SWEET PROFITS: A FAMILY AFFAIR AT THE CHUA’S CORDIAL BUSINESS

STRONG family support has been central to the growth of Brilliant Fruit Cordial Enterprise Sdn Bhd and director Chua Eng Hoe says the family will continue to see the company through in the future.

Although Chua still looks into the formulation of new products at 73 years old, his children have already been groomed to bring the business forward.

His eldest son, Wilson Chua Wei Sin, 44, currently works as the company’s business development and operations manager. Wilson, who graduated in 1996 with a degree in finance from a US university, was tasked to come back to the family business to modernise the company.

Coming in with no name card or designation, Wilson did everything that needed attention, be it supervising the factory or meeting clients.

But all this is not new to him. After all, he grew up familiar with the sweet smell of cordials and the sight of bottles and labels strewn around the house. It was an everyday affair for him.

After getting a good grounding on the company, Wilson applied for halal certification and eventually for its ISO certification. All these certifications ensure processes, quality control and other administration matters are properly carried out, he says.

Having the certifications also ensures that the business runs in compliance with proper standards. In this sense, says Wilson, it really makes no difference if it is a family run business or not because it would still uphold professional standards.

Apart from that, Wilson also oversees the upgrading of manufacturing processes which include the introduction of bar codes to machineries.

His two other siblings are also in the company overseeing purchasing and sales. “We are very passionate about the business as well as grateful to be a part of it. At the same time, we are all very independent and know the task and responsibilities of our departments and carry out our duties diligently,” Wilson says.

 

Although Wilson and his siblings make up the second generation of the business, they remain prudent in their investment and planning decisions for the company’s growth.

“We cannot rush into everything,” says Wilson.

But one thing that they are doing different from their father is to develop the talents in the company. He says the family cannot do everything on their own.

“We are carefully planning our talent pipeline with interns and young graduates who will grow the company with us,” he says.

A family business can be professionally run when everyone in the company understands who the real boss is. It is not any one of the family members, points out Wilson, but rather, it is the customers that drive the company.

“It is important to discuss matters based on facts. And the decision must eventually be about how does it address what the customer wants,” Wilson says.

He adds that communication is vital when running the business, be it with the customers, among employer and employees as well as among family members to avoid misunderstanding and to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

In this case, he thinks having family members in the business could be beneficial as nobody is rushing to go back after office hours.

“In the case of my dad and mom, they talk about business all the time, interchangeably with other family matters, at home or at the office,” Wilson says.

– ANN

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