For some, the path of entrepreneurship is something they’ve always envisaged for themselves. Today, he’s Group CEO and Managing Director of Shui Xing Group, but even at a young age when he worked across numerous industries, Ken Lew knew he wanted to build his own business. In 2005, he did exactly that.
Using his own savings and support from his family, he started Shui Xing Ventures, a logistics company based in Malaysia. Over the years, he worked to grow and expand the company, leading to what is now the Shui Xing Group of companies.
Today, Shui Xing Group is a truly modern multimodal logistics organisation, specialising in stevedoring, warehousing and forwarding services, and has extended its regional presence across Asia. “Shui Xing Group now has its own warehouse space of nearly 500,000 square metres, warehouse equipment, a fleet of vehicles, and more than 300 specialists,” Ken explains.
“With these resources, we can provide one-stop logistics solutions and design and construct warehouses for our customers and investors. Here, we can help them build customised warehouses that meet their own needs or the needs of the market.
“As Shui Xing Group continues to grow, we exemplify a spirit of entrepreneurship and exploration; one of our recent business ventures involves collaborating with Malaysia’s Port Klang Free Zone on ecommerce parcel sorting and the Regional Distribution Centre (RDC).”
Under Ken’s leadership, Shui Xing Group continues to take advantage of regional opportunities like the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s effort to improve ties between markets around the world.
But even as the company expands regionally, it’s a challenge to attract top-level talent, given that numerous others are also competing for this talent. This difficulty is eased by Ken’s efforts to continue the development and education of his team.
“Shui Xing Group has a dynamic working culture akin to a big family,” he says. “We always encourage our teams to develop themselves, to assign skills and knowledge to their work, and even perform other functions within the group of companies. We reward those who perform well and excel.”
Ken is always pleased to see his team improve their skills and knowledge, and he counts himself as part of that initiative; he enjoys learning new things “from supply chains to architecture and ecommerce”.
I always encourage my team to understand the needs of all our customers.
After all, it’s his belief that a good leader always leads by example, so by ensuring he himself is always learning, he can encourage his team to do the same. Equally, Ken likes to be directly involved in all new projects, helping set the direction and new processes, before handing over day-to-day control to managers.
“I always encourage my team to understand the needs of all our customers,” he says. “Most of our customers have been cooperating with Shui Xing Group for a long time because we always strive to provide high-quality and innovative solutions to meet their needs. We’ve combined a physical and digital platform into one, to bring customers a wide range of sales and service pipelines.”
As the Group undertakes digital transformation to enhance its current business models, Ken sees the opportunity is borderless. “VV eHouse is our new vehicle which provides the platform connecting sellers and buyers, both locally and globally,” Ken says.
We believe the prerequisite to any form of success is to have both feet on the ground.
Initially focusing on the trend for a healthy lifestyle, such as athleisure products and services, VV eHouse has plans to expand to other product categories. Backed by the Group’s expertise as a one-stop logistics solution provider, VV eHouse provides end-to-end solutions from digital marketing to delivery and customer service.
Ken and his team are on a mission to build a strong Asia-wide ecommerce network, starting with Malaysia and followed by neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
Elaborating on his plan, he adds, “We not only provide the ecommerce platform, but are able to provide the logistics support and services ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience for our customers – both sellers and buyers. Strategic localities will have physical stores to complement our ecommerce platform to enrich our customers’ overall experience.”
As Shui Xing Group continues to expand geographically while welcoming new team members, Ken is reluctant to spend much time looking back at past accomplishments, instead focusing on how to add to those accomplishments.
“We believe the prerequisite to any form of success is to have both feet on the ground, to understand your business partners and grow with them. We consistently deliver on our commitments and our integrity, and always strive to improve our service to our customers.”
And he offers a few words of advice for others. “Be agile when opportunities arise, respond quickly to risks, and be kind to your employees because they are your greatest comrades, and they can help you win all battles. In the meantime, companies must have five capabilities: analytical thinking, business acumen, creative thinking, leadership and teamwork.”