Still, it's not a good reason to neglect this blog which I had spent so much effort to maintain over the last year. On the eve of returning to Kuching for a week to celebrate a very special Chinese New Year with my family (my wife's coming along and there's a new baby in the house called Rene), I shall finally blog in length for the first time about my company.
Ok, basically, I have been given the task of helping my company open a branch here in Bangkok, selling small equipment and their corresponding spare parts, covering the entire Thailand market. My instruction was simple: build a team, get customers and at the end of the day, earn money.
To cut the story short, I just have to say that to carry out that simple instruction is easier said than done, especially in a foreign country, grappling with a foreign language and for the first time, realising the how small Singapore is and how merciless large geographical areas and extreme weather conditions can be. I came in August 2009, and this being January 2011, I have been here across 3 calendar years now, quite incredible when it wasn't so long ago that I was still sleeping in a room with nothing but a bed and a closet with the sun shining right at my face every morning because my curtains took months before they were delivered. That was the time when I woke up everyday, running a new company all alone, not knowing what's gonna happen on the next minute.
A team was gradually built and business picked up. However, being in a small townhouse, moving our goods is always going to be our sticking point. Every month, up to 2 containers reach our office, each carrying nearly 800 cartons weighing 10tonnes on the average, and my staff and I would painstakingly carry every box manually into the building, of course, out again when each box was sold.
|The recurring theme at the company, carry goods, carry goods, carry goods.|
Thankfully, within a year, we did enough to convince the management to rent a bigger place, and found a 806m2 warehouse (more than 12 times bigger than our space now!). It all finally started to sink in when I saw this picture.
|Life will never be the same again|
With this post, I would like to thank everyone who has given me tremendous support, including my lovely wife Li Li, my parents, my brother, my management, my staff, my friends and of course my God watching over me from above. Also, to everyone reading this, I would also like you to know how beautiful a country Thailand is. Despite all the political unrest and bad press it has gotten in the past year, a complete Stranger in Bangkok like me has survived unscathed, and even in the toughest of times, I have pulled through, because never for one second has Thailand made me feel unwelcome. Instead, the people around me always greet me with a smile on their faces, offering kind words of encouragement from the depths of their hearts, and I really, really appreciate it.
|Our entire team as of now|
This is just my definition, but I hope all of you can take something away from it. I will not stop working hard, because it is my responsibility to push the company forward to achieve its potential, so that I can make my staff's lives (and my own of course) better.
The Stranger in Bangkok would hereby like to wish everyone a very heart-warming Chinese New Year spent with your closest family and friends. May the Year of the Rabbit bring you truckloads of joy and laughter, see you after my one-week break.