SME Magazine Featuring Javier Yip

SME MAGAZINE ISSUE 37, PERSEVERING WITH GRIT AND DETERMINATION

Article at: http://magazine.sme.asia/books/iduz/#p=7

 

Nov 2021 – Our Founder and Managing Director, Javier Yip was selected to be interviewed by the representatives from SME Magazine to be featured on the “Entrepreneur Section”

 

Facing rejections early in his entrepreneurial journey has convinced Declarators Pte Ltd managing director Javier Yip that success would not come easy. However, through grit, perseverance and learning from mistakes, he managed to overcome this hurdle and build the firm to be one of the leading Custom declaration agents in Singapore. He shares his experience with SME.

 

What did you do before setting up Declarators?

 

During my teenage years while waiting for “O” Level results, I have worked several part time odd jobs such as a waiter, dishwasher, flyer distributor, warehouse packer, factory operator, retail assistant at night markets/supermarkets and even as a TV extra. Most of these jobs were extremely long hours with very low pay (SGD4.50 to SGD5 per hour). Through these jobs, I developed a strong work ethic, perseverance, positive mindset and realized the importance of financial literacy.

 

Prior to founding Declarators, I have been working 9 years in the freight/ customs compliance industry with 3 different logistics firm.

 

 

What inspired you to establish Declarators?

 

While working for my previous company, I had encountered a poor customer service experience with one of the declaring agents. I also foresee an increasing demand for imports (especially e-commerce). Hence, I decided to take the plunge and started Declarators in 2014. 

 

What were the main challenges during the initial period?

 

The first year was extremely challenging. We were offered a contract that required 3 manpower to perform the daily task. Not many believed in my vision and I also had a few friends who rejected my proposal to join me full time.

 

Somehow I managed to recruit a relative to kickstart our business but she left within 3 months. I understand it is extremely difficult to hire the right person to join an unproven startup with an uncertain future.  

 

Fortunately, through grit, perseverance and of course learning through experience and hiring mistakes, I was able to stabilize our organization and further expand to where we are today. Throughout the building process, I have never taken any vacation for 4 years

 

How did you survive the pandemic?

 

We focus heavily on digitalisation during the pandemic, Our growth in terms of revenue has increased, and we have our operating costs reduced by eliminating redundant work. 

 

Since Covid-19 last year, we have digitalized our Human Resource, Courier Service Operations, Accounts, Marketing and even Medical Benefits. We are also reachable on multiple social medial platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Telegram, Tik Tok.

 

We have developed work from Home (WFH) policies for our employees and implemented Business Community Plan (BCP) for our clients. We also managed to obtain ISO9001:2015 certification during the pandemic.

 

Share with us a challenge you faced and how did Declarators overcome it. 

 

The first year was extremely challenging. We were offered a contract that required 3 manpower to perform the daily task. Not many believed in my vision and I also had a few friends who rejected my proposal to join me full time.

 

Somehow I managed to recruit a relative to kickstart our business but she left within 3 months. I understand it is extremely difficult to hire the right person to join an unproven startup with an uncertain future.

 

Fortunately, through grit, perseverance and of course learning through experience and hiring mistakes, I was able to stabilize our organization and further expand to where we are today. Throughout the building process, I have never taken any vacation for 4 years!

 

What set you apart from your competitors?

 

  1.  Compliance – All our declarants have successfully passed the competency test and are certified by Singapore Customs. Employees are station in Singapore and Malaysia, we do not outsource our declarations to third party countries unlike our competitors.
  2. Strong Knowledge – Our declarants are well verse in all types of permit declarations, unless the item is forbidden to import in Singapore, there is no customs permit we cannot do.
  3. Working on our values- Our five core values are, “Reliability, Flexibility, Responsive, Speed & Accuracy” and we align these values with our vision and mission objectiv
  4. Customer-Centric Strategies – Customer’s needs and demands are our utmost priority and We focus heavily on customer-centric strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

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