Name of Recipient:
Ms Lee Ing
“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” Gandhi
The story of Mui Kee Press & Media 5 Pte Ltd, a one stop print provider for printing services of books, cartons, blister cards, banners, paper bags and magazines, epitomizes the above quote.
Started off as a family business in 1967, the company was later handed down to all of Ms Lee Ing’s relatives by her grandfather. She only joined the family business in 1996 as a paid production cum marketing manager; and with her vast knowledge from her past experience in an electronic MNC, she worked her way up to the management level and to run the whole company.
During Ms Lee’s earlier years with the family business, she met a plethora of issues and struggled to keep the company afloat. One of the main issues was the mindset of her workers, especially the older ones. Determined to overhaul the structure and concept of the company, Ms. Lee needed to lead her workers out of their comfort zone and discard the shibboleths!
Recalling her initial struggles to change and fine tune the workers’ mindset, Ms Lee said with a heavy heart, “Some couldn’t adapt to the new system and decided to leave the company. However, new blood came in and it was perhaps a blessing in disguise as they were willing to work hard and learn. The attitude of a worker is of utmost importance to me. So long as one is keen to learn and improve, nothing is impossible”.
Indeed, after all the drudgery and the hard work that everyone put in, the older staffs were influenced by the new employees and the concepts of quality standards, and were soon adroit in the new operations of the company. ”Everyone saw the result and acknowledged that it was not impossible. Soon they started to input ideas and suggestions to further improve their day to day work procedures.”
Ms. Lee also had to deal with her seniors (share-holders), and their traditional practices and operating concepts. Business and profitability were practically stagnant then, as the older folks had the mindset that business could run on its own, and depended very much on regular customers only.
With this mix of partners, the organization was constantly smeared with conflicting interests and directions. It was difficult for the business to flourish. However, around 2006 when things were beginning to heat up and one of her uncles wanted to liquidate the business to receive his monetary share, Ms Lee saw the opportunity to advance and expand the business further that she quickly raised the funds and bought over all the shares from her relatives. She has run the company almost single-handedly ever since.
With the company under her management, Ms. Lee is now able to invest in training, new technology, more efficient machinery and also upgrading the skills of her employees. Till this day, Ms. Lee continues to take efforts to analyze and study daily events, economic situations, competitiveness of the market, new technology and the nature of customers’ portfolio such as specific needs/requirements.
She also worked on to attain numerous accreditation such ISO 9001, ISO12647, awards and other recognitions over the years. And ever since then, the company has been progressing and seeing greater profits.
Answering to queries of the inspiration behind the expansion of her company, Ms Lee disclosed that it all begun back in 1997 when her existing customers recommended a potential business that she could venture into. She took up the advice and embarked on developments together with the buyers. “There was economic crisis but thankfully, business kept coming in. It all boiled down to hard work and determination, I guess. Not forgetting it’s by God’s grace and guidance, or else I won’t be who I am today.” Ms Lee recounted with fond memories on her initial days in the company.
To stay ahead of competitors, Ms Lee shared that the secrets behind her success – be daring and determined enough to innovate and have more initiatives. “We generate new ideas together with our customers, show clients different styles of presentations, come up with new developments and tests and make an effort to add value to our services.” She further advocated that while results may not show immediately, there would definitely be improvements in the long run, be it cost-wise or not; and value adding the services is the only way to move forward.
Ms Lee also urged all young entrepreneurs to take up the challenges to be a trend-setter, a leader and someone who can make a difference to our society. “One needs to have the courage to take the first step out of their comfort zones. The leadership skill that you pick up is an invaluable asset. Also, we can make a difference in people’s lives!”
In addition, Ms Lee’s response to the question on the other qualities needed to be successful in business is that one needs to be pro-active, determined, optimistic and not to be rash. “Listen to everything customers have to say, analyse and interpret their requirements and give your all to accomplish them.”
Lastly, Ms Lee gave her two cents worth of advice for potential entrepreneurs. “High achievers spot rich opportunities swiftly, make big decisions quickly and move into action immediately after a quick analysis. Follow these principles and you can make your dreams come true. You never try, you will never know!”
Miss Lee Ing then shed some light on Mui Kee Press & Media 5 Pte Ltd’s plans for expansion: “We are looking for a bigger factory space that is also more accessible. These will increase the efficiency of delivery and getting the job done. Also, our objective is to be the key supplier of printing services for all our customers.”
With a determined Ms. Eileen Lee at the helm, Mui Kee Press & Media 5 Pte Ltd’s potential for further growth in the near future is beyond doubt.
62A Defu Lane 1 S(539501)
T| 6304 3187 / 6287 6955
F| 6284 0520