Mr. Andros Teh: The Young, Fearless And Unstoppable Entrepreneur
He has the command of a born leader. When he speaks, he utters words of wisdom which are perfectly profound and practical all at the same time. Listeners would think these insights can only come from someone whose life has been polished through the vicissitudes and challenges of time.
But Andros Teh of Aritania Group is only 24 years old. The home appliance store that mainly distributes magnetic insect screen and robotic vacuum cleaners is a legacy bequeathed to him by his father who ran the business for 30 years. What happens in the next 30 years or more is all upon Andros’s shoulders now.
“It is a good line of business because we provide people with what they need. All the items we offer reflect our vision and mission to help people clean their houses, save a lot of time, and live comfortably,” Andros says.
The inevitable question is, how did Andros Teh make it this big, this early? While it is true, he inherited the business three years ago, he is not one to be complacent about running it day by day and growing it in the future. He shares the secrets to successful entrepreneurship here.
“You Reap What You Sow”
Andros discovered his passion for entrepreneurship when he was 21 and while serving in the army. Inspired by his dad who was hands-on in every aspect of the business, Andros felt that entrepreneurship was a good way to learn and discover a lot of new things, meet new people, make profit and enjoy the flexibility of time.
“In entrepreneurship, you reap what you sow. The more effort you put in, as long as it is in the right direction, the more you will reap. I don’t like the feeling of 300% effort and 40% payback. If you are a good entrepreneur the sense of satisfaction is high, especially when you impact people’s lives,” he shares.
In fact, one of the most satisfying moments in his entrepreneurial journey is when he and his employees work hard together. “We all trust each other, we are a family. With teamwork and synergy, one person becomes 300%. For synergy to work, there has to be trust and a lot of good values. When I see them laughing at each other, stressing together, working together, that is really good,” shares Andros.
As an entrepreneur, Andros places the heaviest consideration into the people he employs into his team. Currently, he has 4 part-timers working for him. He advises young entrepreneurs to apply two Ps when hiring: Be practical and particular. “If I hired a full time (staff) I would have to pay more on a monthly basis. That can cause problems later on especially because it has only been three years since I handled the business. I hire part-time. What I am looking at is not how efficient or how manageable the person is.
Integrity is very important. If you are inexperienced you can learn, but if you are not trustworthy, then that is a problem,” he shares.
To instill the value of integrity and honesty amongst his staff, Andros treats his staff as friends, but he also means business when it comes to their deliverables. “Although you’re my employee, I treat you as a friend. Some are older than me, and it wouldn’t be too good if you have a high ranking level when you are in a small group.” As a result, even if the pay for part-timers is average, Andros wins his staff loyalty.
“If people enjoy their time here and have a lot of good memories working together, then that is a good way of keeping a strong team.”
On Outperforming Competitors And Bracing For Challenges Ahead
Andros acknowledges that in his line of business, the barrier to entry is low. “No matter how I price my items, the competitor will always come out with a lower price. To outperform them, I deliver strong after-sales service,” he shares. Andros works beyond the shop hours to ensure that installation, repair, and after-sale support services are done on time and with the highest customer satisfaction.
This is the way he sees himself protecting the business amidst potential setbacks, and preparing the way for expansion in the future. In the next five years, Andros sees his home appliance business expanding into other countries in the region, including Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. “I’d like to bring some of my products to lesser developed countries in Southeast Asia,” he said.
Andros believes that part of running a business entails having to deal with uncertainties and the tendency to work very long hours just to be able to build much needed contingencies. “When you’re driven by your ambitions you tend to neglect people around you – your spouse, family and friends. This can be one of the setbacks. At the end of the day, I want my business, but I want my loved ones, too.”
Advice To Fellow Young Entrepreneurs: Focus On Your Goals And Deliver On Your Promises
Andros believes that young entrepreneurs can go far in their business if they focus on their goals and always deliver on their promises to customers. “Along the line of entrepreneurship, there are always a lot of things one can do. In fact, you are free to do what you want. But no business can fulfil everything. If you think this one has a market, zoom in.
Although there may be signs of good opportunities elsewhere, try not to let your ambitions go sideways, or else , your goal will gradually go further and further away without any hint of being achieved. Focus is most important.”
His business also thrives on integrity, a principle he lives by. As a business owner, Andros believes thatintegrity means delivering on promises made to clients. “A lot of companies promise they can do things. But they don’t deliver. Don’t make empty promises. Be yourself,” he says.
Andros also expects his employees to be honest with him. When things go wrong as they sometimes would, instead of covering up mistakes, Andros encourages his employees to be honest. “I will sit down with them and sort things out. I don’t tell them, “You messed it up, you solve it.” Not telling the truth will affect the whole company structure in the long-term.”
Being deeply rooted in the right values and having a laser-sharp focus on his goals places Andros Teh on the right track to being a phenomenal success. In fact, he is already reaping the most important aspect of success in his life right now:
“In terms of business, some people may think that success is when you don’t have to be personally running your company, success is when it runs on its own and is making a lot of money.
For me if you have set up a big organisation, if you positively impacts people’s life and they believe in you, at the same time a lot of people look up to you, that is success. When you are leading a lot of people, when you get their support, and then when you are able to be with your family, your friends and relatives when they need you, that is success. No matter how much money you make but everyone is leaving you then that
is not success at all,” the young, ambitious and well-grounded entrepreneur concludes