5 Life Lessons With Ms. Catherine Ng. Managing Director of Larry Jewelry, Singapore
More life lessons from the Managing Director of one of Singapore's greatest success stories.
Learn from scratch
I started with Larry Jewelry as an administrative staff back in 1976. This gave me an important insight into the administration and other critical processes that goes into running a jewelry business smoothly. It is harder to succeed within an organisation and industry if one doesn't understand the basics and how each department is linked to the overall success of the brand. Starting from the bottom, creating opportunities for yourself internally, proving that you are indispensable, loyal, committed and have the best interest for the company will see you rise to the top. I am proud of the ladder I climbed over 43 years to lead the team here in Singapore.
Value your team
Larry Jewelry is one of the few in retail business that has a low staff turn-over and quite a few who boast over 40 and 30 years of service. The secret formulae to a successful business, especially in luxury, is the team. With long hours, customer demands, competitive market and ever-changing retail industry, it's the human touch of the team that keeps the brand visible. Ensuring the team members feel valued and are recognised for their commitment is priceless. Again, I believe the leaders at the top of the organisation can only fully appreciate what their team does, if they have been in their shoes and recognise the importance of each person’s role.
Uphold your values
In a consumer market, brands can be swayed by trends and fads. As the head of the company in a highly cosmopolitan and international shopping destination like Singapore, I have to have a clear vision on what our design and product focus will be. Not to ignore trends but also not to be highly influenced by them, I need to ensure our design integrity remains true to our Larry Jewelry brand – this is what makes us stand apart from our competitors and harness the relationship with have with our loyal shoppers over generations.
As a business, there are many opportunities and endless challenges. In order to survive the industry for as long as I have, I needed to be resilient to each change. There are some developments that are beyond your control but how you respond to the situation can present an opportunities and optimism for yourself and your team. You must have your own conviction and vision but it is key that you are able to adjust and work with each new scenario for the overall success of the brand.
Loyalty goes far
Never underestimate the power of loyalty. Internally, one will be rewarded and given the opportunity to rise within a company if you demonstrate your commitment and passion. Externally, this passion needs to be felt by the customers. These take years to cultivate as people need to earn trust. Once this level of confidence is handed to you by your superiors, peers and customers, it must be respected with utmost integrity. In times of hardships, these loyal bonds will make the most difference.