Add A Spring To Your Step
Man or machine – which works better? With disruptive technologies re-defining the way business is done, the popular vote is out for mechanisation, though on the ground, some organisations are proving that people still hold the winning cards (over machines).
Welcome to the first edition of SME Showcase, a new bi-annual series featuring SMEs and their business journeys. Providing a unique behind-the-scenes look at these small and medium-sized firms, we share their stories of struggles and successes as they forge ahead. Through these stories, we hope to inspire, encourage and motivate other SMEs as they walk their own paths.
There is no single formula that works across the board for all organisations and industries. In fact, even a company itself should review – and if required, refresh – its own strategies regularly, to ensure that they are aligned with the evolving external and internal circumstances.
In this inaugural issue, we showcase two family firms whose fortunes have passed to the hands of their second-generation leadership. In each company, a 30-something-year-old has responded to the call of the family, albeit unwillingly at first. Each has risen to the task, bringing the organisation to the next level. And along the way, each has also earned for himself a moniker that alludes to his unconventional way of doing things.
Thinking out of the box – challenging and even overturning the industry practices – has proven to be effective. The young leaders’ innovative ideas have helped each company to carve a niche in a buzzing marketplace, allowing them to distinguish themselves from the established players.
Sometimes, it is necessary to think outside the norm, and to look at things from different viewpoints. Having done so, these two companies have embarked on their growth journeys, walking with an added spring in their steps.
A Timeless Luxury: H2 Hub
Woo Enyi might have been an unwilling participant in the family business when he joined in 2012, but over the last six years, he has developed a certain interest in it, “but only to a certain extent,” qualifies the 32-year-old. However, in the watch industry, he has already made a name for himself. He reveals that he is known as the “crab” – a reference to his penchant for “not following the rules”. But moving away from established industry practices appears to be working out well for the Creative Director of H2 Hub. The company is fast becoming a retail powerhouse for timepieces, representing over 40 specially-curated international brands. It also manufactures and distributes its own brands of watches. Read more
Printing a Different Content: Asiawide Print Holdings
For a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who acknowledges that printing is a “dying trade which will not continue to the next generation”, after putting down a high six-figure sum for the sophisticated MGI Meteor DP8700 Se+ Digital Press in December 2017, Picasso Terrence Hong, 38, does not behave in predictable ways. But this contrarian will let you know that profit isn’t the main reason he is keeping Asiawide Print Holdings (Asiawide) at the forefront of the printing business; instead, it is all about the stakeholders, some of whom have been with the company (including his father’s printing company which later came under the Asiawide umbrella through an M&A) for more than 30 years. “We are like a family, so I have to take care of them,” he explains, simply. Read more