For every industry, there are awards recognizing outstanding performance or unique qualities. In the small and medium enterprise (SME) industry, one of the most coveted award is The BrandLaureate SME Chapter Awards, which recognizes the “best of brands” in SMEs around Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region.
Organized by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation, The BrandLaureate SMEs Chapter Awards serves as a platform for winners to enhance their brands more effectively towards becoming a global brand. The brands are able to draw from various consultancy resources and expertise from The BrandLaureates team and events.
Macy Home Furnishings recently walked away at the beginning of 2009 with The Brand Laureate SME Award for the Curtains and Soft Furnishings category 2008. Macy started from its humble beginnings of a single staff member to becoming one of the leaders in the curtain retail business in Malaysia in a span of less than six years.
Besides that, Macy also achieved a deal to sponsor the furnishings of popular sitcom, PCK Ptd Ltd (PCK). In December 2008, PCK’s lead actor Gurmit Singh went for a shoot in Macy’s flagship store in Kuala Lumpur.
Choong Kar Weng (CKW), director of the company, shares with us in an email interview about the key factors behind Macy’s success as well as Macy’s vision for the future.
CN: Tell us more about Macy’s history and the vision of Macy.
CKW: Macy started as mainly retailing curtains in August 2000. About a year later, we added furniture and more home accessories to our business.
Our vision is to raise the aesthetic standard of one’s living environment because we believe that everyone is valuable. The home and office environment help to define a part of that value.
CN: How did the tie-up with PCK occur, and in what specific ways did Macy sponsor them?
CKW: MediaCorp partnered with a local television station in Malaysia for the current season of PCK. They needed a furniture sponsor for their shooting and production for this season which will be filmed in Malaysia. The Malaysian counterpart recommended Macy’s Home Furnishings, and the producer visited us and liked our products.
As a result of that, Macy’s will be providing all the curtains, furniture and home accessories for the next two seasons of PCK.
CN: How was it like having Gurmit Singh visit your store for the photo-shoot?
CKW: Gurmit is a really nice person, nothing like his PCK persona. During our brief encounter, he came across as a polite and very humble person, a great guy.
We didn’t publicize the shoot beforehand, so it was just another usual day of business for us. People at the store were pleasantly surprised to see him, and a small crowd on on-lookers did gather, as expected.
CN: What are your future plans for Macy in the next five years?
CKW: We hope to establish Macy as the leading home furnishings partner and expert to people all over Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region. In order to do that, we need to grow in the quality and quantity of our product and service standards.
CN: What are some difficulties you face in running the business?
CKW: There are always challenges. Like most business, we need more good people and we need more money!
CN: What would you advise other businessmen who wish to model after Macy’s success?
CKW: Don’t model after Macy! It is not in the method or a model. Every business owner must build his business on his own revelation. Then he has to work hard to bring his vision to past. In the meantime, constantly live out your faith and values in consistency with your beliefs. What you say must match what you do.