Name of Recipient:
Mr. Steve Chin
Japan Home is a company that needs no further introduction. They have more than sixty shops across Singapore and have been providing household items since 1999.
What many people may not know, is that behind this multi-million dollar company, is the son of a garment wholesaler, Steve Chin. Starting out in the same trade as his father, Steve gained first hand experience in running a business since a very young age. It was perhaps this experience that developed his business acumen.
A fateful trip to Hong Kong in the nineties sparked off an idea within him. He thought of opening a store that specializes in household products. Steve said: “It is recession-proof, because rain or shine, people will still have to use household products.” Furthermore, the concept of “Japanese” was very much in vogue during the nineties, as it is commonly associated with reliability and class. As such, Steve decided to combine both and started Japan Home.
At the beginning, Steve was a one-man show who had to work retail hours in order to get his business off the ground.
Every business has its own set of problems, and Japan Home is no exception. At the beginning, brand awareness was a problem, as the company did not have a proven track record. As such, Steve allowed a product exchange policy. He said that he gave customers a chance to exchange a previously purchased product with another one of their liking, with no strings attached.
Overtime, Japan Home became known as a sincere company that takes care of their customers’ needs. To further establish themselves as the “people’s” brand, the company is also eager to get feedback and opinions from customers about their products and services.
Business started going well for a few years, until the SARS outbreak in 2002. Japan Home reported a sharp decline in sales, more specifically, a 30% drop in sales. This caused Steve to reevaluate his position in the market, and made the tough decision to close down a few of his shops.
Like any good entrepreneur, Steve refused to give up and came back stronger after the SARS outbreak. He continued to focus on his work at hand and put his heart into his work. That is how Japan Home grew into a household name today.
Not one to sit on his laurels, Steve expanded his business into nearby Malaysia. He currently operates around fifteen stores in Malaysia. He also came up with the concept of the “mobile store”, where Japan Home products are carried on a truck that also serves as a pop-up store. Steve explained that this gives the company more reach, as a truck is able to travel the vast landscape within Malaysia.
Steve mentions that expansion has always been on his mind, this is because his goal is to give people the opportunity to purchase household products at an affordable price range.
Evidently, Steve has a very democratic stance when it comes to household products and he believes in giving people products that are affordable, yet are practical and aesthetically pleasing.
When asked about his proudest achievements, Steve said: “I’m very lucky to have good staff, and I’m lucky that I can not only build a good life for myself, I can also build a good life for my staff.”
Giving advice to potential entrepreneurs, Steve said: “Always find a logical way in solving issues, but be reasonable, find the way that benefits as many people as possible.”
This spirit of giving and generosity is something that has served Steve and Japan Home well, and there is no doubt that the company will only continue to ascend to greater heights.
204 Bedok South Avenue 1
T| 6284 4122
F| 6285 4475