Name of Recipient:
Mr. Joel Tong
A whole is only as good as the sum of its parts. Daily items are often used without intricate thought, but one only realizes the value of important miniscule elements when the item comes undone. For example, one may often use a chair, but not often does one think of where the wood, the screws, and the fasteners come from. Providing strength and resilience, these parts are the unrecognized, unsung heroes of most items, as is the company ITS Precision and Industrial Pte Ltd, who specializes in the production and distribution of quality fasteners, electronic hardware, and other electro-mechanical parts.
Established in 1996 by Mr. Joel Tong, ITS Precision and Industrial provides their services to a wide range of industries, including the electronic, telecommunication, plastic molding, metal stamping and other general engineering sectors. ITS have also established branch offices in China, Malaysia and Thailand, with all branches headlined by the Singapore office. In addition, they are one of the very few companies in this industry who have their own manufacturing plant situated in China, providing the company convenience, additional quality security, and bringing their running costs down. As a result of their excellent management and operation, it is now one of the main fastener and precision turned part supplier in the industries.
The journey to the top started when Mr. Tong was only five years old. His father was a sailor, and would be away often, his mother had to make ends meet with another sewing job. His pocket money, he felt, was not enough. So, he started to think of ways on how to make money. Mr. Tong elaborated, “My neighbor was, unfortunately, a drunkard, and many times he would leave empty bottles around. So I collected them, and sold the empty bottles to those who would buy them.” This worked. Mr. Tong, not only did he earn his extra pocket money, now had his first taste of what it is like to be an entrepreneur. This led him to muse, “If you’re able to think of a good money making way, you can survive.”
Going on to study Mechanical Engineering at a Polytechnic, Mr. Tong felt he had to carve out a career for himself, in an area that he had specialized in at school. Hence, he decided to set up the company Intelligence Tooling and Supplies in 1996, at the young age of 25. However, due to a lack of funds and capital, Mr. Tong finds himself working out of his home, a small bedroom-turned-office with minimal office equipment. It also meant that he had to be very hands-on with the day-to-day operations of the company.
However, Mr. Tong was determined not to let the company’s teething problems detract from his ambitions. Knowing that he had to establish some deals before the company can get off the ground, he immediately went out, made a deal, and achieved a profit of $300, a profit that he used to purchase a fax machine that he had sorely needed. This proved to be the indicator for good things ahead. Eventually, Mr. Tong accumulated a small fortune, and used it to rent an office space.
The company’s evolution did not end there. Mr. Tong started to notice a demand in mechanical fasteners, and decided that this was the direction that the company would benefit from. To signify the diversification, Mr. Tong changed the company to ITS Precision and Industrial Pte Ltd to better suit the range of items they carry. And from then on, ITS started to scale higher and better heights, establishing a sales office in Thailand and China in 2003 and 2005, achieving an ISO-9001 certification in the process. And in 2006, Mr. Tong, in a move that has proven to be a game-changer in the industry for the subsequent years, established their own factory in Jiangsu, China. This thus allows complete command and control of their product output, and also allows the company to produce customized screws efficiently, giving better benefits to themselves and their clients. ITS has since achieved another ISO-9001 certification, and established two more sale offices in Malaysia and Vietnam.
To Mr. Tong, he believes that people are the most powerful resource that one can have, and everything would not have been possible without his people. He mused, “To compare business to a plane; I’m only a pilot, my staff are like the turbo engine. Without them, the company will fall. Our customers are the passengers, while my salespeople are the stewardesses. I am not the most important person in the company.” To emphasize this, Mr. Tong has indicated that he takes extra care in providing good benefits for his staff.
For someone who had established a business at a young age and carried it through much of his adult life, Mr. Tong believes that one should start a business as early in their lives as possible. “Start very early. You will have enough time to face and rectify problems. You will also have time to enjoy your success. If I actually were to start a business only now, at my age, I don’t think my body would be able to take it.” He also encourages young people looking to start their own businesses to be brave and overcome their own fears, and let your commitment to your business show through hard work.
Indeed, Mr. Tong has sacrificed and contributed much to ITS, and now has a long list of accolades to show for it. He plans to lead ITS to purchase all types of machines available, and become 100% self-sufficient in their production of components. With such excellent leadership at the helm of the company, there can be no doubt that ITS will continue to accumulate accolades and prestige many years from now.
10 Ubi Crescent Ubi Techpark Lobby D
T| 6862 1362
F| 6862 1357