Chairman of Goodrich Global, Mr Chan Chong Beng believes his employees are important to the success of his company.
A dream to become a businessman and his family’s financially strapped situation drove the founder of Goodrich Global Pte Ltd, Mr Chan Chong Beng to drop out of the School of Architecture at university. With an initial capital of only $55, he started an interior soft furnishing business in 1983.
The road to success proved to be a grueling journey for Mr Chan, who persevered for a decade before his company made a profit.
Now currently established as a premium choice for lifestyle interior furnishings, Goodrich Global has also grown to become Southeast Asia’s leading supplier of interior wall covering dominating 75% of the market share and bagging several awards such as Enterprise 50 Award and Singapore Prestige Brand Award.
“I was a kampong boy with no network so I had to expand my contacts gradually. I even had to build up my reputation so that the banks would grant us loans. In the process of starting with nothing, I learnt how to work my way up.”
Apart from shrewd business acumen, Mr Chan shared that the main factor in ensuring the success of the company lies in managing the needs of his employees.
“Handling people can be tricky, so always put yourself in the shoes of your staff and business partners. Our organisation thrives as a customer-driven business. 60% of our company’s costs go to employee wages as it’s the people that can make or break an organisation.”
With 120 employees in the local headquarters and more than 500 in the regional offices, Goodrich Global recognises the importance of motivating and retaining their staff.
Staff can attend company-sponsored IT, social media, sales and managerial skills courses and seminars. And employees who perform well are entitled to company shares. For every year of service, an employee will receive a gram of gold and 10 grams for five years.“As a side note, I do believe in giving staff a second chance. For example, some of our younger staff worked with us for a year or two before moving on. If after some time, they express interest in returning to work here. I don’t mind giving them an opportunity to return if they find the environment more suitable for them.” Apart from his involvement in Goodrich Global, Mr Chan wears another hat, that of the President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (ASME). Regardless of his hectic schedule, he makes it a point to make time for meals with his family every weekend, and also for his morning walks and gym workouts. “In the 70s and 80s, there was no such thing as work-life balance. We literally worked hard for a living. Now the current generation expects things to be done differently. I think the intention of having work-life balance for employees is good, as long as it’s not abused.” Mr Chan is one of the speakers at Future Leaders Summit and he will share how one can achieve success in face of personal adversity. “Connect” – MAY 2013 issue / Professional Edition
Words: Rachel Chan
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