Name of Recipient:
Mr. Junia Phua
Entrepreneurship provides one with the security assurance that the future is in one’s own hands. How the future pans out would dependS on the success of the company that one has. In other words, your fate is in your own hands.
It is precisely this school of thought that made Mr Junia Phua, director of Generic Print Pte Ltd; embark on his entrepreneurship journey in 1996. “I was working in a buying house for an Indonesian computer firm as a purchaser back then. When the company decided to end its Singapore operations, I realised my future has no certainty and so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start my own business empire.”
Back in 1996, Mr Phua started a system integration business as he drew on his past experience and contacts from his previous employer. However, manpower and funding was a major stumbling block as he had to compete with the big players in the field.
Nevertheless, Mr Phua found a silver lining amidst the troubles as he chanced upon the opportunity to supply printing materials to his clients when he turned to trading stationeries instead. With this coincidence, Mr Phua never looked back since as his business grew from being a small print broker to now providing printing service and consultancy with offset and digital printing, all within a span of 13 years.
Interestingly, the first client who helped Mr Phua into this industry is the same woman wearing his ring on her finger and sitting in the adjacent room from Mr Phua in the company. “Meeting her is the biggest achievement that can happen to me in this lifetime. My wife, Sharon, has been there for me since the beginning and supporting me through the tough times.”
Nevertheless, with no prior knowledge to printing and as what Mr Phua described pertinently, “printing was like a foreign language to me”, it was always going to be an uphill task for him to succeed in this industry. “I remembered back then when I first met a client, I was totally in a daze when he asked if I could provide ‘Blind Embossing’? Do you know what that is?” Mr Phua shared vividly.
To overcome the initial obstacles, Mr Phua attempted to recreate an Invoice Booklet by himself. “I constructed the artwork using Microsoft Words even though I know nuts about graphic software. My first artwork for film casting was also done through borrowing a printer as I did not have a decent LaserJet back then.” In fact, everything that Mr Phua picked up about printing was learnt through trial and error, failing countless times and advices from the printers themselves.
From a humble beginning with no resources to having now own the latest state-of-the-art digital and offset printing press, it was definitely not a walk in the park for Mr Phua. As he poignantly mentioned, “being able to support my clients from a personal level to supporting the industry on a national level, the entire process has been one of my greatest achievements to date”.
To Mr Phua, entrepreneurship is summed up by the old Chinese saying “setting up a business is tough, but to secure a business is even harder”. “I believe successful entrepreneurship is not just starting a unique business but to do it uniquely, showering the business with lots of passion and flavoured with a dash of touch. Whatever you do, do it with a passion, do it with a difference!” To succeed in business, Mr Phua felt that integrity is the key. “Mistakes made through carelessness or lack of judgement can be corrected and learned but those made deliberately for selfish gains is a tell-tale sign of the beginning to an end.”
Within the next 5 years, Mr Phua intends to expand his mini empire. “The passion for printing is growing in me with the passing of each day. Printing service is part of everyone’s life. With the ever changing market trends, printing will evolve too. I believe it will no longer just be a commodity but rather, a trend and an accessory that will enhance the world that we live in.,” Mr Phua summed up the interview with a passionate statement. With such a diligent and visionary leader at the helm of the company, the company’s future certainly seems to be one that depicts a rosy picture.
30 Kallang Place #05-20/21
T| 6741 2596
F| 6749 5793