MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Find out how this entrepreneur built an enterprise in cold chain logistics

Teresa Chan is a self-described impact entrepreneur with businesses across various industries.

She is the executive director of the ITC Group of Companies, established in 2011 and a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Singapore.

The Group’s core business is in cold chain logistics, explains Chan, and they focus on end-to-end management of the supply chain for temperature controlled goods, including an engineering unit that specializes in turnkey coldroom construction projects.

"My vision behind the incorporation of the ITC Group of Companies was to take my parents’ decades-old business, which had been concentrated on a niche area of the cold chain logistics to the very next level," Chan shares.

"I knew that going beyond our ‘specialty’ meant forcing us out of our ‘comfort zone’ in order to create new business opportunities and achieving the ‘bigger picture’ of having a cold chain business that manages every significant segment of cold chain operations."

This was a decision where she found herself leading her team into unchartered waters, however, never losing sight of the ‘bigger picture’ meant that they had a ‘north star’ to guide their way.

Chan has learned many lessons over the years as an entrepreneur. For the ITC Group of Companies, for instance, she says that doubling the turnover of the company and quadrupling the staff strength over a short four years could be said to be her biggest achievement in order to build an enterprise that goes beyond the efforts of a sole proprietor.

"What I have grown to appreciate is having a team of people who sees the same vision as I did," she says. "Having team members who only reported to work just to ‘do a job’ did not cut it, they had to realise that their jobs, even if they were mundane, were for the greater purpose of an end-to-end cold chain logistics."

She shares that she has also realised, often the hard way, that it might be better to let go a team member in order to streamline the team to the vision.

Aside from the ITC Group of Companies, Chan is also the co-founder of fashion brand Atelier LLYR. According to its website, founded in 2013, Atelier LLYR (pronounced “ley-erh”) had a clear vision: to provide finely crafted shoes and leather goods. Our shoes provide a contemporary take with elegant lines and quality materials. LLYR represents an easy and modern take on affordable luxury footwear. Chan is also an advocate for women empowerment and female entrepreneurship.

She takes the words of Allen Dikker, CEO of Potatopia, to heart. Dikker describes entrepreneurship as: "…not about making a quick buck or deal. Successful entrepreneurs look past that 'quick buck' and instead look at the bigger picture to ensure that each action made is going toward the overall goal of the business or concept, whether or not that means getting something in return at that moment."

Chan also used to host a local children television show called "Kids at Work." "If there is one dish I could eat daily, it would be salmon sashimi," she says. Chan notes that her "personal trainer" is her cross breed-German Shepherd that enjoys sprinting when she takes him out on walks.

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