Name of Recipient:
Mr. Tan Min Tie
For many born in the 1940’s in Singapore, life is undoubtedly a harsh one. Immediately following the Japanese occupation, many in Singapore were still reeling from their experiences of the war. In addition, the stresses of war on the economy has further devastated many’ finances, and many families remain poor for years after the war.
Mr. Tan Min Tie belonged to one of these families, and was withdrawn from his education at age nine to work as an apprentice in the automobile centre. Despite his situation, Mr. Tan never gave up on life, and his extraordinary entrepreneurial story is a true testament of how success can be achieved by anyone regardless of his or her circumstances.
Training under a harsh master, Mr. Tan learnt the ropes of the automobile repair industry, working in the small automobile section in Frankel’s Avenue’s ESSO Patrol Kiosk. During this time, Mr. Tan, affectionately known as “Ah Tee”, built up long lasting relationships with his clients. Many of them were towkays from various industries. These relationships, along with the professionalism and expertise Mr. Tan shows on his apprenticeship, would go on to define Tan Min Tie Motors.
Tan Min Tie Motors was established informally in 1961, when Mr. Tan was asked by his master whether he would like to take over the business. Securing a loan from his grandmother, Mr. Tan became an entrepreneur, a boss of his own business.
In 1978, Tan Min Tie was informed that they were no longer able to provide car repairs or servicing in ESSO’s premises. This explains why Mr. Tan had to source for his own place. Eventually, Tan Min Tie Motors was officially registered on 20 April 1979 and started in Eunos Avenue 3. After the lease term of 30 years was up at Eunos Avenue 3, the company was relocated to Kaki Bukit on 28 September 2009.
As a small business in the competitive automobile repair industry, Mr. Tan ran into some challenges during the initial years of operations. “In 1979, we were just a little business with not much funds. The market can be bad at times as well so it is hard to get business in.” He then added, “Also, sometimes the customers don’t pay for the services. In the 80’s, we had up to $10,000’s worth of bounced checks.”
Undeterred by the difficulties, Mr. Tan worked harder than ever to ensure that Tan Min Tie Motors stays standing. Employing young people eager to learn about auto repair, he imparted to them his skills and advice, giving them the required tools for further success in the future. With the amount of goodwill he built, Tan Min Tie Motors soon found themselves with modest success that has lasted till today.
Now in 2015, Tan Min Tie Motors continues to offer the same services to their customers, which include car and car parts repair, insurance claims and policy renewal, pre-inspection servicing and vehicle evaluation, spray painting and welding, and more. It is a true testament to their level of service that customers and even their children have continued to visit Tan Min Tie Motors due to the strong relationship they have built, ever since the company was established.
For Mr. Tan, he attributes the longevity of the business to the service he has provided for many long years. “At the heart of it, the service must be good. Till today, I am still providing hands-on service for my customers, and I only advice them to service what is necessary.”
He also added, “The training I experienced when I was an apprentice is very different to the training apprentices receive now. For my time, we were very careful with everything, to make sure everything runs smoothly. I believe that our skills, combined with our experience and the trust people have in us, are what made us this successful.”
An entrepreneur for many decades, Mr. Tan believes an entrepreneur cannot achieve true success without credibility and respect. “An entrepreneur needs to be sincere and respectful, which means they cannot set out to cheat others out of their money. With sincerity and respect, no matter where you go, you will be trusted.”
“Networking is something that is important for entrepreneurs as well. They should make more friends, join groups, and know more people. This will gain friendships, and will generate more business for your company in the process.”
Having served his customers faithfully for a few decades, Tan Min Tie Motors is now able to build up their legacy through their hard work, ambition, determination and perseverance. In the future, as they continue to uphold these values for their customers, Tan Min Tie Motors will carry on thriving in the competitive automobile industry.
Undoubtedly, Tan Min Tie Motors is able to build up their legacy through their hard work, ambition, determination, and perseverance. In the future, as they continue to uphold these values for their customers, Tan Min Tie Motors will carry on thriving in the competitive automobile industry.
No. 1 Kaki Bukit Avenue 6
Blk D #01-77 S(417883)
T| 6747 2400 / 6747 5874
F| 6742 7839