Low Cheong Kee
As the eldest son, Mr Low Cheong Kee was to take over his parent’s hardware store in Geylang Serai. However, Mr Low saw the opportunity of turning the traditional business to a modern retail model and started Home-Fix, The D.I.Y Store at Siglap Centre in 1993. Since then, there was no turning back. As the business expanded, he got his brother, Mr Low Cheong Yew to join him too.
Back then, Singaporeans were not familiar with D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) and Mr Low Cheong Kee spent a long time to promote this culture in Singapore. He patiently explained to all his customers what D.I.Y. meant, the cost-savings and fun they would have with D.I.Y.. Mr Low constantly interacted with his customers, understood their needs and brought in products that traditional hardware stores do not carry to cater to their needs.
Living by his mantra, “Adopt, Adapt and Innovate”, Mr Low led Home-Fix, catering to customer needs and adapting its products and services to the changing times. Today, he no longer sees Home-Fix as a modern hardware store but a home improvement and solution provider for his customers. Understanding the market needs, Mr Low also set up the Home-Fix XPC, a workshop and co-working space with specialised equipment for hobbyists, makers and professionals, where product development and educational sessions are realised.
Mr Low believes that his staff is essential to the customer-centric approach of the company because they engage with customers daily. Passion for learning and strong integrity are the core traits he looks out for in his employees. He believes in reinvesting in his talent pool and sponsors his staff for further education, providing them with opportunities to upgrade their skills, which in turn helps them in their career progression.
Looking back, Mr Low shares that starting a business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to achieve the desired results. He saw how hard his parents worked in a small hardware retail store and when he took Home-Fix to a larger stage, he went through the same journey. “Thus, being resilient is important to see through what you intend to undertake.” He added, “Don’t be afraid of trying, but make smart decisions.”
Today, Home-Fix is the largest and most popular D.I.Y. retailer in Singapore and has more than 30 stores in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. To fully realise the company’s vision as the leading home improvement and lifestyle centre in Asia, Mr Low has also expanded this home-grown brand to Cambodia, Mongolia, and other parts of Malaysia.