Women-led organizations have brought immense diversity to the business world and it would be right to claim they have strengthened it more than ever. These women have come a long way since then, and today, possess the ability to serve a different clientele or be better at a niche where their male counterparts succeed at. This is the reason why several multimillion-dollar companies are being run by female founders and CEOs.
Comprehending this growth and celebrating this success, we bring forth this exclusive edition, “Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs to Watch In 2020.” And we are privileged to commence this issue with May Yap, CEO of LHT Holdings Limited.
What you should know about May is that she is kind but tough. She recounts her mother to be her role model. Her mother taught her meaning behind the popular line, ‘action speaks louder than words.’ She was very perseverance, determine, with the never die attitude.
She had a kindness portrait appearance and indeed was kind and did many good deeds and was filial to her seniors. As a woman, she always worked with a can-do attitude. She self-build her farmhouses for chicken and pigs and had to oversee eight siblings, and she did it with no complaint whatsoever. Clearly, May looked up to an independent woman who knew her way around. However, this was just a start for her.
“We established Singapore’s first wood wastes recycling plant producing a series of Technical Wood products”
Climbing the Stairs of Experience
In December 1977, after graduating from GCE ‘O” level, May joined former Lian Hup Timber Pte Limited and commonly known as Lian Hup by the pioneer generation of the timber industry in Sungei Kadut . At that time, the firm had around 20 employees and on leasing land size of less than 100 sqm situated in the Mandai Village at rural area. As a teenage admin clerk, May handled multiple positions including receptionist, delivery arrangement, stock inventory, accounts, and housekeeping, amongst others.
As time went by, wood pallets became prominent as many foreign MNCs invested massively in Singapore that required these pallets for shipping its export goods. And inevitably, LHT followed the same wind too. At that time, Singapore was on its journey toward development and the firm grew so tremendously that they had to pursue bigger Industrial land in Sungei Kadutfor Timber Industries.
Moving the factory two times, first time from Mandai rural areas to own subscribe from JTC of land size at about 4300 sqm, upon business growing and opportunities came by in year 1988 we bought an another company of KHL being registered since 1950 old company, our firm acquired a 35,680 sqm land, and the company staff strength went up to 168 employees, and with the right timing, the group renamed to LHT Holdings Limited when listed in the mainboard in 1999. During this time, May was Sales Director-in charge of all sales and marketing functions. Perceiving the opportunity to be an Executive Director, she became one of the major shareholders during the company’s reconstruction.
Another opportunity turned to her when she was appointed as the acting Managing Director in 2016, followed by re-designation as the chairman, Managing Director and CEO in 2017.
And now, as an erudite personality having over 20 years of experience, May plays a key role in seeking opportunities in the markets. Her responsibilities rest in monitoring market developments and to assure that LHT’s product development efforts are in line with the industry.
It would be wise to say that May has literally seen the firm through its thick and thin journey. In 2004, the company account was in red and near to bankruptcy, still, the firm was able to sustain its image and reputation in internally and externally, and amongst governmental agencies too.
May has witnessed the firm to become the first to have developed Electronic Product Code Information Service (EPCIS) and led the way in the use of UHF RFID Gen 2 pallets, which are essential for automation especially in RFID ASRS (automated storage and retrieval system) warehouses.
Moreover, in 1999, the firm established Singapore’s first wood waste recycling plant that allowed timber industrial waste to be turned into a product known as ‘technical wood’. This compressed engineered wood can be substituted for natural wood. As a result, LHT re-engineered its products that transformed the market using a lower carbon footprint processed wood that made from waste wood materials.
A Historical Legacy
Diving Deep into the company, since its establishment in 1977, LHT has been one of the largest manufacturing companies of high-quality wooden pallets, boxes, and crates in Singapore. LHT has a staff strength of 180, serving the areas of administration, manufacturing, and warehousing.
The company mainly engages in the manufacturing and supply of wooden pallets and cases for the packing of industrial products. The timber-related products segment is often engaged in the trading of raw timber-related products. Most of its customers are in the electronics, petrochemicals, solar, warehousing logistics, and engineering sectors.
As time went by, LHT also expanded its consciousness with regards to the mother nature. Today, LHT is an environmentally friendly processed wood pallet manufacturer that embarks on sustainability journey which can be challenging, costly and ROIs can be risky in its business sense.
LHT understands that the low-carbon shop floor machinery, equipment, and processes could come at high price tags which may make consumer’s final product costly and uncompetitive. Hence, by recycling waste and converting it into some raw materials in the processes, LHT has grown into a game-changer in its sustainability journey.
Not to mention, under May’s able leadership, in 2018, LHT was bestowed with Climate Action Champion and EcoFriend Awards by NEA.
Let’s have a glance over the esteemed services extended by LHT:
Technical Wood: Compressed wood formed of original tropical hard fibers. The new wood substitutes the natural wood made from wood waste material.
The Innovative Process Product Conversion (IPPC) Pallets: A strong foothold in the arena of green products designed and produced to reduce carbon footprints. The environmentally-friendly packaging solutions enable customers to comply with international eco-friendly standards and regulations.
ECR Leasing Pallet: The ‘Efficient Consumer Response’, or ECR is a strategy to improve consumer choice, satisfaction, and service and at the same, reduce total costs, inventories, and physical assets.
Industrial Packing: Providing services and solutions to customer large machineries, unique design shapes that require special care, and the packaging that starts from a commercial sales point and arrives at the consumer as a sales unit.
RFID Technology: Enhances productivity by eliminating all unnecessary manpower wastage on information retrieval for customers’ verification documentation, provide accuracy, control, and efficiency for your business.
Our Green Energy: Recycling wood waste to ‘Technical Wood’and waste management. Technical Wood is the raw material and bio-products that used to make into furniture component for Greenflo Doors (fire-rated) and flooring strip.
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC): A new area in R&D that uses wood wastes and plastic wastes in combination to form or develop greener products.
Guiding others to the Treasure
When asked about what advice she would hand over to fellow budding entrepreneurs, May simply guided a typical human’s path of learning and also proposed to do good by society. She asserted, “Don’t worry to fall, how it comes and how it goes. From the day you born, you bring nothing, upon we die we should not have something but do a good deed. Lastly, learnfrom society and payback to society. Kind to everyone it is kind to ourselves and use our life to the fullest.”
The Future Roadmap
With minute observations and witnessing the shifting paradigm, May says that investing in many areas and innovation to plant seed has carried out the business to be more sustainable and has provided the longevity growth and transformation to factory 4.0. “Our industry with this uniqueness will be able to propel and transform to the knowledge base company and whatever product that we have developed will be a green concept as a priority. Help to save the earth, and to curb climate changes is our basic belief,” she concluded.