Name of Recipient:
Mr. Alan Thio Kee Hock
“Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” Those were words of wisdom from Mr Alan Thio Kee Hock, owner and managing director of Aik Hock Tyre & Battery Services Pte Ltd, as he gave his inputs on tips to overcoming obstacles.
Mr Thio had experienced his fair bit of ups and downs in his entrepreneur journey, experiencing emotions that were synonymous to a roller coaster ride. Having gained precious skills and experience by working for others in the same industry since 1976, Mr Thio rented a place at a petrol station to start his own business in car tyres, battery and rim services in the 1990s for well over 20 years. However, things took an unexpected twist in 2009 when owner decided to stop renting the place to Mr Thio after some changes in their management Team. “Initially, I was lost and thought all my efforts have gone down the drain.” Mr Thio recounted poignantly. “Despite the many challenges that might arise, one should work harder as the business has already been run for so many years. If anyone were to give up at this point, all the years of effort would have really gone down the drain.”
However, after moving into the new place comprising 3 shop spaces in 50 Serangoon North Ave 4 bought by Mr Thio, he then saw his business grew even better. “Sales have been increasing due to policy & market changes in the automotive sector and thus many clients don’t wish to change their car. Hence, demand for tyre, rim and battery services increases exponentially. Today, Mr Thio’s company has already broken sales records of the past 20 years and is one of the leading tyre outlets in Singapore with clients running the gamut from Korea and Japan to our nearby neighbour, Malaysia. “With more businesses would mean that I need to work even harder than before, stay focus and bring the company to greater heights.” Mr Thio quipped.
While the close proximity to commercial, industrial and residential areas draws a diverse range of customers to the store, Alan astutely recognises that most of his repeat businesses come from customers buying bigger aluminium wheels and tyres for their vehicles. “I listen to customers carefully to find out exactly what they need and want, then explain available options,” he noted. “For example, I rely on my years of experience as well as our stocks of tyres and catalogues to educate them about the various tyre patterns.”
Aik Hock Tyre & Battery Services Pte Ltd has thrived from its start in 1990 by serving clients with a personal touch. This has given Mr Thio insights into exactly what his customers want from his retail operation. To ensure that customers remain loyal over the long run, Mr Thio’s business generously provides professional after-sales services. Moreover, the store runs a regular campaign for repeat customers offering rim and tyre packages at a special discount by advising customers to come back for tyre rotation & regular pressure check-up to maximise tyre usage.
Mr Thio’s smooth path of success over the years owes a great deal to a philosophy of self-determination that is close to his heart: “Success is not by chance, but there is always a good reason for failure.” Mr Thio further shared his views on entrepreneurship, “It is a platform for you to prove your capabilities and knowledge. Besides that, you need to be prepared to work doubly hard to get the business going. Most importantly, you need to remain humble, be down to earth and have integrity in your work no matter how much achievements you have.”
Moreover, what other qualities does Mr Thio feel is needed in order to be successful in business? He cited effective communication skills and being trustworthy as the two qualities essential for business. “Good communication skills enable you to learn from others through communication with others and even your customers. Be open to negotiation with clients as that is where the sales will come in.” Mr Thio advocated. “Trust worthiness is crucial too. When you have good track records in the way you deal with things, people will begin to place more trust in you. For instance, my supplier supplies tyres on credit because of the trust that I’ve gained through our partnerships with the suppliers,” he further added.
Over and above, Mr Thio revealed insights into his expansion plans for the company. In the next 5 years, Mr Thio aims to make prices to be more commercialized & affordable to cater to all so that everyone can afford his tyres. He wants to further improve on the quality of his services so as to provide the best services to all his customers.
Lastly, in view of the foreseeable hike in COE prices in the coming years, Mr Thio feels that is a harbinger for further business opportunities and intends to come up with newer and more attractive packages for his clients. With his down to earth attitude, one can certainly expects more things to come from Mr Thio and Aik Hock Tyre & Battery Services Pte Ltd.
First Centre #01-03/04/05
50 Serangoon North Avenue 4 S(555856)
T| 6459 0994
F| 6455 9806