RONALD HENG

Mr Roland Heng is the founder of Overseas Supplies Pte Ltd in a business of printing services. He manages many services such as, printing books, brochures, letter head, paper bag and all sorts of printing. However, they focus more on advertising box matches, coaster, offset and digital printing. I am also looking into other areas of printing too.

Business Profile:

Overseas Supplies Pte Ltd in a business of printing services. Examples are such as, printing books, brochures, letter head, paper bag and all sorts of printing. However, they focus more on advertising box matches, coaster, offset and digital printing. I am also looking into other areas of printing too.

Interviewer's Comments:

Mr Heng is a forward-looking boss and a role model of a hard worker!! He is very friendly, humble and open during the interview. I like the strong positive learning attitude that he possesses and his willingess to learn from mistakes and people younger than him.

Interview:

  • What is the nature of your business?
    I am in a business of printing services. Examples are such as, printing books, brochures, letter head, paper bag and all sorts of printing. However, I focus more on advertising box matches, coaster, offset and digital printing. I am also looking into other areas of printing too.
  • When and why did you decide to become an entrepreneur / take over your family business? 
    I am the founder of my own business; this business is not a family business. I began my business from scratch and it slowly expands. Till date, 41 years had passed, since 1971. Initially, I began with advertising box matches and over the years, I began to be more forward-looking and expanded my business to more printing services. My customers are normally hotel supplies, restaurant, lounge, clubs, like Tanah Merah club and Singapore Island Country Club (SICC).
  • What are your reasons for choosing to do business in this particular industry?
    The reasons are very simple. In the past, hotels and restaurants ordered and used a lot matches. Night clubs and lounges had also high demands for box matches. During that time, I was quite certain that my business fulfills the markets needs and wants. It was a profitable business. However, after laws of banning smoking at certain areas, my business was affected greatly; hence I chose to extend my printing line.
  • How did you put together all the resources needed to start your business? For example: getting the start-up capital, hiring staff, doing sales and marketing, advertising, etc.
    Beginning, my capital was rather little and resources were limited.  Honestly, it wasn't easy. It was slow and I had a hard time. I held responsibility of a sales person, marketing products and many others.  I have to slowly build up, and cannot employ people too. Gradually, when sales began to increase I then started to employ workers.
  • What are some interesting stories you have about your first few customers/first few years in business?
    In the beginning, it was tough because my business wasnt well-known. I worked hard, creating a good customer relationship, by keeping my promise to deliver goods on time, became good friends with them and gradually, a long-term partnership with them. I have to admit, it was not easy, but definitely worth to try.
  • What are some of the challenges you faced when you first went into business?
    As what I have said before, it was tough, I struggled. One of the many challenges I faced was the surmounting the dearth of experience that I had. I was all on my own, nobody was there to guide me what to do, and how to do. My capitals were also limited hence I could not buy machines. Yes, it was a challenge. There mistakes along the way, I learnt from it and over the years, my business expanded. Machines can then be bought, rental of factories, buying of factories from JTC. All these milestones were accomplished through these 41 years.
  • What are some entrepreneurship qualities that you have which has helped you come this far?
    I must be humble, know how to take care and behave myself. I learn how to be nice to people and have top notch manners when visiting customers. I must keep my promise with my customer, understands them well. After all, I will be a good reputation.
  • Who or what motivates and inspires you?
    They are of course my lovely family members. In order to support them, I work all day long and most importantly, I never give up. Being able to let my children grow up in a financially affordable environment makes me feel fulfilling and it motivates me to work harder. Now, my children have grown up and repay me by helping out in my family business. They take care of administration stuffs, accounting and marketing duties.
  • What advice would you give young people who want to start their own business?
    The most important thing is to plan and be interested. To be successful, you have to plan nicely what do you what to do, the line you are in. Other than that, you also must know your line, product and service on your fingertips. However, in certain case if one does not know well, one can still learn. One can never be afraid to make mistakes.
  • When was the moment you realised the business would work and support you?
    It all started when I realized I had a good long-term relationship with my customer. Other than maintains existing customer, I went to search more new markets, new customer. It was an ongoing process. As business and sales grew, I know I was on the right track, confident grew.
  • What do you see for your business in the next 5 years, and does it include any plans for expansion?
    I see improvise machines to be invented. Currently, the machines my factory I using can only print 4 colours at a time. If machines with 8 colours were to be invented, it will going to be more efficient and saves time. Less labour work is also needed too.  Fast machines can guarantee early deliver time and it can make customers happy.
  • How do you differentiate your business from your competitors? Please provide specific examples.
    There are my top 3 priorities. 1st service, 2nd quality and 3rd price are factors to differtiate my company from my competitors. I will do whatever it takes to give my customer the best service and quality. I treat all customers fairly and all of them are equally important to me, no matter how much products they order. In Singapore, with such a small market competition face is intense.  Building a long-term relationship is still very important.
  • What are some business ideas you have implemented that created great results in your business?
    In the past, hotels and restaurants ordered and used a lot matches. Night clubs and lounges had also high demands for box matches. During that time, I was quite certain that my business fulfills the markets needs and wants. It was a profitable business. I went into a line where competitors were not alot, nobody thought of selling box matches and advertising on it. Even thought, the sales of box matches have dropped, but it was a very important milestone for me to build up my company.
  • What are some of your business values and what would you like to pass down to others, particularly the younger generation?
    There are a lot to take note of. One must be sure humble. The new ones must learn how to be nice to people and have top notch manners when visiting customers. They also must not break their promise, understands what their customers want.
  • What are some entrepreneurship qualities that you have which has helped you come this far?
    Firstly, it is my planning skills and my interest in it. To be successful, you have to plan nicely and orderly. I long know what I want to do and most importantly, I understand them too.
  • What are some business ideas you have implemented that created great results in your business?
    I am honest in my business and I always keep my promise with my customers. Most importantly, I understand my customers well, hence I was able to come up with selling box matches. Without this initial business, I wouldn't be where am I today.