billboard price for your business.



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