Name of Recipient:
Mr. Henry Saravanan
With an initial start- up capital of $20,000 and a two- man team in 2007, it is very surprising to learn that SYNERGY AVL PTE LTD, after a span of five years, has grown into a small enterprise with almost thirty-five staff and a paid-up capital of more than half a million. Since its incorporation, the company, under the stewardship of Mr Henry Saravanan has been recognized by several prestigious award-giving bodies. Some of these awards are the following: SICCI- DBS SIEA 2010 Promising Entrepreneur Award, Diploma and Licence for Best Enterprise by the European Business Assembly in the UK, Platinum Award Category for Promising SME 500 Award and the Notable Award from SME One Asia Awards Singapore as well as being nominated for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Award 2012.
SYNERGY AVL PTE LTD is the premier provider of Professional Audio, Visual, and Lighting (AVL) products and services. Carrying more than 50 product brands imported from across the world, the company is also the authorised distributor, master dealer, and representative of these high end professional products. The Company does a variety of services starting from Distribution of AVL Brand Products, Consultancy for Audio-Visual and Lighting Systems, Technical Designing, Project Development, Stage Rigging, Trussing, and Hoisting, Education and Training for clients, and Handling Retail through Fusion and Fusion Franchise.
Sharing about his decision to become an entrepreneur, Mr Henry said, “I saw that there was a certain factor missing from the existing AVL market. I wanted to fill that gap; hence, I came up with the vision to develop a company that will eventually satisfy this missing component which led to the founding of Synergy AVL – a company that does not only stop at product retail but will do a full turnkey of services.”
Mr Henry recounted a major setback that had happened merely a year after the Company started, it was a very challenging moment as the warehouse caught fire and all of his investments were burnt and the Company had to start from scratch. To make matters worse, the incident happened during the period of the global financial crisis and it was not easy to find a supplier who is willing to sell products through credit.
Nevertheless, as Mr Henry pointed out succinctly, “To overcome the challenges, determination, hard work and the willingness to learn are the three very important values that I had always stood by. During hard times, I always remember to never give up on my vision. I know that challenges will need to be addressed but as long as I made sure my mind and heart is focused on my ambitions, nothing is too tall a mountain to climb.”
To differentiate his business, Mr Henry offered a wide range of products and services which are unmatched by his rivals. Being the exclusive distributor of several high-end products not only in Singapore but some of the neighbouring countries gave the company a certain edge over its competitors. Furthermore, the company has its own in house service centre that ensures the company has the ‘complete set’ of services running the gamut from retail to project designing to installations and repairs.
Mr Henry felt that entrepreneurship means taking calculated risks and the having the determination to overcome any business difficulties. It is the whole process of being able to setup and run the business but at the same time learning along the way. It is a lifelong learning process.
To be a successful businessman, Mr Henry advocated, “You need to be both steadfast and flexible at the same time. A businessman needs to be focused and unwavering with the company’s goals, missions and visions but at the same time innovative as the world is ever changing and tastes and preferences are constantly evolving. In addition, perseverance and diligence are two qualities that determines the survival of a businessman in the initial period as there will be times when the business is not doing too well and it is during such turbulent times when a person needs to double and triple his efforts in order to bring the company forward and not get stuck in a rut.”
Indeed, with such an inspirational leader running the company, it is of little wonder that the company’s future plans are structured yet ambitious. Mr Henry explained, “We are now working towards our five-year vision plan and goal wherein we see the company as becomes a leading force in every market it serves and also becoming the sole-controlling company that oversees the establishment and expansion of the retail brand, Fusion, in the AVL industry all over Asia. All this will be achieved through unique marketing sales activities, establishing a commercial presence in countries such as Bahrain, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Middle East. In the long term, the ultimate aim is to get public listed in the SGX as this will increase the awareness and interest of the public about the company and its services as well as aiding in the growth plans of the company.”
Hence, to all those who dream of being in the same shoes as Mr Henry today, here are his words of advice, “Believe in your dreams because nothing is impossible so long you stay focused. Business is not just about using your head, you also need to be able to adjust and meet the demands of your clients or customers. So long as you have the passion and you have the qualities mentioned, go for it!”
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