Starting A New Business
After my retrenchment, I found an opportunity to service the existing customers in the absence of the manufacturer. As the General Sales Manager in my last position, I knew the market, the products and I had a good relationship with the end-users.
It was a bold move so I prayed for guidance and proposed to the manufacturer to appoint me as their exclusive distributor. They did not take long to consider–probably because they had no other option and the market was depressed then.
Together with my wife, who would be the company’s second director, we officially registered the new company (Minrock) on 17 January 2000. I thank God for my wife, who was supportive throughout, and provided timely counsel, but never interfered with the business.
God also provided an office and warehouse space that was within walking distance from my home. We dedicated the business to the Lord and invited Pastor Donald Chia to bless the business. When our office shifted to a new location a few years later, another Faith pastor, Pastor Lynette Sathiasingam, was invited to bless the new office.
Making Plans God’s Way
To ensure the business stayed focused, I made some plans and set some goals. As part of my initial marketing strategy, I attended conferences, sent out mailers and made presentations to relevant government agencies and contractors.
I realized gradually that I could plan everything but it is God who was directing the business. I was reminded of this verse from Proverbs, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps,” Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV).
Apart from commercial plans, I resolved from Day One to conduct the business based on biblical principles in order to become a good testimony for God. Here are the areas we cultivated:
- Integrity: To keep our word to our customers at all times (Matthew 5:37).
- Fairness: To make prompt payment to all clients and suppliers, and to reward staff with generous bonuses when possible.
- Honesty: To remain upfront with customers and give accurate returns to government bodies.
- No “Kickbacks”: We would never offer bribes to secure any sort of deal.
- Humility and Patience: Inspired by Matthew 10:16, we conducted our affairs likewise, and learnt to
be “humble as doves and wise as serpents”. This was good advice I received from the market place.
- Service Before Profit: To always put the needs of our customers before our own profit.
- No Unequal Partnership: We adhered to the principle from 2 Corinthians 6:14-15.
Favour From Above
I could see the Lord’s favour was with me constantly as I built my business. More good things started to happen. My principal extended to us credit terms and employed an expat to support the region. As he was based in Singapore, his presence in the early days provided a boost in my new venture and brought confidence to the market.
The business grew steadily over the years. Orders poured in from unexpected and non-traditional sources. In fact, the first major sales for new capital equipment came from the most unlikely place, Singapore, where there were neither quarries nor mining activity.
The business continued like this over the years: There would be one or two capital equipment sales and monthly spare parts sales that kept the company going.
Trusting God Amidst Challenges
It is always easy to use human confidence and wisdom to make decisions and resolve problems instead of relying on divine wisdom. But the Bible tells us to trust in the Lord instead of our own wisdom. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight,” Proverbs 3:5,6 (ESV).
We faced several challenges along the way but I learned to trust in God and He saw me through every problem. These trials increased my level of faith and dependence on Him and I grew stronger spiritually. The verse from Psalm 18:2 (ESV) was my guide in such times, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge.”
One important life lesson I learnt was not to react to circumstances, but to lean on God because “in quietness and trust shall be my strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
Sometime in 2017, I saw some signs that God wanted me to give up the business. I made the decision to strike off the business in mid-2018.
God is faithful and He did not fail us all these years. From the day we started, we recognised God’s hand in this and we trusted Him to see us through. We praise God that throughout the years, we did not have to borrow from the bank, we never defaulted on payments to my principal or suppliers, and we established an excellent reputation as a company that offered good products with reliable service.
When we ended the business, all debts were collected in full and we closed with a healthy balance in the bank.
We praise and give thanks to a faithful God – my Business Partner!