|CN PHOTO: Poh Yang Zheng|
When God gives us a vision, He can always be counted on to help bring it into fruition, as law student-turned-owner of Malaysian home furnishing store Macy, Choong Kar Weng attests.
Choong Kar Weng had it all planned out. Having completed his law studies, he was doing his Bar in London and well on his way to fulfill his ambition of becoming a judge—when he felt God calling him to be a businessman. Even though he had no prior business knowledge at all, Choong made an about-turn on life and pursued an MBA, and went to Bible school along the way.
It turned out that the best plans are made by God, not man. Today, Choong is the director of Macy Home Furnishings, one of Malaysia’s best-known home furnishing stores, with a retail space of about 130,000 sq ft and a staff force of 120, as well as a multi-million dollar turnover.
A flyer he picked up led him to visit City Harvest Church Singapore in 1995. Fueled by a desire to be grounded in the Word of God, Choong enrolled himself into the School of Theology. He attributes his success to the time he spent there. “It is through applying the principles I learned in Bible school, church and from [senior pastor] Kong Hee that I’ve built my life and the company to what it is presently.”
Choong says God helped him grow the business He birthed in his mind. “During my quiet time, I will receive solutions to problems. During praise and worship in church, I often get new visions and directions. The principles in the Bible also taught me how to lead and manage my staff.” He learned also to trust God when things did not go well. “Many years back, one of my biggest suppliers suddenly told me that he would not supply to me anymore. Immediately, I felt God assuring me that this was part of His plan and it was something I had to go through. Within two weeks, I managed to find another supplier, and at a price that was 20 percent lower.”
But it was not at all smooth-sailing. In 2006 through 2007, the family went through a rough patch. Choong’s wife Sharon suffered two miscarriages in two years, and the business did not do well. Furthermore, a member of the staff who was struggling with personal problems committed suicide by jumping off from the company building.
“But God is good. Throughout those difficult times, we felt the assurance that He was with us and that encouraged us to soldier on.” Looking back, Choong felt that God had used those difficult years to build up his faith and maturity.
Over the years, the business has flourished, not only in size and revenue but recognition as well. In three consecutive years starting 2005, the company garnered the Superbrand Award, and in both 2007 and 2008 it nabbed the Brand Laureate Award. No wonder it counts state royalties like the King and Queen of the state of Perlis (the former King and Queen of Malaysia) among its clientele. Last year, Choong was named one of Malaysia’s Most Influential Persons by Tatler magazine, and was featured on Astro TV for a series titled History Maker.
Considering that he started out with without knowledge about running a business, or the necessary finance and marketing skills, Choong’s success story bears witness to the promise of God, a promise Choong was given during difficult times: “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me” (Psalms 18:19).