It all began with an eraser.
As a young boy, Huang Sha had a whimsical thought one fine day, which was to make banyan sap into a ball to replace the eraser he was using. Rubber is best known for its elasticity and flexibility, the same characteristics that Huang Sha viewed as his core competencies in business. Providing tailored and flexible solutions to his clients has allowed this poor farm boy from Taiwan to take lead and head Malaysia’s largest low-pressure industrial hose manufacturer.
Growing up, Huang Sha was always bullied by his playmates. The unpleasant childhood drove him with determination to succeed against all odds. This determination never died even after he finished his secondary school and moved to northern Taiwan to begin his working life.
According to Huang Sha, losing NT 40,000 in a failed venture was one of the best things could have happened to him as he learned the importance of credibility in the business world. Huang Sha did not give up his dreams and managed to set up his first business venture in Taiwan and then invested in Indonesia. However, being unfamiliar with the local investment laws and regulations, Huang Sha suffered massive losses.
As he looks back, there is no mistaking the tinge of bitterness in his voice despite his humorous words. Huang Sha admitted that he would have fallen into the abyss if he did not have the determination to fight back. Undeterred, he once again charged to venture overseas, setting his sight on Malaysia this time round. Lady Luck was on his side this time and the company he invested was subsequently bought over by a Malaysian consortium which gave Huang Sha a much needed boost. He was convinced that rubber hose business will have good prospects and began to give his fullest in it.
Under the steerage of Huang Sha, Wellcall has grown steadily over the years. Wellcall has clients in more than 70 countries globally and its products are widely used in oil & gas industry, mining, land and sea transport, shipbuilding, food & beverages, and others. Most of its customers are international dealers in the business of distributing rubber hose and original equipment manufacturers and Wellcall provide a wide range of OEM solutions these manufacturers.
At present, Wellcall has a monthly production capacity of 140 containers. Orders grew tremendously in the years after Wellcall was founded and its original 5-acre factory was unable to cater to the huge demand, and by 2006, the company had built a new 6.5- acre factory to meet the growing demand. Currently, Wellcall’s 3rd factory is under construction and the 8.1-acre plant will officially start production in August 2015. Until today, Wellcall has 450 employees.
“Focus” has been the key to Wellcall’s success over the last two decades in business. Without distracting itself from what it does best, Wellcall has been able to build upon its expertise to become one of the industry leaders of rubber hose.
Huang Sha made an important decision when he founded Wellcall, that is to abandon the mass production methods which had been widely adopted by the industry. The founder of Wellcall had decided instead to focus on small batch production with the flexibility to meet the different demands of his clients. This decision has helped to differentiate Wellcall from its competitors and the company has expanded its production to include more than a hundred different rubber products.
Dealing with crisis is part of running a business and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 grounded the global economy to a halt.
Wellcall too was caught in the global crisis. In November 2008, some of its clients were badly affected by the crisis and Wellcall’s production was reduced drastically due to cancellation of orders. Wellcall having survived the crisis, realize that it can no longer depend heavily on manual labour and hence, it seeks to reform its production line. Continual evolution has helped Wellcall to maintain its profit margin at 15% annually over the past six years. However, 2011 has a nominal increase of 11.2% due to the huge increase in the price of rubber raw material.
On leading the company, Huang Sha says that, “A leader needs to have clear direction, to face up and resolve issues, forge ahead with his or her employees.”
Huang Sha is also the company’s Chief Technical Officer with the know-how to upgrade their machineries and is willing to make long-term investment on R & D to bolster the company’s advantages. With his thorough knowledge and involvement on every aspect of the production flow, Huang Sha can often make quick changes for fast adaption and accurate decisions on ground- breaking developments.
Being the best is not merely a slogan to Huang Sha, but a promise to his customers! To be honest and sincere in life is his motto, and being trustworthy is equally important. Today, Wellcall has gone beyond merely trying to gain market shares, and instead, winning the hearts of customers becomes its true aspiration.
According to Huang Sha, customer satisfaction is the single most important indicator of profit! Quality consistency allows Wellcall to build a strong rapport with customers and the company has been able to remain competitive, even with the flooding of cheap products from China.
Despite the strong foundation, Huang Sha is always on his toes and constantly seeks ways to improve in quality and technology. He always says that, “ability is acquired through accumulated experience and skills. Young people have unlimited possibilities. It is crucial for them not to create a self-imposed glass ceiling and undermine their own abilities. Be brave in taking responsibility and always uphold a fighting spirit for a better future.”