“Find something that sets you apart, you will find your footing among the smart.”
A man who built a firm foundation with the bricks life threw at him, Rama Murthy S/O Vairappa Thevar’s ascent from a construction worker to the Director of Chennai Trading & Supermart Pte. Ltd. is nothing short of amazing. Besides his hard work, he attributes his success to his supportive family, dedicated staff and God’s grace.
Hailing from an agricultural family in Tamil Nadu, India, Mr Murthy had no exposure to the business world. The youngest among six siblings, Mr. Murthy completed his post graduation degree in Mathematics and received a diploma in Computer Applications. The allure of a foreign nation coupled with an offer from a relative made Mr. Murthy disregard his parent’s strong opposition and come to Singapore in 1993 as a construction worker.
Being a post graduate did not make Mr. Murthy have any airs about himself and he set to work diligently as a labourer for a measly sum of S$ fourteen per day. For twelve years he continued in the same line of work. By this time he was married and a father of three kids. He wanted to give his children a better quality of life and he was convinced that there was meagre scope for growth while working for someone. Thus, in 2005, with a capital of about S$ seventeen thousand he started his first business venture, Chennai Trading. It was a store in Campbell Lane selling Indian grocery and fresh vegetables. Next he opened a restaurant which sourced its raw materials from his own grocery store. It cut costs and raised profit margins. Mr. Murthy claims that but for his wife, Mdm Kala’s support, especially in the initial days as a businessman, he could not have managed to succeed.
Today, Chennai Trading & Supermart Pte.Ltd boasts of six branches in Singapore and one in Sydney. Mr. Murthy feels that the reason for his rapid growth lies in the fact that he gives equal importance to both customers and suppliers. He advises his staff to treat customers as their extended family. Likewise, maintaining a good rapport with the suppliers can help in bringing down the base price. With a keen eye on the market trends, Mr. Murthy has plans to diversify his business and make an entry into beauty, construction and manufacturing industries soon. Though his four kids are now too young, Mr. Murthy hopes that at least one of them will take over his business legacy someday. His advice to aspiring youngsters and entrepreneurs is never to be just satisfied with a secure job. “Push the envelope and chart your own destiny. “