CUCKOO is a well-known home appliance brand from South Korea. In South Korea, a CUCKOO water purifier is sold every minute and a CUCKOO rice cooker is sold every 10 seconds.
CUCKOO has successfully expanded its brand to 30 countries over 5 continents. In 2017, CUCKOO’s global turnover hit a record of USD $760 million. CUCKOO Malaysia joined the CUCKOO family in October 2014 and became the first overseas partner of CUCKOO.
Under the leadership of CUCKOO Malaysia CEO Mr. Hoe Kian Choon, in a short period of 3 years, CUCKOO Malaysia has developed multiple unique payment plans to promote water purifiers. At the same time, CUCKOO’s pressure multi-cookers and air purifiers were launched one after another due to high demand. In August 2016, CUCKOO Malaysia achieved a sales growth of 600%. As of 2018, the brand has accumulated over 350,000 customers. To date, it has successfully opened more than 330 Brandstores and Brandkiosks in Malaysia.
2017 marked an auspicious year for the brand. Several marketing campaigns were
launched such as CUCKOO GOOOD Plan and CUCKOO GOOOD Deal. These flexible payment plans were conceived to offer cutting-edge technology from CUCKOO for people of all backgrounds where they are well-received. Natural Chief Officers Shirley Khoo, Michael Lee and Hazman Zakaria are credited to be behind the brand’s exponential growth in sales.
Front row (from left to right): Director of Marketing Division Ms. Queenie Goh, Director of Domestic Sales Mr. WH Mak, CEO Mr. Hoe Kian Choon, Director of Operations Mr. Benny Tan, Director of Overseas Sales Mr. Toh Seng Lee
Back row (from left to right): NCO Hazman Zakaria, NCO Michael Lee, NCO Shirley Khoo
Accelerate the Expansion of Team to Achieve Biggest Sales
After facing health issues, Michael Lee resigned from his high-paying job. In November 2014, he joined CUCKOO Malaysia, just one month after its inception. He entered the company to showcase his strengths as an entrepreneur. He eventually succeeded in becoming a Natural Chief Officer of CUCKOO Malaysia where as of now, his team dedicates 30 % of the company’s turnover as the company’s largest sales team.
CUCKOO is committed to improve the health of people of all backgrounds. Michael was deeply impressed with this vision as he could see how CUCKOO’s high-quality products are improving the increasingly worrying environmental pollution that includes water, air and food pollutions. He is convinced that the products, powerful resources as well as strong systems can help solve the problems at hand. Not only that, members of the public could also see CUCKOO’s virtue which would consequently increase the demand in the market. CUCKOO Malaysia CEO Mr. Hoe Kian Choon said “I would like to take this opportunity to raise consumer’s awareness on the importance of health. I am proud that most people have expressed their acceptance after getting to know the brand.”
Michael’s team consists of more than 100 managers and more than 130 sales points. Members of the team are mostly located in East and South of Malaysia. When asked about his secret in managing a large number of people, he said “I pay attention to the expansion of the team, I believe that the strength of the team is unlimited. Through the rapid increase in the number of members, the market share will also increase thus, members will be able to sprint beautifully. The secret to this is nothing special, I believe it is simply the result of being diligent. To be the best means to perform better than number two. So, set a big goal, get out of your comfort zone but always remember your limit where you can perform the best to your abilities. Then look for effective ways to accomplish the goal.”
He also advised that in order to find the most suitable method to accomplish your goal, you need to keep trying. Don’t give up after facing one obstacle, he added, “In addition, after reaching the goal, we must not stop. If we are sure of our ability, we should continue to rush forward. Why must we slow ourselves down?”
Michael stressed the most important thing to remember is to believe in yourself. Have self-confidence as leaders are calm and adaptable, a trait highly respected as it can help boost the morale of the team through respect and trust. As a man of the digital era, he is active in social media where he can be seen often sharing his own positive thoughts, personal photos to create personal brand as it helps to increase his confidence.
“If you want to succeed, you must have money, connections and courage. If you lack the former two, you must stock up enough courage to meet any challenge” he said as he then started to reminiscence at one of his most unforgettable challenges he once faced at his former company. He had opposing opinions with his team leader at that time, so he left the company. This has sparked conversations among other co-workers.
He chose to deal with the situation by not letting external factors affect his existing team. He believes in completing the work that is in front of him as it would symbolise his work ethics are louder than gossips. Looking back, he only regrets his broken friendships with colleagues from that company.
About his future, Michael explained, “This year, I set a goal of to have 200 Natural Managers as well as to sell 100,000 CUCKOO products. This will open up opportunities for the team to be successful. As long as they are resilient, the road will always be there.”
▼ Interview video clip of Michael Lee
Hazman bin Zakaria
Believe In Yourself, Everyone Can Succeed
Before Hazman joined CUCKOO, he worked in different type of jobs. From selling ice-creams to being an officer in JPA to opening up his own business. However, he thought that there must be something more to life so he decided to come out from his comfort zone and challenge himself to join CUCKOO. His belief made him become CUCKOO Malaysia Natural Chief Officer and has grown tremendously, in April of 2017, he had 400 Natural Executives (NE) and as of now in May 2018, there are 7000 NE.
“I was introduced to the water purifier industry by my mentor, CUCKOO Indonesia CEO Toh Seng Lee. He motivated me to learn more about the flourishing industry. CUCKOO was established in 2014 and I decided to join them in October as I was attracted to the marketing plan which was implemented by the business. For me, CUCKOO offers countless opportunities. I admire CUCKOO for continuously improving their system to accommodate the changing landscape of the industry. The durable system acknowledges CUCKOO’s marketing plan to be flexible in order to meet the needs of CUCKOO as well as CUCKOO lovers.”
As a Natural Chief Officer (NCO), Hazman's responsibilities are mostly to motivate the team as well as to oversee the development of the team. “My personal vision is to earn enough so that I can do whatever I want to do. I get to give others opportunity and would also encourage others to persevere and not to give up. It is not an easy road and there are many ups and downs, but if you are focused and have a vision, anything is possible”. His team members are mostly located in the Central region of Malaysia. “My team members are really colourful. We are different, but we run towards the same goal so working with them are very rewarding experience compared to how I was before I joined CUCKOO. Now, my outlook of the world is much more bigger and my world is livelier. Now I understand the difference between just working hard and working hard at something you like – which is what I am doing now at CUCKOO. Over the years as NCO, I have learnt to take each day to always remember that it isn’t money that makes you successful, it’s the business skills. Take control of your life! Do something today that your future life will thank you for!"
Hazman strongly believes in a few principles in order to achieve success, some of his principles are:
To succeed, you have to believe in yourself especially your own capabilities. It is important to recognise your own skills in order to use them to reach your goals. You should also have to believe in your company for providing you with the tools to do your work. Lastly, it is important to believe in your leader. Every good team is lead by an efficient leader who has experiences that should be exemplary.
I admire CUCKOO for its ability to maintain a strong system. It comes as no surprise that a company with a strong system with over decades worth of experience is able to constantly develop cutting-edge technology to meet the needs and wants of consumers.
It is important to be familiar with the products in order to work efficiently. As a sales person, we should be able to persuade consumers through our knowledge. Without knowledge you won’t be able to deliver the right message to consumer.
I have massive respect for my mentors. They had guided me all these years and still mentoring me through my career in this field. I respect the hardships I have facing as the obstacles which made me the sensible person I am today.
“We have a target to increase the number of Natural Managers (NM) which is currently 70 to 100 in June with our target to expand the team. Our vision is to showcase the water purifier industry as a prosperous endeavour that offers endless opportunities. Also, I would like to see the members of my team to be part of NCO ranking.”
▼ Interview video clip of Hazman bin Zakaria
Immortal Team to Create a Harmonious Society
Shirley Khoo chose to start again from scratch. She wanted to test her capabilities as a person. So in 2014, she joined the newly established CUCKOO Malaysia. Through hard work and dedication, she successfully demonstrated her talents and was promoted to be a Natural Chief Officer within a short period of time. She is now the leader of the strongest sales team in North of Malaysia.
“CUCKOO Malaysia CEO Mr. Hoe Kian Choon and my supervisor, CUCKOO Indonesia CEO Mr. Toh Seng Lee were invited to my wedding where they played big roles as they shared their ideas - prompting me to resign my job to join CUCKOO. This was a wise decision as I was intrigued by CUCKOO’s unique business development blueprint. With a professional and powerful behind-the-scenes team, the company has the best aids for the market in present times as well for the future. Furthermore, I was attracted to the CEO’s business philosophy as he always stresses the importance of being open and transparent. I believe this is a good attitude towards business and a strong team should definitely follow this spirit and goal. I trust that this could make me do more with less.”
Shirley Khoo’s team focuses mostly in Northern Malaysia. However, she is also actively developing markets in Johor, Selangor and Kelantan. She successfully helped five members of her team to be promoted to be Natural Chief Managers and simultaneously, she increased her strength in her line of work with alongside the development of the company. The goal she has set this year is to have 100 Natural Managers.
“Don’t be afraid, just believe it! This is my belief. I think the most important thing is to believe in yourself first. After that, you will not be afraid of any situation even if you do anything wrong as there will be a chance to start again. People are mostly afraid of not having faith. Doubt, always questioning ourselves and other unwarranted actions will only waste time and energy on considering unnecessary possibilities. We may not be able to do everything right, but we can do the right thing.”
As the leader of the team, Shirley Khoo value personal accomplishments. She said success comes from personal cultivation and discipline and individual cultivation plays a role in the team or society whereas individual discipline determines the speed of success and whether it can persevere.
She said that every time the target is reached, the process of breaking through the target is a symbol of success. Once she finds herself feeling lost, she will return to the team to feel their immortality. The team will often help her restore her motivation. Shirley Khoo added that “Mr. Hoe often emphasise with every member who joins the team, to ensure that they are taken care of along with their families. That thought becomes the driving force that keeps me learning more to move forward in the industry.”
“My mission is to continue to help people find their ideals and to allow more people to make their families more comfortable because of the fast-pace industry. We would like to enforce the idea of creating a healthy and happy society. I believe that as long as every family lives in harmony, society will naturally become more loving.”
Shirley Khoo stresses the importance of lifelong learning as it is helpful in understanding the needs of society especially of those from post-1980s and post-90s. When asked why, she said “They are the masters of the future as they are the new generation that will inherit the world. We should support them by understanding more about them. The growth of the new generation fosters more talents.”
(Above article was published in 35th issue 2018 of Asian Success Inc. Branding Magazine, order now to read more exciting content.)