Glamour Automotive: SME Excellence Business Award & Top Business Service and Quality Award 2022/2023
Glamour Auto came to life in October 2020 as a car rental company and expanded to Glamour Automotive in December 2020. Glamour Automotive on the other hand specializes in more aspects such as buying and selling pre-owned vehicles, with add-services such as consignments, vehicle loans, insurance related matters and the likes of it, on top of being just another car rental business.
Terence and Alex, Managing Director and Director of Glamour Automotive, shared the journey of how Glamour (GA) first came about. The idea sparked from Alex, who has over 10 years of experience in the automotive industry and wanted to build something on his own, and approached Terence – the then Civil Servant with an’ iron rice bowl’ – and the rest, as they say, is history.
‘Glamour’ originated from the word ‘Glamorours’ with the intention to show the masses that a car trade company can be as glamorous and elegant as it can get. They strive to provide premium service at a price point that is not too steep, wanting customers to feel happy about their purchases when they leave. To them, it is all about putting customers as a priority; helping customers to solve their problems, instead of creating them. They coupled this mentality by ensuring transparency in every part of the customer experience, most importantly sharing to them what they want and need to know about their purchase.
Despite the glitz and glamour, COVID-19 caused a big hit to the company. Glamour faced low demand for car rental, Grab Drivers having difficulties paying their rent and the rise of COE makes it extra difficult to the company. To alleviate the circumstances, the company must be more flexible with payments to ease their customer’s load. Not wanting to call it quits, they persevered to tide over the tough times. “I want my next generation to have a better life,” shared Alex who didn’t came from a too well-to-do family background. For Terence, on the end hand, named this journey as his calling! He left his ‘iron rice bowl’ and took this as a personal challenge to do more and not putting a limit on himself. He hopes to write his own legacy, and bringing in his former expertise for the betterment of the company.
Previously, the duo was operating from a shared office at an industrial park, with viewings done at a basement carpark – Not quite the professional setting they were hoping for. The duo has since relocated to their current location (60 Jln Lam Huat (Carros Centre) #03-32 S737869 with hope to gain more confidence from their customers. As cliché as it sounds, they added that they live for the joy of building a business from scratch, and look forward to helping as many people as possible, by being transparent in their operations. They are looking to improve people’s perception of car dealers and shift the social stigma that is stuck onto the automotive industry.
As a small team of five, with plans for expansion, they are constantly on the lookout for self-driven and honest employees to join their team. The company provides flexibility in terms of working hours with consideration of different clients’ availability. They build the team with trust that every single member is important and disciplined enough to manage their own workload. In situations when the company faces low output, the duo will have a sit-down session with the team to understand the problems that they are facing and discuss on a better solution to improve the situation. They lead with a ‘The boss may not be always right’ kind of mindset to ensure smooth communication amongst the team. These open-session helps prevent unnecessary misunderstandings and helps the company stay away from playing the ‘blame game’.
To ensure operation runs smoothly, from sales to operations to back-end admin work, the duo takes it upon themselves to ensure everyone is self-disciplined in their course of duty and has initiative to voice out their opinions. They believe that every employee must take ownership of their taskings and teamwork must be evident, most importantly being proactive.
Expanding the company is the current goal for the duo. They hope to increase their products and look to increase the number of showrooms, hopefully 1 in each region. They are continuously studying the market and looking at the demands of the automotive industry. In the long run, they are also looking to step into the Electric Vehicles (EV) market, in line with the Government’s intention, to reduce pollutants and play their part in saving the earth. They shared that it would be interesting to see how EVs market grow, especially 5-10 years down the road. ‘Long gone are the days with vroom vroom cars’, they shared excitedly while talking about the EV journey. Although on the pricier side, they believe that price will level out in future and be more affordable to our people!
Currently, Glamour focuses on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to push out marketing contents. They feel that it is crucial to have a strong Social Media presence to market themselves to the current generation and believe social media is the future of marketing. On top of the common car reviews and sales videos, they are also looking at educational contents to educate people who are not as familiar to the car scene. It is important that they remain active on the various platforms to inject more confidence to their customers. ‘We are not here to play play one hor, here for a long time not a good time’ they shared when asked how long they see themselves in this industry.
When asked what kind of advice they can give to younger entrepreneurs, the duo advises them to step out of their comfort zone and take the leap of faith. The journey will be tough, and it will always be the support of your close ones that will push you to the next few milestones. It is important to stay grounded and true to your own values. There will be temptations along the way and it is important to have a strong mental capacity to overcome the tough times. Ultimately, it’s crucial to look at things in the long run and take in every kind of lesson along the way!