Name of Recipient:
Mr. Patrick Raj
The journey to become a successful entrepreneur is never an easy one. Requiring a combination of hard work, perseverance, and a slice of luck, an aspiring entrepreneur has a long road ahead of them, full of obstacles and challenges, the moment they decide to strike it out on their own. Those without a hard mettle often fall by the wayside, while others triumph and achieve the success they have desired. One man who has made it despite much heartbreak and hard knocks was Mr. Patrick Raj, the Managing Director of Staadco Marine International Pte Ltd.
Established in January 2012, Staadco Marine International Pte Ltd is a one-stop marine and offshore service centre. Offering comprehensive ship agent services, Staadco Marine International Pte Ltd provides services such as supplying of Provisions, Bond, Deck, Engine & Cabin stores, also for all their valued clients they also provide bunkers, fresh water supplies also logistic support for all their marine parts and warehousing needs, as well as ship handling and repair thus making them a One Stop Marine & Offshore Service Centre.
For Patrick, starting Staadco Marine was not something that he intentionally set out to do. “My father was in the Freight Forwarding trade since I was a young kid. Through him, I developed an interest in this industry. Our name, Staadco Marine is directly inspired by his previous company Staadco Agency.” Patrick then further elaborated, “I started out with two partners. Partner (A) had the knowledge of Operations and Partner (B) had the knowledge of Purchasing and a few client bases. Initially I used my savings to incorporate and fund the company’s startup and running cost. Luckily, the company was registered only under my name as the funds were from me and during that time, the two other partners were having some financial issues with banks and other personnel issues as well. All was going on fine just as we planned.
“We started off very small, working from out of a container. The worst was yet to come, and in less than 3 months, we run into issues with rental dues, salaries & paying all our daily expenses due to partner (B) not bringing in any sales or was just lying to me that he was also trying his best. But all he did was to settle his own personnel issues and using company funds to settle his personal financial issues.
“I still remember very clearly I had to sell my personnel car at that point of time at a loss, to pay off the rental of our then container office as it was pass our due date. And even then Partner (B) & (A) insisted that he wanted salary for not doing anything and just lazing around at home. He always claimed to be meeting up with potential clients. But nothing came in for enquiries and as I remembered, he always used to say don’t pressure him or if not he will leave the company. I lost almost all of my savings. It was really a very tough time. And sometimes I used to wonder, ‘why did I even resign from my job good paid job as a shipping agent?’”
As time went by, Staadco Marine started to receive small enquiries for quotations and we managed to get a few deals. However, the worst was yet to come. Patrick said, “After six months, partner (B) left. Partner (A), who was my friend in charge of operations, told me one day he was going back to his old company as our company is still very unstable and we don’t make enough to cover for our own salaries.”
He then further added, “Instead of doing as he had said, he actually went to join our direct competitor, and sold our trade secrets to them as my competitor was only willing to take him in if he had a customer base. Also, one weekend, Partner (A) came back to the office when no one was around, and deleted our entire database and our system which I did not have any backups. When I got back to the office, our emails, our client lists, everything was gone just like that over the weekend and when I confronted Partner (A), he simply said I’m not good at computers and I don’t know how the systems work, and all he did was to delete his personal stuff. When I found out that he had done it, it was very devastating. It was truly one of the toughest periods in my life.”
This experience was a life-changing moment for Patrick. “I truly understood what it was like to hit rock bottom. At one point, when I went to the ATM, I had only a few dollars left in my bank account. What my ex-partner did destroyed the hard work we had accomplished.”
However, Patrick was determined not to let Staadco Marine be truly beaten, and he and his wife started rebuilding the company from the ground up. “For months, my wife and I never went home. We stayed in the office, and we tried to regain what we had lost. We worked on things like recovering our business associations, and building up our client base from scratch. At first, nothing seemed to happen, but just as we thought to give up, one day, a quotation was sent to us, and from then on we never gave up hope and trusted god is watching us where he is, we successfully rebuilt the company into what it is today.
“As they say, there’s always a woman behind a men’s success, but I have two, my wife and my mother, and I would like to extend a very great sincere appreciation to them.”
Today, they have successfully re-established their system, and have come through the storm to the other side. Looking back, Patrick emotionally said, “I definitely learnt from these experiences; I learnt what it is like to hit rock bottom and to use each and every penny including your coffin money to build my dream and business I learnt what it is like to have only a few dollars left in my bank account. I learnt how to trust myself and god, and never to trust anyone else easily.”
“The world is a realistic place. When you have money, people will flock to you. But when you don’t, they will stay away from you. That is just how the world is like. What you can do is to never give up, to persevere on, and to be persistent in your pursuit of success.” Each day is a challenge which we have to face and we have to face it like the king”
With Staadco Marine’s comeback, Patrick only aims to build upon this success, and aim for greater things ahead. “It took us less than a year to come back from the bottom, so we can definitely try for bigger things ahead. We aim to expand our company within five years to a strength of 200-300 staff members, and of course, by then, a bigger office.”
With their bad experience firmly behind them, there is little doubt Staadco Marine has a bright future ahead of them. Under the leadership of Patrick, with his combination of hard work and perseverance, Staadco Marine is perfectly poised for their major break in the marine industry, and we only wish them the best for their future.
“All the praises and merits belong to god who is watching us. Thank you.”
1 Soon Lee Street #03-51
T| 6686 2220
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