ICONIC FERUNI FUNDAMENTALS:
THE BEST KEPT VALUES
Instilling the importance of Adaptabilities in Business & Community
A man enriched with vibrancy in life, Dato’ CC Ngei is renowned for his cool character, and the undivided focus on his career. Ngei, managing director of Feruni Ceramiche, has lifted his
business and thrived in life to a whole new horizon. He learnt his business the hard way from his father, who practiced the conventional art of business, and later felt that he needed a change. Ngei rolled up his sleeves to refine the business, elevated it a notch higher from the rest in the industry, and charted a brand new forward path for the otherwise monotonous tiles business. In 2010, Ngei transformed the Feruni business model and management outlook inside out, to shine forth in areas concerning retail and marketing, staffing, work culture, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and more. The culture of pursuing “Happiness” has taken root in thriving company, as they persevere in cultivating talents, contributing to the community, transforming conventions to keep up with time, and finding the balance between personal and company’s values. Ultimately, the company has managed to integrate the business process and march towards a greater success.
“In Feruni, we tune ourselves to identify the strength of each Ferunians, and to optimize productivity and creativity of each person according to area of expertise, by engaging them and bring out their in-depth aptitude,” said Ngei. To design house brand tiles that appeal to the end users, Feruni always focus on the latest trends and the customers’ demands. The intention is to resonate with the customers, in order to produce a wider range of products. The company has adopted ten core values to keep their strength as a family, and to pave a way towards a structured working environment. Their values that shape the strong foundation included ‘learn one thing a day’, ‘be innovative’, ‘have fun at work’, ‘emphasise on fine details’, ‘demonstrate talent’, ‘communicate with heart’, ‘deliver WOW’, ‘eager to share’, ‘practice integrity, honesty & transparency’ and ‘we care for everyone like a family’. Newbies in the company were orientated, trained and polished to execute a faultless accuracy.
When Ngei joined the tiles industry many years ago, he had skeptical remarks and resistance thrown at him by competitors. Consequently, the fear started creeping in him to even doubt his own intentions and resolve, but as he pours in more faith and effort, he gradually improved in achieving greater business success. By focusing on creative marketing, he began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As business grows steadily, Feruni has successfully built a business network comprising plenty of referrals. Today, Feruni proudly owns 18 showrooms, most of which range from 1,000 – 2,000sq. ft., while the larger galleries range from 5,000 – 20,000sq. ft. These outlets have created the potential learning platform for the public, besides offering a good shopping ambience for potential customers. Here, the clients will be able to design their own tiles according to their desired colours, shapes or surfaces for their dream homes.
“In this business, I believe strongly on personal values and pillars of happiness, which holds up the vision and mission of Feruni as a purpose driven enterprise. We are determined to give back 10% of what we have harvested on to the communities, in order to make an impact on the ideas we uphold, again forming pillars of happiness,” Ngei declared. Now, the company has trailblazing programmes called “Feruni Tour”, whereby close to 5,000 people from 800 different companies came together to spread the happiness culture. Among the participant are entrepreneurs who are curious on the ways to successfully transform an old fashion industry into an enterprising and creative one. Over the years, Feruni has made a great amount of efforts in supporting the community.
As a successful entrepreneur, Ngei emphasises heavily on the nurturing of capable, talented leaders. He often challenges his staffs with a lot of questions, to train their ability in making informed decisions. With the fire of curiosity burning within, he pushes his limit in acquiring more knowledge every day.
“At Feruni, we strive to empower and cultivate Ferunian talent by providing them opportunity to explore on their job scope. For instance, my designers must be able to advise and explain the best way or method something can be done,” Ngei stressed. Naturally, he always seek ways to improve after a particular job has been completed. Thanks to his perseverance, it is not surprising that the company has shown tremendous progress over the years in the aspects of services, products and marketing. Ngei is determined to overcome all the challenges he comes across, and these strategies are applied to all levels. Having set a high benchmark that aims to be world class, Feruni will always be inspired to improve the quality and meet the high demands, as outlined in their corporate philosophy. “Community, my work, my family are all part and parcel of my life. Values are important for me. Happiness is how much I can give to others, and how we derive happiness from the people too,” said Ngei.
TOWARDS THE FUTURE
For Ngei, the property strategy for thisyear is to buy something useful that he can afford. “Investing on something that is needed. For example, commercial warehouses or showrooms which can add value to my business and enhance the business model,” added Ngei. Undoubtedly, priority is important especially for businesses, as investing in properties generates income, allowing the company to enjoy a higher profit, which can be reinvested in a range of other beneficial ways. Ngei found that it’s wiser to stabilize the business before procuring extra properties, as investment affects cash flow, and the location of outlet plays a huge role on profitability of the business. On this, Ngei advised that one should determine the demographics of a certain location, and see whether the target group is widely present before deciding on a business location.
According to the expansion plans, Feruni will be opening five more showrooms in the Klang Valley within the next five years. As a visionary entrepreneur, Ngei would like to bring his brilliant ideas and concepts to create an impact in other countries too, first by focusing in the Southeast Asian region. “We start by being a blessing for others. If we began creating values for others, money will surely come by too when we are established. It is a cyclic ecosystem,” quipped Ngei. Focussing to satisfy customers’ needs, and to sustain the business success with lots of corporate social responsibilities (CSR) activities is the way this company moves forward. Ferunians have committed to a 3-hour community work monthly, by sharing knowledge and insights with others. Having founded the right work culture, Feruni’s initiative to serve the community and to build a lasting platform that promotes happiness among the community will certainly make the country a better place!