Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Corporate Collaboration with JS

Two companies have been collaborating with Jumble Station almost from day one and each have played a key role in ensuring what was only a germ of an idea, to really take shape and take off.

The first is Hai-O Marketing, which is involved in the importing and retailing whether directly or over-the-counter of Chinese herbs and medicine. Way back in the early 1990s, I visited China with 20 other journalists and a few corporate big-wigs one of whom was Tan Kai Hee, the founder of Hai-O.
Of course he doesn’t remember this but now 17 years down the road, our paths crossed again, albeit indirectly when Hai-O decided to donate several display shelves (gondolas, bean counters, glass display cabinet etc) to turn Jumble Station into a really nice looking thrift shop.
I’m told such display shelves would have cost several hundred ringgits, if not thousands if we had to buy it ourselves. Hai-O’s admin staff, Julie a single mum was very taken the concept of JS, enough to propose to her bosses that the company send over the display shelves which were lying unused in a store. Those display shelves are proving their worth and making JS an attractive location to browse for new finds because customers need not bend over cheap cardboard boxes or plastic containers.

The second corporate partner in our charitable journey of discovery is the Hovid Group which manufactures and markets more than 300 different types of drugs, healthcare dietary supplements. Despite being so far away, Ipoh to be exact, Hovid has been ever willing to assist Jumble Station in the area of collection of used items from its staff which were then nicely packed in boxes and sent down to Subang Jaya by lorry.

I first met David Ho, the prime mover of Hovid when I was an IT journalist with the Netvalue section of the Edge weekly business paper way back in 2004. That time, I was asked if I’d be willing to travel up to Ipoh from KL to interview David who was planning to list Hovid on the Bursa Malaysia. I agreed and did to David’s surprise! We hit it off from the word go and again, I little knew how this simple act would pay dividends three years down the road. Even the change over of corporate communications personnel mid-way did not stop Hovid from sending down items that could be placed on the shelves of JS.
To both these companies, JS owes a great big debt of gratitude. Though what was done may be small in the eyes of some mega corporations, the contributions of Hai-O and Hovid has had a huge impact on JS itself and for that we at JS want to say a big “Thank You.”
And oh yes, David has gone a step further, he’s roped in Susan Yuen of HSBC to launch a small loan (micro-finance) for single mums keen to be more entrepreneurial. These loans are capped at RM5,000 and come from Susan’s (via her artistic talents) and other donors’ efforts and will carry a very small interest, designed to make the borrowers more responsible rather than a free hand-out. This Grameen like fund is available to the poor and the Single Mothers and targeted at enabling them to be economically independent so if you know of anyone who fits this requirement, just holler okay! …..cheers Antz

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