NUS BBA 31 August 2014

The Secrets of a Supermarket’s Success Revealed

Sheng Siong is a brand synonymous with supermarkets in Singapore.  What started out as a single shophouse unit has evolved into a chain of 33 stores and is the third largest chain of supermarkets in the city state.  30 years after it was first founded, Sheng Siong is now a listed company with a market cap of over $960 million. The secret recipe for the supermarket giant’s success was recently revealed to the School’s undergraduate students in a sharing session for the Strategic Management class with co-founder and CEO, Mr Lim Hock Chee.

Lim Hock Chee, Sheng Shiong

Mr Lim shared his insights about management principles, corporate culture, the current industry landscape and competitive advantages of retail in Singapore. He also touched upon the importance of personal values and moral character for his company’s success. “I believe that honesty and trust are very important in business. Being good is more important than being knowledgeable. But to be a good person, you have to learn from others.” he advised. 

The students learned about sound business practices and the philosophy behind the retail giant’s success. “Mr Lim advocated some traditional Chinese values that we often don’t get to learn in a class. It was really fulfilling and inspiring to hear him,” says Kenneth Ang, our fourth year undergraduate student.

Lim Hock Chee

Taught by Professor Marleen Dieleman, the Strategic Management class is one of the core modules in the first semester of NUS BBA, in which the students learn about the fundamental concepts of general management, strategy and organisational evolution. A teaching case analysing the retail brand’s growth was also discussed.

“Mr Lim is a very charismatic & engaging speaker. It was very encouraging to learn that his strong sense of personal values and moral character have been strongly infused into the company he had founded, and are key to its success. The session was thoroughly enjoyable and memorable,” says Loh Yirong, a former exchange student from NTU who helped develop the teaching case. The case analyses and illustrates how Mr Lim has been able to steer Sheng Siong through the myriad challenges of today’s business environment by leveraging its unique strengths.

It is these experiences that make a business degree worthwhile. To learn more about other rich academic experiences in NUS BBA, click here.