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Getting his hands dirty


Unique offering: Seow with one of the cotton wall coatings that the company offers.

Unique offering: Seow with one of the cotton wall coatings that the company offers.

Entrepreneurship is his way of contributing to society

NOT many would like to work under the sun or dust in this day and age. And compared to the enticing and comfortable working environment that startups typically get, it seems unlikely that one would start a company that requires you to work in such harsh conditions.

But construction works have always run through Hin Construction Sdn Bhd executive director Seow Kent Von’s blood.

And when the 33-year-old struck out on his own in 2011 after working about two years with a developer as an assistant project manager, it seemed natural to start a construction and renovation firm.

“I am used to the dusty and noisy environment. Since young, I have followed my father around when he was doing renovations works,” Seow says.

While he could have done all that as an employee, Seow believes that entrepreneurship is one of the ways to raise the standard of living for society, be it from creating good living spaces or by generating jobs and income for the people. This was the main driving force for him to start the business even though he was offered other job opportunities.

“We also hire ex-convicts and believe that they deserve a second chance. We train them in various traits, from carpentry works to piping, tiling and other renovation related works,” he says.

Hin Construction started off with a capital of RM20,000 and a staff of 10. Seow rented a shoplot in Semenyih to get things going for the company.

His first challenge was to get jobs for the company when people were unaware of who he was or of his services.

Seow offers a one-stop-solution to his clients as he knows that home owners have varied problems and it can be stressful dealing with multiple sub-contractors to rectify an issue.

This has helped the business grow over time.

Today, they have a staff of 40 and have completed thousands of small jobs that include repairing leaks to installing air-conditioning. They have also completed larger jobs that are valued from RM80,000 to RM200,000.

They turn in an average revenue of about RM5mil.

“The higher value jobs involve renovation works. It is very personal and we work well with home owners to realise their dream home. We always advise them to come every two days to look at the progress and to check if it is up to their satisfaction because any changes that is done early will save a lot of cost and headaches later on,” he says.

To further differentiate his company, Seow increased the visibility of the company through the Internet, which enables potential clients to reach out to them easily. His team would then follow up to provide more information before commencing work.

Seow believes that the demand for home repair and renovation services will continue to go up as there are more home owners in the market and he hopes to list the company in the next 10 years.

   

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