Many successful entrepreneurs are made, not born; and Beh Mooi Joo is a testament to that fact. As the only son of a poor farmer, Beh had to work hard for everything. But thanks to a combination of sheer tenacity, resourcefulness, innovativeness and solid work ethics, Beh managed to rise above his circumstances and carved out for himself a successful water filtration business with his wife, Janice Foo. Today, Kino Shine (M) Sdn Bhd has expanded to seven branches with a dozen employees serving satisfied customers throughout Peninsular Malaysia. In a recent interview with Top 10 of Malaysia, Beh and Foo talks about their hard-won journey to the top and how they plan to improve the lives of Malaysians one water filter at a time.
Ever since Beh Mooi Joo took up his first job as a sales person when he was 18, he knew he had stumbled upon his one true calling in life. To him, there is nothing more satisfying than making a customer happy. “Making sales was all I ever did and wanted to do,” he shares. While working for an energy water system company, Beh strongly felt that there was more to be done in this industry. “I was gripped with a vision for every Malaysian to have access to clean and purified water. More importantly, the water filtration system must be economical and affordable enough for everyone to have.”
Beh’s wife, Janice Foo, who was a business management graduate from University Utara Malaysia, also had a dream of starting her own business. In 2011, the couple pooled their skills and assets together to establish their own water filtration company, Kino Shine (M) Sdn Bhd in Penang. The hardships Beh faced during his childhood days gave him a survival instinct and a keen sense for opportunities that others may have overlooked. It gave him the ability to stretch his resources to the maximum, a great expertise for Beh when he started his new business. “I started Kino Shine with less than five workers and a very limited cash flow. I didn’t have a huge and fancy office, the rental was only RM350 a month,” Beh recalls. He even had to mortgage his property in order to purchase products from suppliers when his products started to sell like hot cakes.
The company’s first product, the outdoor water filtration system, quickly became its star merchandise. “It only makes sense that the water that comes into the house must be clean and pure. Not only will the piping system last longer, the house residents will also shower and launder with lesser impurities in the water,” Beh explains.
In addition to its high quality products, Kino Shine has made their water filter systems affordable for everyone through its economical pricing and instalment payment plans. “Our instalment scheme is met with huge success and made us stand out from the competition,” says Beh. He also attributed Kino Shine’s meteoric success to its excellent after-sales service. “The after-sales service is very critical as the water filter systems need to be maintained regularly to reap the best benefits out of them,” he says. “A water filter system is a long-term investment and we are very committed in ensuring that every single product we sell operates at its best capacity. Our customers know that they are in good hands.”
Kino Shine’s product, pricing and excellent service have paid off as its water filtration products rapidly became popular in the market – an impressive feat for a young and dynamic company. Beh, a natural motivator, alternates between casual and formal styles of management. He meets with his staff every morning so that everyone is aligned and well-guided to achieve the company’s objectives. “If any staffs manage to get 10,000 customers, they will be offered a partnership in the business,” says Beh who believes in sharing both the burden as well as the rewards with his valued ‘comrades’ in the business. “I notice that many conservative entrepreneurs are not inclined to share the rewards with their staff and I think that is not right. After all, we are indeed one big family.”
The company celebrates every employee’s birthday and have karaoke sessions occasionally as a fun way to promote team bonding. Providing food for the needy and homeless is one of the many corporate social responsibility projects carried out by the Kino Shine team. “As a company, we want to shine in the lives of the community that we are in. This is our way of sharing our blessings with them,” says the down-to-earth Beh, who has garnered multiple awards including the Asia Top 100 Honesty Brand Award 2013, Asia Honesty Enterprise Award 2013, Asia Honesty Entrepreneur Award and Asia Honesty Product Award.
When asked about his plans for the future, Beh says, “Moving forward, we hope to have 13 franchises in Malaysia within the next 5 years. Once that’s achieved, we would definitely want to make our presence felt regionally, Indonesia being the first of such regions.”