STANDING TALL WITH AN ENTERPRISING SPIRIT

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In 2014, Malaysia had many non-established brands in the water and home appliance industries. The visionary CEO of CUCKOO International (MAL) Sdn Bhd, KC Hoe, saw it fit to bring an established brand, CUCKOO, to Malaysia. KC Hoe shares about CUCKOO’s journey and the reasons that enable his brand to stand out in a competitive marketplace.

With a high average annual rainfall, Malaysia is blessed with abundant water resources. Although water is readily available in the country by just a turn of the tap, is it safe and clean for consumption?

KC Hoe is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CUCKOO International (MAL) Sdn Bhd, a leading home appliance brand of water purifiers, plasma ionizer air purifiers, pressure multi-cookers and other appliances including an outdoor filter and hybrid induction cooking hobs. Hoe established CUCKOO in Malaysia in 2014 with a goal to ensure that Malaysians from all walks of life get to enjoy drinking clean and healthy water at an affordable price. Since its inception, the company has grown and expanded into a Southeast Asian hub for CUCKOO.

“I first ventured into the home appliances business in 2007. In 2014, I quit my job to start my own home appliances business. I wanted to offer another brand option for Malaysians to choose when buying home appliances because I wanted Malaysians to have better choices and to enjoy a better quality of life at a comfortable price. I researched 100 home appliances brands and I chose to work with CUCKOO,” says Hoe.

CUCKOO was first established in Korea in 1978. Its first overseas joint venture was with CUCKOO International (MAL) Sdn Bhd which is helmed by Hoe. “I chose to work with CUCKOO because of its strong R&D background and good product quality. For example, the CUCKOO water purifier introduces a healthy water technology concept in which chemicals, heavy metals and toxins are eliminated from the water, producing safe drinking alkaline water that meets the standards set by the World Health Organization.”

“What sets CUCKOO apart from other water purifiers and home appliances brands is that we offer a localised rental payment scheme called the GOOOD Plan which is based on the customer’s affordability. The GOOOD Plan consists of a variety of rent-to-own payment packages that let our customers choose the amount that they can afford to pay per month and the duration of the scheme that they can commit to – it’s a flexi cost-savings plan. They can also opt to purchase the product outright if they want to,” shares Hoe.

“Another thing that makes us stand strong is that we provide a comprehensive after-sales maintenance service every four months and customers could book their service appointments via our mobile app, CUCKOO+. The maintenance service for our water purifiers includes changing filters and steam sterilization, all of which are part of our 15-point check to ensure each part of the product is functioning well and clean. The service is also conducted on a periodical basis for air purifiers, outdoor filter and induction cooking hobs,” says Hoe.

“By introducing flexible and affordable rent-to-own payment plans, Malaysians from all walks of life can enjoy clean and healthy drinking water, breathe cleaner air and ultimately live a good quality of life,” says the visionary entrepreneur.

Hoe aims to continue leading CUCKOO Malaysia to be a socially responsible organisation and to be the number one healthy home appliance brand in Asia. “I paint a big picture for the team. I give them a vision of where I want to go with this company. The team is very clear about their roles and responsibilities, therefore they are able to work together and execute what is needed for us to achieve our goals,” says Hoe.

In addition to being a people-oriented person and open to new ideas and changes, the entrepreneur also shares, “Many people have big ideas about running big businesses, but fail when it comes to execution. My advice is to never give up. There will be challenges and obstacles for sure, so the important thing is to have a never-give-up attitude to overcome those challenges and to be successful.”

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