Name of Recipient:
Mr. Marc Gan
American philosopher Harriet Beecher Stowe once said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. To Ark Industries, whose business is mainly embroidery and printing on apparels and objects such as polo shirt, T-shirt or even custom or tailored shirts, towels and caps, the quality of determination was epitomised when problems loomed. “We started out small and faced manpower issues. Also, we have small scale production due to the small quantity and yet we can’t charge too expensively, hence cost of production was a big headache. To add to our woes, rental was like a ticking time bomb. When landlords see that the business is booming, they will want to increase the rent,” recalled Mr Marc Gan, director of Ark Industries.
Mr Gan’s decision to start his own business stems from his ambition since young to want to meet the needs of people who needed printing and embroidery services. “I want to make a lot of shirt printing but the quality was not there initially. Ultimately, we aim to make quality printing yet at an affordable price.”
To overcome the initial struggles, Mr Gan decided to take many small scale projects so that there was time to stock up and at the same time maintain a healthy cashflow by being vigilant on accounting.”If there was lack of manpower, everyone works as a team even if they needed to do OT,” explained Mr Gan, “we aim to compete not by price but via product differentiation such as real quality differences.”
Sharing on his idea for entrepreneurship, Mr Gan feels that entrepreneurship is about providing a nich service well and make it stand out from the crowd. To do so, he feels that after-service and follow up actions must be prompt and appropriate to give people a good vibe about the company.
Commenting on his proudest achievements to date, Mr Gan said, “My biggest achievement is to see the company grow. During the 2008 economic downturn, we still survived through and even grew in that year. This bears testament to the foundation of my company. It is the accumulation of effort and team work to make all projects happen successfully. The commitment to go the extra mile is pivotal.”
Furthermore, Mr Gan has some words of advice for people who want to be like him. “First and foremost, go for it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. However, always keep your feet on the ground. Do not let your achievements blind you from analysing things from different facets. If you are not humble, you will lose everything. Be that as it may, always aim to improve and work hard to serve clients better. They can tell the difference.”
Lastly, Mr Gan already has plans for further expansion. With four machines currently, Mr Gan aims to double the amount within five years. Also, he plans to open outlets at different locations for the convenience of people. With such an ambitious leader at the helm, it seems that nothing can stand in the way for Ark Industries.
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