2020 SEAsia Business Awards

34 APAC / 2020 South East Asia Business Awards 35 APAC / 2020 South East Asia Business Awards , , The Carnation Corn Cap Plaster, invented in 1922, is Carnation Footcare’s most famous product and was brought into Singapore and Malaysia in 1983 exclusively by the team at Okeanos Trading. It was an enormous hit and kept the company on a successful track for many years. When Styles Chong Bin Fa joined his Father’s firm as a business partner in 2014, he pushed for even more development and the results have been truly exceptional. Carnation Footcare has grown exponentially in both Singapore and Malaysia in the last six years thanks to the efforts of Okeanos Trading. The team have worked tirelessly to increase their sales of these products and introducing more than thirty products into the market. As a distributor, this is a credit to the team’s hard work not only ensuring that all products are sold but finding new ways to create and meet the demands of the market. As a micro SME, Okeanos Trading operates quite differently when compared to MNCs. The core values of Okeanos Trading are honesty, integrity, morality and empathy. Instead of putting profit first, the client has priority. Many businesses do not have the flexibility to provide much more than a standard solution, but the team at Okeanos Trading have formed close, harmonious and long-term relationships with a complex network of distributors, wholesaler and retailers as well as brand supporters. This gives the team a unique opportunity to get feedback and act quickly upon it. Much of the credit for the success of Okeanos Trading must go to the firm’s culture that Styles has created. Unlike most traditional SMEs, Since starting operations in 1994, the team at WIM have gone from strength to strength. While performing sterling work in Malaysia, the organization has reached out across the whole ASEAN region and more recently into the world at large. Giving women the chance to reach their full potential is at the heart of WIM since the very beginning. Cultural stereotypes have acted to limit their growth, and ability to take up the positions they are capable of fulfilling. The philosophy behind WIM is based on the development of a positive image for women first and foremost, with much of this work leading to the promotion of women in leadership across a variety of sectors. In order to practise what they preach, WIM is led by a group of successful female professionals and businesswomen. Some of the services that WIM offer to clients have been able to transform peoples’ lives. The work that the team offers and supports is very broad to match the needs of different people in different circumstances. In South East Asia, the organization is unique. With funding support from UNFPA, the team have been able to conduct leadership courses for women not only in Malaysia, but across other ASEAN countries, South Korea and China. WIM works alongside other organizations in areas separate to money too. There is, for example, an MBA Programme on offer from the University of East London specialising on International Management for working adults. This is very different to the support provided to UNFPA Malaysia and the OSK Foundation. These groups offer courses on domestic violence, prevention of HIV/AIDS and ICT training courses for marginalised women in all the states of Malaysia amongst other things. Being based in Malaysia has been of immense benefit to the group, with this multiracial and multicultural country undergoing a dramatic transformation since attaining independence in 1957. Finding support for the group will always be key to the success of WIM, and the team are proud to have leaders such as Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad engaged with the organization. His views are globally respected, giving the team’s impressive support in their endeavors. WIM has always operated on several levels, with women locally, nationally and globally benefitting from its good work. Self-reliance is incredibly important to the team, who have developed a strong system of fundraising to ensure there are always the resources on hand to achieve a project’s aims. This has meant that the team is always looking for ways in which they can spread the word of the work they do. An active website has seen nearly 140,000 hits per month from 163 countries worldwide, with regular posts on Best Footcare Products Distributor 2020 Best Businesswomen’s Networking Organisation 2020 Carnation Footcare has been amainstay brand in the United Kingdom for nearly a century, but only relatively recently has it become a name to be reckoned with in South East Asia. This is due, in no small part, to the teamat Okeanos Trading Company Pte Ltd, the Exclusive Brand Principal and Distributor of Carnation Footcare Products for the region. We lookmore closely at this distribution firm to see how they’ve achieved such success. Support for womenworking in business has never been higher, but there is still a lot of work yet to be done. The teamat theWomen’s Institute Of Management, aMalaysian-based NGO, have done wonders in the field. In this special issue of APAC Insider, we explore exactly how they’ve managed tomake such an impact. Jul20334 Jun20136 Okeanos Trading Company Pte Ltd Women’s Institute Of Management Company: Okeanos Trading Company Pte Ltd Contact: Styles Chong Bin Fa Email: [email protected] Address: 280 Woodlands Industrial Park E5 #10-53 Harvest@ Woodlands, Singapore 757322 Telephone: +65 6734 3525 Web Address: www.okeanostrading.com Company: Women’s Institute Of Management Contact: Dato Dr. Nellie Tan-Wong Web Address: www.wimnet.org.my Styles has pushed for a flexible working environment and culture, this includes autonomy. Unless specifically needed, the team are encouraged to work remotely in any environment they please, one where they can focus in and perform their very best. This approach has also encouraged the making and learning from mistakes in their pursuit of perfection, creating a team that feels free to push the boundaries. When asked to share a few words with APAC, he explained, “Unless we try, we will never know what could have been, we will never get to learn anything, and we will tend to operate by default. Personally, I think most of us have lived our life mistake-free because our society tends to punish us way too hard for making small mistakes.” While the world of wholesale distribution can be regarded as a traditional industry with little room for personal growth, it is important to note that Styles’ innovative approach has kept the team going strong for the last six years. 2020 has been a challenging year for all businesses, causing a great deal of uncertainty for the future. For a distributor like Okeanos Trading, this is increased by the closing of physical stories and border closures. The team has had to change, and while Styles believes that physical retail sales will never go away, e-commerce will be the most preferred way of purchase at least for the next several years. This has encouraged the team to focus on South East Asia’s e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada. This clear ability to quickly adapt to a changing situation is a credit to the team. In all, the success of Okeanos Trading comes from the team’s flexible approach to a traditional industry. With a talented team and leadership of Styles, it’s clear that the firm has gone from strength to strength, a pattern that seems set to continue for years to come. Facebook and other social media being of immense benefit to the business both in terms of raising awareness and in increasing the networking circle that the team have developed. Looking forward, the team have kept an eye out for trends in the country, with a big increase in the demand for entrepreneurial training courses. With such a good reputation, the WIM team was awarded a of M$455,000 grant in this area of training by a foundation. This grant reflects the way in which WIM excelled in conducting a British MBA degree programme, which produced “distinction” graduates, both men and women from Malaysian, Chinese and Indian backgrounds. Expanding into other courses, such as Women’s Leadership Programmes, inspired by the JFK School of Government and Harvard University is the dream, but such a programme would require more money than WIM have available. In short, it’s little wonder that WIM has achieved such success. Not content with giving women the support they need, the WIM team empowers them to achieve their own ambitions. The success of WIM is based on the success of those it supports, and WIM has proven to be very successful indeed. Apart from the famous Carnation Corn Cap Plasters, Okeanos Trading Company Pte Ltd also carries other foot care products such as the 3 Step Foot Spa System. Styles Chong Marketing Director/Owner

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