Chan Ching

“The lecturers inspired us using actual case studies. It was enlightening when I could actually relate what I’d learnt in these real-life situations.” - Chan Ching on SIM’s business studies.
Discover SIM GE Hegen products make the expressing and storing of breast milk and feeding a seamless transition, say business owner Chan Ching and daughter Yvon ATTENDING business and management courses at SIM was like acquiring Shaolin kungfu skills, says business owner Chan Ching who ran a factory in the mid-1980s knowing only production and engineering. “From HR to marketing, there were so many subjects I did not have the opportunity to learn in depth before,” says Chan, 65, who possessed a Chinese high school education. He enrolled in SIM’s Mandarin Certificate course in Business Studies in 1987 and then the more extensive Mandarin Diploma in Business Studies the following year. “I was a part-time student. The lecturers inspired us using actual case studies. It was enlightening when I could actually relate what I’d learnt in these real-life situations.” Growing up in Malaysia, Chan learnt from his father, who was a school principal, that integrity combined with diligence and perseverance are necessary if you want to be successful. Circumstances drove him to create and innovate with the limited resources to pursue his love for science, technology and engineering. In the 1980s, when a business opportunity presented itself, Chan took it and never looked back ever since. He started a manufacturing company in Singapore producing quality baby products and continue to expand to Malaysia today. Strong Interest For Hegen Breast-Feed Bottle System. Being a contract manufacturer for some of the top international brands has its limitations. Chan felt that there would be more value-add if he could create his own brand which was innovation- and design-driven. Hegen, a brand advocating revolutionary and innovative solutions for breastfeeding and bottle feeding, was launched in September 2014. His daughter Yvon Bock, herself a mother of four young children, leads and manages Hegen. “We have a complete one-stop manufacturing solution” says Chan, “so we can create the design, develop and fabricate the moulds, control the quality, and decide on type of material used.” In September 2014, at Kind & Jugend, the largest baby products trade show in Cologne, Germany, the Hegen bottle was showcased. Hegen PCTO bottle was the first of its kind, with no screw neck and which you can close with just one hand. It enables a seamless transition from express, store and feed, making every drop of milk counts. At the show, it created a stir among other exhibitors and visitors. There was strong expression of interest by importers in Europe and America, says Chan. Production starts in June 2015. The warm reception through this new design motivates Chan to design more innovative products. “When I was a kid, whatever I wanted I had to make it myself,” he says. “If I wanted a table tennis racket, I designed and made one. If I wanted a kite, I made one too. My father was too poor to buy stuff for me. This habit of improvising, designing and making things has remained with me over the years.” Lifelong learning is a journey that Chan believes in. In 2011, he enrolled in an executive MBA programme at the National University of Singapore. “I love to learn. I read a lot of books. I go to trade shows and also mission trips to learn from market leaders in other countries.” When Work Is Play For students struggling with their lessons and assignments, and not certain what their career future holds, he has this advice: Know yourself, and discover your passion when you’re still in school. And when you graduated, look out for jobs where your passion fits in, so that working becomes a pleasure, not a chore. And stay in touch with your former classmates. Meet regularly to encourage one another, to share new knowledge, and to explore business opportunities together. A circle of trust has developed among you since college days, so don’t waste it through neglect and forgetfulness. Chan himself is true to his own advice. For many years, he has remained active among the 200-strong alumni club of the SIM Mandarin Certificate and Diploma in Management Studies programmes of the 1980s and 1990s. He helps the club organise social events and fund-raising activities for charity. - Posted online, 23 March 2015