Sunray Woodcraft Construction
Sunray Woodcraft Construction started in 1987 as a family-run carpentry trade business. It has achieved steady growth over the years. Unfortunately, Sunray encountered a major setback in 1999 when its production building was destroyed by a fire. The incident led to losses amounting to millions of dollars. However, the company did not give up. To sustain the business, it modified its business model to increase profitability. Today, with more than 1500 employees, Sunray is one of Singapore’s largest commercial interior fit-out specialists.
Ms Connie Wu, the CEO of Sunray Woodcraft Construction, grew up in a kampung. As a young girl, she witnessed her parents working hard to provide for her and her siblings. Determined to lighten her parents’ financial burden, Ms Wu explored different ways to earn money to supplement the household income. In primary school, she earned extra income by selling lipstick and doing household chores for others. In secondary school, she worked at a boutique.
Ms Wu went on to join Sunray Woodcraft as a clerk after she obtained her ‘O’ level results. At that time, the company had fewer than 10 employees. Ms Wu was tasked with various responsibilities, ranging from procurement to accounting. Although this was an uphill task, Ms Wu saw it as a valuable experience for her to challenge herself. Although it was difficult for her as she had to learn everything from scratch, she saw it as an opportunity for her to gain a better understanding of the company. As Ms Wu was Chinese educated, one of the biggest obstacles she faced was her limited proficiency in the English language. Most of the work documents were in English, and this made it difficult for her to perform her job. Not one to be easily discouraged by hardship, Ms Wu persevered and constantly upgraded her skills and knowledge to better contribute to the company. Her efforts were not spent in vain as she was promoted over the years, eventually becoming the CEO of Sunray in 2014.
Ms Wu’s biggest inspiration is Singapore’s first Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. “I truly admire his patience, determination and perseverance. It is with these very qualities that he developed Singapore to the nation that we are today. Without him, our lives would be very different,” she shared. Whenever Ms Wu faces problems that seem insurmountable, she recalls the struggles that Mr Lee had to overcome and is spurred to work even harder to achieve her goals.