Since his schooling days Tang Siong Chung, who was born in 1980 in Sibu but spent most of his life in Miri, has always hade a keen eye for business. He first got his hands wet by helping out his family’s humble grocery shop at a very young age.
During his teens, he harboured the aspiration to reach for the stars and think big as he wanted to be successful, and his early observation had led him to believe that the marine, oil and gas were key to achieve his goals. After completing his Form Five in Miri, Tang pursued and acquired an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration followed by a Degree in Accounting.
Equipped with his educational certificates and several years’ working experience with international corporations, Tang boldly ventured into the world of marine business that has been traditionally established and dominated by much older, experienced entrepreneurs. Tang started his company, Misarma Enterprise Sdn Bhd (MSM) from scratch in 2009 and learning the tricks of the trade as the company progressed along.
“Thanks to my close circle of friends and business associates including useful feedbacks from my clients, I was able to get everything sorted out within a short span of time and that’s when the business gained the momentum and took off.”
Since MSM’s inception, the company has a workforce of more than 50 employees throughout the state and earned its reputation for being among the most prominent companies in the region through its reliable and efficient service in the marine, oil and gas industry.
MSM’s establishment, which began in Miri, has quickly expanded its business to the domestic market including Bintulu, Sibu and Kuching, as well as the Federal Territory of Labuan. Later, it extended its reach into the international market by solidly establishing its presence in the Singapore.
One of the finest features of MSM is its strategically located wharf by the Miri River which serves as the main route for cargo vessels to gain entry and exit into Miri.
This has placed MSM among the preferred locations for vessels to dock and obtain all necessary repair and maintenance services as well as loading and unloading of goods. In addition, this salient feature establishes MSM as the best food and provision service caterer for a wide range of fresh, frozen, dry products and bonded goods in the central and northern region of Sarawak.
MSM’s integrated business model provides marine and maintenance services including repairs for marine carpentry, engine, mechanical and electrical works apart from metal works, fabrication and waste handling (spent lubricant oil, oil residue, emulsion oil etc). MSM also offers forwarding services that covers domestic land and sea transportation aside from logistic services within Borneo, among them wood supply and processing as well as construction services.
In spite of MSM’s humble beginnings, the company managed to win the 2014 SME100 Award for ‘Fast Moving Companies-East Malaysia’.
The key to what Tang describes as achievement is hard work plus lots of learning and acknowledging one’s capabilities and weaknesses. “Challenges and problems are good because they constantly keep us on our toes, help us work out remedial actions so that we may know how to deal with similar situation in future and at the same time, they hone our skills. Otherwise we will lapse into complacency,” says Tang. “Life is about endless learning and educating oneself to be better.”
Tang’s business philosophy is about identifying mistakes and finding solutions to overcome problems and shortcomings instead of sitting around complaining about it or saying that it’s not our fault. “Even if an undesirable situation arises not due to our oversight, we still have the get the job done and deal with it one way or the other,” mentioned Tang. This ongoing process has strengthened his knowledge and enables MSM to progress and acquire a stronger and more stable business platform. “This may sound simple and like it’s coming for a text book, but this is reality and this is how we survive in a highly volatile
and competitive market be it at the national or international level.”
In his role as the Managing Director of MSM, Tang is in charge of the overall management and finances, as well as ensuring that the performance of the company is in line with its business strategy and projected plan. His task is to formulate and implement the company policy like executing the plan and financial control systems.
To do so, Tang has to make sure that clients’ needs and demands are met and part of his job involves going to the ground to meet with employees to monitor their work and progress, aside from holding meetings with them when something crops up and requires attention.
“The best thing about my job is when I see the fruits of our labour growing bigger and juicier and knowing that the employees are all behind me covering my back as we all work in cohesion towards achieving something that we are proud to call our own,” commented Tang.
MSM will in the near future branch out to become a service provider in crew management which covers the furnishing of well-trained and seaworthy crew to man and operate vessels apart from offering ship management services by experienced handlers which encompasses a wide range of business solutions.
Similarly, Tang also expresses his strong ambition and desire for MSM to work closely and in partnership with international corporations in ship broking particularly serving as an associate in allocating or procuring the necessary human, material, services and local knowledge resources in addition to the required assets or hardware capabilities for facilitating the operations in the region. This comprises of services such as pairing and matching of the best facilities with the clients’ or third party vessels in accordance to the clients’ specific requirements and to ensure that the clients’ resources and interest are optimized and well taken care of at all times.
MSM’s vision is to be the leading service provider and preferred business partner for engineering, logistics and services in marine, oil and gas industry. Presently, MSM is undergoing an expansion exercise whereby in the near future, it will actively venture into ship and crew management, ship broking, ship chartering and the ownership of its own fleet of vessels. This is to better serve its existing and potential clients with faster and more efficient service delivery at a competitive cost and in a timely manner.
At the same instance, the future strategy aims to further satisfy customers’ needs by providing the best quality and assurance of services and create an avenue to continuously forge close business relationships and looks forward to establishing new trade links around the world.