Commanding the Food Import Sector 进口食品指挥官

Ben Low

Director of Wah Lien Trading Pty Ltd


EZOZ10-1.jpg“My tips to running a successful business is very simple, be friendly and sincere to keep our customers happy and when they are happy, they will keep coming back to us.”

When 20-year-old Ben Low first arrived in Australia back in 1986, he had only managed to get work as a general worker in a restaurant. Low’s father was a factory owner back in Malaysia, manufacturing chicken feed but during that period, the economic downturn had badly affected the business. “I was selling chicken feed by the roadside and nobody wanted it, times were really bad that time,” Low said.

So, Low set out to seek greener pastures in Australia first before his father too decided to start over in Australia. When his father first came over to Australia, they started out in the import and trading business by distributing cigarettes imported from Singapore. “It only lasted a few years but that’s the start we needed and by 1992, we started Wah Lien Trading,” he said.

Wah Lien Trading imports Asian food products such as canned food, noodles, seasonings, sauces, pastes, cooking oil and assorted spices and dried herbs. Low travels often to seek out new products to import and distribute to Asian stores in Australia. “We have to continue seeking out products to meet our customers’ needs and I am always taking the initiative to bring in new products from other countries,” he said.

When Wah Lien started out, they only have one warehouse and since Low took over the business from his father about 11 years ago, it has grown to four warehouses and a vision to expand into the property sector. Low believed the success of the trading company was due to his daring attitude in taking risks.

“I dared to take risks and this is how we have expanded to what we are today. I dared to take in whole shipments of new products to try and it worked to our advantage.”

That was not all, Low has a very simple and straight-forward tip to running a successful business. “My tips to running a successful business is very simple, be friendly and sincere to keep our customers happy and when they are happy, they will keep coming back to us,” he said. He believed in treating his clients like friends and when they are on friendly terms, the clients tend to be more loyal. “This is very natural, if you want something, you’d rather go to your friend rather than someone you don’t know,” he added.

Looking forward, Low said his import, export and wholesale business in the food sector will continue to be in high demand, if not on the increase. “Essential food such as rice, vermicelli, cooking oil and spices are economy-proof. Even if times are bad, people still need to eat, they still need to cook rice and use cooking oil,” he said. Low is now also eyeing the property sector by taking a tentative first step with a land purchase. He plans to go into this slowly by first buying a land and building a factory. “This doesn’t mean I will be changing sectors, I will continue to import food products, it is our core business,” he said.

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“我的经营诀窍非常简单,亲切而真诚地让客户满意,让他们感到愉快,这样就能持续促成回头客。”

1986年,年仅20岁的 Ben Low 首次踏上澳大利亚土地,只能在一家餐厅找到打工机会。 他的父亲之前在马来西亚开了家生产鸡饲料的工厂,但期间工厂企业遭受经济衰退的严重打击。“我当时在路边叫卖鸡饲料都无人问津,那是最糟糕的时刻。”

而他毅然前往澳大利亚寻觅更好的出路,直至父亲过后也决定在澳大利亚重新开始。当父亲首次来到澳大利亚并与他汇合后,他们就开启进口和贸易业务,从新加坡进口香烟。“当时持续了几年,但这是我们必须经历的开端,直至1992年,我们成立了目前的华联贸易。”

华联贸易主要业务是进口亚洲风味食品,如罐头、面条、佐料、酱汁、面团,食油,各种调味香料与干草药。他透过四处旅行并寻找新产品,然后进口和分销到澳大利亚的亚洲商店。“我们必须持续寻找新产品来满足客户的需求,我一直主动从其他国家引进不同的货物。”

刚开始发展的时候,华联贸易只有一个仓库,但自从11年前,Ben Low 从父亲手上接管业务后,目前已拓展为四个仓库,并扩大至涉猎房地产领域。他认为,贸易公司的成功是出于他不怕冒险。“我敢于承担风险,这就是为何我们能够拓展到今天的局面。我可以将整个新产品的出货量作为尝试,只要是对我们有利。”

不过,这并非全部,在保持成功的业务同时,他还是有一个非常简单和直接的心得。

他相信犹如朋友一样对待客户,而在感受友好的时刻,客户往往更忠诚。“这是非常自然的,你会宁愿向朋友提出想要的东西,而并非不认识的人。”

展望未来愿景,他表示在食品行业的进出口和批发业务将继续保持高需求,纵然增进有限。“大米,粉条,食油与香料等皆为基础食品,具备基本经济效益,再不景气,人们仍然需要吃饭,还需要煮米饭和烹饪。现在,他本身也通过购买土地初步关注房地产行业。他打算逐渐进入这个领域,首先买土地和建设工厂。“这并不意味着我会转行,我仍然继续进口食品,这是核心业务。”

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