Only said “money is not a problem”, good boss pays for brain tumour surgery fees for Chinese worker

Lianhe Zaobao, Page 6, 21 April 2014

 

When 37-year-old Chinese worker, Mr Zhou discovered that he had a tumour in his brain, his employer, Mr Albert Oon (Managing Director of Shun Zhou Group) not only paid for his surgery which cost $20,000, but also allowed him to return to his home in Jiangsu to rest. When interviewed, the other workers of Shun Zhou Group also indicated that Mr Oon has always been a kind-hearted employer who looked after the well-being of his employees withou asking for anything in return. For example, Mr Zhou had previously asked to return home to visit his mother who was critically ill. Even though he had just started working at the company for less than 40 days, his employer gave him paid leave of 17 days, and also handed him $1,000 to bring home, withou asking Mr Zhou to repay him.

When interviewed, Mr Albert Oon, who received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013, said that in Mr Zhou’s case, it was money well spent to save a person’s life and he never expected anything in return. Mr Zhou has indicated that he will return to work for Mr Oon once he recovers from his surgery, in order to repay his employer’s kindness to him.

A Hardware Business with Heart

Rigorous work at a tender age incalcated strong values in Mr Albert Oon, managing director of Shun Zhou Hardware.

By: The Straits Times, Mok Fei Fei | 20 Jan 2014

Shun Zhou Hardware’s managing director Albert Oon was one of nine winners of last year’s Established Entrepreneur award given by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Rotary Club of Singapore. — ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH 

 

Entrepreneurship came naturally to Mr Albert Oon, the managing director of marine and oil rig parts supplier Shun Zhou Hardware.

When he was still in primary school, he set up makeshift stalls at his HDB block to sell calendars and corporate gifts that he obtained for free by picking up items discarded by other people.

He also went around with a neighbour to sell otah-otah, a fish snack, earning 10 cents for every 10 sticks sold.

“We weren’t well-to-do, so during the school holidays, it was a good chance to make extra pocket money to buy tidbits,” Mr Oon, 42, said with a laugh.

He continued his journey of learning to be a businessman when he joined his father’s hardware shop as an apprentice after graduating with an N-level certificate from Dunman Secondary School at the age of 16.

He stopped his formal education as he “wasn’t good in studies”, but little did he know he was about to enrol in the school of hard knocks.

Starting at the bottom, Mr Oon had to do everything at Shun Zhou, from sweeping the floor to packing goods such as nuts and bolts for customers in the electronic and shipbuilding industries.

Even though he was the son of the boss, he had no special privileges and was in fact often made to work harder, for a lower wage.

He clocked 18-hour shifts, starting at dawn and working till late in the night, under the tutelage of his stern father Oon Soon Ann, who had high expectations of the elder of his two sons.

Too young to take a driver’s licence, Mr Albert Oon rode an old rickety bicycle to make deliveries.

He carried some 60kg of goods while balancing a 6m-long pipe with one hand and steering the bicycle with the other.

“Rain or shine, I had to peddle like an acrobat. I fell so many times, with a bruise here and there. I cannot remember how many times I injured myself.”

Such experiences taught him invaluable lessons, such as the need to work hard and to provide good service round-the-clock, so customers’ trust and loyalty to the company could be built up.

Mr Oon eventually rose up the ranks and took over the reins of Shun Zhou from his father in 2002.

His first order of business was to enlarge the range of goods the firm offered and to expand into the marine, oil and gas industries.

Mr Oon then ventured into new waters, providing security equipment such as night-vision binoculars and razor wire in 2008, when his clients in the shipping industry highlighted the problem of rampant piracy.

“My customers told me their ships were held hostage and their crews were kidnapped, so I tried to think of something to assist them in defending themselves.”

The anti-piracy equipment unit contributed about 13 per cent of the company’s revenue last year, up from 5 per cent in 2008.

All these moves paid dividends as the company’s staff strength grew from three during its inception in 1988, to around 40 now.

Revenue also went up, from some $3 million in its first year of operation to about $30 million last year.

The company now boasts a spacious office building near Lavender MRT station as well as a 60,000 sq ft warehouse-cum-distribution centre in Tuas, a far cry from its humble beginnings in a sparsely-decorated, rented shop.

That ability to meet a niche demand and spot new business opportunities enabled Mr Oon to be one of nine winners of last year’s Established Entrepreneur award, given by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Rotary Club of Singapore.

He is now setting his sights on expanding his South-east Asian customer base, with plans to generate international sales by exploring greener technologies for the oil and gas industry.

For all his achievements, Mr Oon remains grounded, frequently stockpiling over-the-counter medicine to be delivered to his staff, customers or suppliers if he knows they have taken ill, earning him the nickname “Dr Bert”.

“I’ll deliver the medicine personally or get my courier to take the items to them, so they can recover faster. It forges a good friendship and is not aimed at getting them to give me their business. Now they even call me to ask for medication,” he said.

Mr Oon and the company regularly donate to worthy causes, like helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan or dementia patients at Apex Harmony Lodge.

Around $500,000 was set aside for such corporate social responsibility projects last year.

Mr Oon has a soft spot for the elderly because his grandmother doted on him, so he also makes time to visit homes for the aged every now and then, chatting with them and bringing them goodies.

Married with two teenage sons, Mr Oon says he is open to keeping the business within the family or letting an outsider take over, though he has this advice for his boys.

“I tell them that life is full of hurdles. To me, the hardest day was yesterday and if you can survive yesterday, today is not a problem.”

 

 

 

Winner- Heritage Brand. Singapore Prestige Brand Award 2014

We are proud to be the winner of SPBA – Heritage Brand 2014!

We are very honored to win the most coveted award for renowned Singapore brands and to clinch this award under Heritage category was even more challenging. But WE did it!
From small seeds, mighty oaks grow and from our humble beginning, our journey has not been always smooth and without hurdles. With persistence and perseverance over the last 26 years we have overcome the odds and nurtured ourselves to be one of the most recognized brand in our industry. As we add another feather to our cap today, we appreciate the hard work and sacrifices that our colleagues have contributed, the faith and support that valuable business partners have in us! Let’s us share the fruit of our labour and continue to uphold our values to scale greater heights.
Thank you very much!

 

President Challenge 2014

Shun Zhou Group receiving appreciation from His Excellency Tony Tan, President Republic of Singapore.

 

 

Project Rice

Donating rice to the Homes and the less privilege has been our practice for many years and this year we have contributed no less than 30 tons of white rice besides other necessities. Like how the word “米” (rice) the cross in the middle symbolizes humanity and the 4 little strokes represent rice given out to the 4 corners of the world.

 

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts

Many victims of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban are still homeless and do not even have shelters over their heads and have little food in their stomachs since the Category 5 typhoon attacked in November 2013. As little as we can do, Shun Zhou Group is sending 1000pcs of zinc roofing sheets for them to build shelters for the old folks and the children as these victims are the most vulnerable.

 

Entrepreneur of the Year Award(EYA) 2013 TOP ENTREPRENEURS: ESTABLISHED ENTREPRENEUR Category

Congratulations to our group’s Managing Director, Mr. Albert Oon for winning the EYA 2013 Top Entrepreneurs: Established Entrepreneur!

The Entrepreneur of the Year (EYA) is the oldest Award in Singapore, organised by the Rotary Club of Singapore & Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME). This award salutes and honours local entrepreneurs who have shown outstanding performance as business owners, be it emerging or established enterprises, in their chosen field of entrepreneurship using a set of stringent judging criteria, to maintain the highest standards in the process of uncovering successful entrepreneurs.

 

A big ‘Thank You’ to our Team, you deserve this recognition!

A good company needs a good Team. We have an exemplary one! 
A big ‘Thank You‘ to our Team, you deserve this recognition! 

Shun Zhou Hardware was founded by the late Mr Oon Soon Ann in 1988 with only three employees, two office tables and a second-hand lorry for deliveries.
Since the elder son, Mr Albert Oon, has taken over the responsibilities as the managing director, the company has since grown strong over the years.

 

 

SME ONE ASIA Award Ceremony 2013

We are proud to be awarded the prestigious SME One Asia Award 2013 – Top 5 of the Distinguished Category!

Shun Zhou Hardware was founded by the late Mr Oon Soon Ann in 1988 with only three employees, two office tables and a second-hand lorry for deliveries.
Since the elder son, Mr Albert Oon, has taken over the responsibilities as the managing director, the company has since grown strong over the years.

As one of the Top 5 winners of the Distinguished Award, Shun Zhou Hardware now owns a bustling office building, 12 trucks and a team of 40 employees managing a 60,000 sq ft solutions centre that stocks materials for the construction and maintenance of ships and oil rigs.

Glorifying family owned business to the next level with perseverance and humility. 
不能以过去的眼光来看待未来,但是可以用过去的经验把握未来。

The hardest day was yesterday.Welcoming new challenges everyday.
人要想闯出一番事业,一定需要面对更多坡折。执著和坚持是面对压力与挑战的秘诀。

 

 A heartfelt thank you to our valued staff and business partners, we know we would not have made it without your support.
We will strive to deliver excellence for the many years to come!
Our group’s Managing Director, Mr. Albert Oon, was specially commended by the judges and awarded the “Entrepreneur Spirit Award”, the first ever presented.

Shun Zhou Group Unveils Epoxy Coated Twin Razors Concertina Wire

Piracy-at-sea is a big risk with an immensely high damage potential, so much so that insurers advise ship owners to deploy razor wire around the ship. With ransoms running into millions coupled with expensive insurance premiums, razor wire has proven to be a cost-effective solution.
 
Razor wire is an effective self-protection method that avoids utilising fatal and possibly illegal force. Intruders attempting to climb the ship’s side is deterred by pipes of razor wire running and easily deployed along the outside of the bulwarks at main deck level, guarding the ship around the stern and along each side to the bow.
 
Today, Hamilton Global Ventures, Shun Zhou Group’s investment arm, unveils a core offering to its Trident Plus range of products – a rust-resistant concertina barbed wires.
 
The Trident Plus Differentiation:
While razor wire has proven itself to be fairly effective deterrent, it has some shortcomings. Razor wires used are not rust-resistant and prone to corrosion and damage under typical sea condition. This has prompted users to deploy the razor wires only when they enter into known high-risk areas, and to dismantle them once they are in safe water.
 
The razor wires in the Trident range are all epoxy-coated to provide a very high level of rust-resistance; once deployed, the wires can be left in position throughout the ship’s duration at sea. All are available in bright orange to provide added visual deterrence to intruders.
In addition, the blades are custom-sized and larger than ordinary land-based types to provide added protection.
The technology powering the Trident range comes from Hamilton Venture’s own research and development, backed by more than 20 years of experience in serving the marine industry.
 
“Our clients come to us for efficient, cost-effective solutions to mitigate piracy risk” says Albert Oon, Managing Director of Shun Zhou Group and Hamilton Global Ventures. “As an industry leader serving the marine industry, Hamilton Global Ventures will continue to add new features and products within our Trident range by developing, partnering, or acquiring new technologies.” Albert also reveals that most of the ships not targeted by pirates are “almost exclusively those that have best practices “hence the company will strive to constantly educate users on the benefits of equipping themselves with Trident products”.
 
 

Visiting the Elderly Homes – 爱心在一家

At Shun Zhou Group, we believe in the Chinese saying, 取之于社会, 用之于社会.

Other than focusing on making regular monetary donations to the charity organisations, our staff also does regular volunteer works led by our Managing Director, Mr. Albert Oon.