Name of Recipient:
Ms. Karen Cheng
Quality over quantity? That is always the dilemma that many companies have. Do they expand their business, gather more employees, and make their presence known in the industry first? Or do they start small, offering a narrow but specialized range of services that they will be known for? One company that has chosen to let itself be known for its specialized services is the freight forwarding company, Million Star Services Pte Ltd.
Established in 2009 by Ms. Karen Cheng, Million Star Services specializes in importing and exporting time sensitive and specialized cargo, their range spanning from pharmaceutical products to general cargo. With their operating office right in the vicinity of the Changi Cargo Terminals, Million Star Services has established themselves in a strategic location, allowing easy access to any cargo that are coming in or out. One of the main items they interact with is helium refrigerated liquid, a substance needed for MRI scans in hospitals. As this item may be needed urgently in hospitals around the region, Million Star Services pride themselves in being able to deliver the goods in the fastest time possible to their various ports, while at the same time maintaining an impeccable standard of safety in transporting such medical grade, dangerous cargo. Insisting on monitoring every project from start to finish, their commitment, quality customized services, and their specialty have won over many clients who have had dealings with them.
Ms. Cheng has had extensive experience in the cargo airlines and freight forwarding industry, and knows very well the ins and outs of this business. Initially working in another Airlines General Sales Agency company, it had closed down due to various reasons. This however, left a demand in the market that no other company is filling. To compensate for that, Ms. Cheng was approached by her previous business associates to continue the line of business. Although she was supposed to join her family in China, Ms. Cheng decided to start Million Star Services as she could not bear to let her previous hard work go.
The transition into an entrepreneur wasn’t without its challenges; Ms. Cheng soon learnt that being a boss means taking on a lot more responsibilities than before. Besides the personal sacrifices she has to made, she has to manage her time very well, and be ready to be contacted by her clients or her associates 24/7. Ms. Cheng also has to put in much effort to get in touch and maintain her connections in the industry. “It is a people business” she added.
Fortunately, Ms. Cheng has her network of friends in her life who are very willing to help her out. As she has many contacts in this business after working in the industry for so long, referral businesses are common too. Also, the strategic location of the company makes it easy to access the cargo terminals and coordinate on time sensitive transshipment cargo. In addition, Ms. Cheng’s family members became her pillars of support during the company’s tough initial establishment period, providing encouragement and motivation for her along the way.
Now, Million Star Services has gained a very stable foothold in this industry; initially owning only two lanes of trading in Bangkok and East Malaysia, they have since gained other lanes of access to other countries including Vietnam, Taipei, and Myanmar. They have also established strong connections with Hitachi Medical after a few dealings, and as it is a company which has a significant presence in their own industry, this helps to boost Million Star Services’ overall credibility and standing as well.
Having experienced many ups and downs in her entrepreneur journey, Ms. Cheng is now a seasoned veteran in the managing a business. When asked for advice, she has the following to say, “For every entrepreneur, they must take control of their key accounts, be careful about trade secrets, and don’t reveal them to your staff.” On another note, she also believes that an aspiring entrepreneur should have the patience, the drive, the commitment, and the spirit should they want to success in what they do. “I feel that in the airfreight business, we do a lot of additional services, and thus we have to make them stand. Fact is, we are small, so we cannot compete on rates with other companies, so we personalize our services for our customers instead.”
Million Star Services, although small, has the expertise and experience to more than make up for their size. In fact, to expand their services, they are introducing a new cross-border trucking service in their service line; a road feeder service creates a line haul connection between Singapore and Malaysia for odd size/heavy cargo, for more cost effective and non-time sensitive products. In the following years, Ms. Cheng plans to go back into airline representation (GSA) as she had done before. With her passion and drive, we have no doubt Ms. Cheng will fulfill these plans, and lead Million Star Services to a brighter future than ever.
Unit 208 CIAS Cargo Centre 45 Airport Cargo Road
PO Box 723 Changi Airfreight Centre S(819478)
T| 6543 2870
F| 6543 2877