Mr Chong Chee Keong
The weather in Singapore is often a cause for complaint by locals and foreigners alike. Stiflingly humid and penetratingly hot, air conditioning (A/C) is the norm for many inhabitants of the city-state. Breakdowns in A/C systems are greeted with as much, if not more dismay than public transport delays. It is natural then, that the A/C repair industry provides an irreplaceable service to both individuals and corporate entities alike.
Integrity Aircon Engineering is an A/C repair company providing a variety of services, including installation, general servicing, replacement and relocation of air-conditioning units. Started in 2011 as a one-man show by Mr Chong Chee Keong, Integrity Aircon initially struggled due to a lack of experience. However, this was no blind venture; his brother was a seasoned A/C repairman, and Integrity Aircon leveraged those significant personal connections in order to bolster their business.
Their path upon incorporation was rocky at best; clients were scarce and the trickier jobs were difficult to complete. They lacked skilled manpower, and had to train their technicians from the ground-up. Mr Chong’s background in engineering helped in this respect, but it was no replacement for an adequate training programme, which they were unable to finance. The absence of a technician training programme made it difficult to retain their newly-trained employees, but steady clients and a strong work ethic kept them trundling onwards through the years.
While manpower issues are still prevalent, Integrity Aircon distinguishes themselves with excellent customer service and managing client relations. With immediate responses to client requests, Integrity Aircon developed a reputation for excellent on-call service available 24/7. Mr Chong recalls a particularly trying instance with a nightclub whose A/C systems went down during a show late at night. As Intergrity Aircon’s technicians were in Malaysia at that time, they had to be recalled to Singapore close to midnight, and only returned home in the wee hours of the morning.
Surviving in the A/C repair industry is sure to be a challenge for a relative newcomer, considering that running a business encompasses more than mere technical prowess in the service provided. Nonetheless, Integrity Aircon has shown grit and perseverance in sticking it through, juggling financing, human resources, and business strategy with tight competence. Competition is tough, but they differentiate themselves from other companies through their service and dedication to the client.
Despite the tough jobs and the constant struggle of securing technicians that do not require training, Integrity Aircon maintained strong client relations through being personally invested in their clients’ well-being, taking satisfaction in fulfilling their clients’ needs. They focuses strongly on the human aspect of A/C repair, but do not neglect their technical knowledge either. Keeping current with the various systems in use, they are dedicated to solving their clients’ A/C problems with minimal downtime.
Integrity Aircon well-embodies the maxim of ‘never give up’; competition is tough and the hours may be erratic and disruptive, but persistence triumphed in their case. They train and retrain technicians to maintain their high standard of technical ability, and have been rewarded with a stable and loyal client list for their efforts. Technician volume is the main bottleneck that Integrity Aircon faces; they look to expand their training programme and source for skilled labour in order to alleviate these growing pains.
Steadfast and unwavering in the face of adversity, Integrity Aircon demonstrates the importance of drive and resolve in entrepreneurship. They have consistently overcome the obstacles in their path, and that, more than anything, is the trait that a successful business requires.