CEO Stories

SME Hero – Hoon Thing Leong

Hoon Thing Leong, Owner of Kim San Leng Coffee shops, shares with us why he is The Incredible Cost Cutter.

About the business:

Having been a kopi-boy since young, Mr. Hoon got his first coffee shop at Bukit Timah Road when he was 17 years old. Today he owns more than 30 coffee shops and food centres around Singapore.

 

I am THE INCREDIBLE COST-CUTTER because...

I always take well calculated risk when it comes to exploring new locations for my business. I manage my business in a very prudent and money-wise manner. I strategize carefully and calculate risk and return when it comes to purchase of coffee shops in a new location.

 

The most heroic thing I have ever done is...

Buying the coffeeshop at Bishan for S$3.52 million which was way above the second bidder. Everyone thought I was a lunatic to fork out that exorbitant sum. Today, the profits from this coffee shop has since reaped 10-fold its investment.

 

My best superhero trait is...

Not only one, because you need three important traits to become successful. Courageous, hardworking , and eagerness to learn.

 

My superhero costume will be...

Nothing fanciful, since I work in a coffee shop. A coffee shop attire perhaps? It has to be comfortable and blend in with my workers. But I would want to have super powers to inspire them to have a common goal.

 

Being money-wise is important...

There was once I had to let go of machinery worth S$1 million for S$70,000. A loss that most businessmen would not consider. To me, there was no point holding on to something that was worthless to my business. It was better to cut losses and move ahead with other plans.

 

The DBS SME Bank facility that have helped my business is...

Property financing. DBS has always been very supportive and display confidence in my business decisions and risk management skills. They have also been good advisors to my commercial property expansion plans.

 

I am a SME Hero today only because...

The DBS team has good knowledge of my business and has always supported me in my decisions. It has been a long standing relationship with mutual trust and understanding.

 

My advice to aspiring SME Heroes is...

Planning is the key. Months of planning and proper research aid in making informed business decisions, instead of last minute worries. You have to be very detailed and understand the business inside out. It also helps to be earnest and have integrity when doing business, people relations are everything. Your network is your net worth.

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