人弃我取 制造商机-第39届副主席张子杰
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人弃我取 制造商机-第39届副主席张子杰

骑着这款赛车型摩托车的同安会馆财政张子杰,威风凛凛。不过,别让他信心十足的外表给骗了。他其实是不会骑摩托车的。

之所以信心满满,因为他是意大利品牌摩托车Ducati的新加坡代理商,对多个款型的赛车型摩托车的性能和部件了如指掌。

子杰和摩托车缘分很深。他的父亲是日本铃木Suzuki摩托车的代理商。到了他这一代,除了继续保有铃木摩托车的代理经销权外,他也看准时机,把欧洲品牌Ducati的摩托车揽括旗下。

七十年代,日本经济日渐崛起,日本制造的摩托车,价廉物美,深得市场青睐,严重打击了欧洲出产的摩托车,欧洲摩托车制造厂或倒闭,或缩小业务,子杰看准欧洲摩托车性能好,而且赛车型摩托车的市场根本还没有打开,便决定放手一博, 争取到有摩托车中的法拉利之称得Ducati赛车型摩托车的代理权。

摩托车向来被视为肉包铁,而危险度更高的赛车型摩托车,骑的又是哪些人呢? 这些价格不菲的赛车型摩托车, 是不是家境富裕的年轻子弟的”玩具”呢? 子杰说,他的顾客以30到40岁的人居多,不少是深谙机械原理的工程师,其中洋人占了一半。 年轻富家子弟倒是不多,因为他们的父母担心孩子的安危。 而一旦他的现有顾客群年纪变大,如过了40岁以后,往往会改骑适合跑长途的摩托车。

或许你会问,怎么马路上很少看到这类摩托车?的确,这类摩托车本来就属于小众玩意,加上本地道路短,交通灯多,车辆更多,这类摩托车车主,当然不会在这里骑他们的”跑车”,而是到邻近国家奔驰去。 

子杰是通过曾是树胶生意伙伴,如今是同安会馆副主席陈木辉的介绍,加入会馆的。 曾负笈英国的子杰, 会加入传统的会馆当理事,跟他在中学接受华文教育不无关系。 我到他家访问时,发现他家的铁栏、吊扇、沙发,甚至是水池旁的石磨, 都是从被征用的老家搬过来的。 其中铁栏还是他父亲亲手设计的, 这些细节,不难看出子杰对旧物的情感,对传统的呵护。

子杰闲时会打打高尔夫球,品尝葡萄酒,和三几个好友跳国标舞, 问他舞伴是谁,他说当然是太太,否则很危险。平时不苟言笑的子杰, 让人看到他风趣幽默的一面。

Looking for undervalued businesses

Riding this Ducati sports bike, the Treasurer of Tung Ann District Guild Mr Teo Choo Kiat looks confident and posed. But don’t be deceived by his look, he does not ride in real life.

He is confident and posed because he knows the inside out of the sports bike as he is the Singapore agent of this Italian brand of ‘the Ferrari sports bike’.

Mr Teo’s father was the agent of Suzuki motor-bikes. Mr Teo not only inherited his dad’s business but also seized the opportunity to include Ducati under his umbrella of motorbikes.

In the 1970s, with the rise of the Japanese economy, made-in-Japan products including motorbikes were in high demand. They were relatively cheap and in good quality. The influx of Japanese motorbikes was a hit to the European motorbike market. Many European bike manufacturers were forced to close down or shrink their operations. Knowing that the engineering and workmanship of European sports bike still shines, Mr Teo took the chance to venture into the European sports bike market.

Riding motorbikes is seen as a dangerous thing, let alone riding a faster speed sports bikes. It makes us wonder who are Mr Teo’s customers who would fork out huge money for these expensive toys? Are they children of rich parents? According to Mr Teo, rich parents would not allow their children to take up this hobby as they find it too dangerous. His customers are usually independent professionals, mostly engineers and expatriates, aged between 30 and 40. And once they grow older, they would shift their focus to take up touring bike for long distance travel.

The roads here are short distanced, filled with traffic lights and vehicles. It is no wonder we seldom see sports bikes on the road as sport bikers usually go to neigbouring countries for their rides.

Mr Teo and Mr Tan Bok Hwee, Tung Ann District Guild’s Vice President were partners in the rubber business. It was through Mr Tan that Mr Teo signed up as a member of the Guild. It makes one wonder why Mr Teo who received his university education in Britain would join a traditional clan association? It is not surprising when you know this man better. For this man was a Chinese stream student and he values heritage. His still uses the grilles designed by his dad. Also, the colonial-style ceiling fans, the sofa sets, the grinder at his pond were all from his old house.

When not working, Mr Teo plays golf, drinks wine, participates in ballroom dancing. When asked who his partner is, the usually serious Mr Teo said it would be too dangerous not to get his wife as the partner.