This article is contributed by Agnes Chua and Hoong Liying, CapitaLand Singapore (Commercial)
Giant pandas, Jia Jia and Kai Kai, are more than the symbols of CapitaLand’s support and commitment towards the 10-year Giant Pandas Collaborative Programme between Singapore and China. In November 2012, employees from CapitaLand Singapore Limited (CLS) Commercial team came forward to sell 1,500 sets of the specially-designed Jia Jia and Kai Kai panda-eco bags at eight of CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT)’s properties, demonstrating their wholehearted support towards the Because iCare – Kai Kai and Jia Jia Charity Drive and raised S$15,000.00 in total for the underprivileged children that CapitaLand Hope Foundation supports.
Qn 1) Hi ladies, would you start by telling us briefly what role did you play in this very meaningful charity drive and why did you choose to be part of it?
Agnes:I’m representing the Property Services division. I coordinated activities such as eco bag allotment, stock taking and daily sales tracking as part of the report to the management. This is a CapitaLand group initiative and I’m proud that I can be part of the exercise.
Liying:When HR received the news that our business unit was participating in the Charity Drive, we were of course very glad to be able to lend a helping hand in this initiative for underprivileged children.
We brainstormed as to how best we can go about engaging our fellow colleagues in the Charity Drive. Not only did we want them to purchase the eco bags for themselves, or for friends and families, we also wanted something more meaningful to the extent that they too, can participate and lend a ‘physical’ helping hand to the Charity Drive and consequently, to our local community.
We thought through carefully, and our Vice President suggested a call for volunteers concept; and tadah(!); an email calling for volunteers for the Charity Drive went out to all CLS (Commercial) employees. We were very encouraged by the response that we received from many of our very enthusiastic colleagues. Sharing their enthusiasm, HR then proceeded as planned and started our scheduling of counter manning, volunteers’ briefing, etc.
Qn 2) Tell us more about what you did and how did all that pan out in leading to a successful sale?
Agnes:Wow!! That was my first reaction to the 1000 pairs of eco-bags and I asked myself what would be CLS’s strategy to market these eco-bags? The Property Services team came up with a few innovative sales strategies. Aside from gathering pre-orders from tenants, we gathered pre-orders from our service providers, too. Another sales strategy was allocating the eco-bags according to the properties’ occupancy rates. More traffic, more sales! More sales, more donations! With the support from the management, CLS Commercial was able to rally sales at most of CCT properties via booths set up at Six Battery Road, Capital Tower, Twenty Anson, Wilkie Edge, One George Street and Golden Shoe Car Park during the lunch period.
Liying:HR was the main liaison between the volunteers and Agnes’s property management team, coordinating the duty schedules to manage the booths, and dealing with last minute changes like replacing Volunteer A with Volunteer B, etc. But I think, the tireless volunteers were really the ones who did all the ‘hard’ work and contributed to the two sold-outs that we had. For example, some colleagues volunteered to man the counter more often than required and those who were deployed to Wilkie Edge, our building at the fringe of Central Business District, went and did their part with no complaints. Kudos to all the volunteers! Their sales volume not only contributed to the amount that we had raised but also demonstrated very good espirit de corps amongst the people within the business unit and inter-business units.
Qn 3) During the 2 nd day of sale, CLS actually asked for additional 500 pairs of bags to be sold, increasing the total order of bags to 1,500 pairs. What gave you the confidence to take on the additional challenge?
Agnes:HR has put up a 10-day booth sales volunteer deployment plan. However, on the 1 st day of official sale on 19 November 2012, we sold 735 pairs of eco-bags within two hours at the six locations, and more enquiries were coming in. In order not to stop the sales momentum and high spirit amongst the staff helping to sell, the decision was made to commit to sell additional 500 pairs. This move displayed our high level of commitment towards this charity drive. The first 1,180 pairs of eco-bag were sold out by 21 November with sale enquiries kept streaming in. The balance 320 pairs of eco-bag arrived on 27 November 2012 and were completely sold out by 28 November 2012.
Liying:Cliché as it may sound, our people are indeed our strength. In this instance, they delivered much more than required, and I personally learnt that we should not underestimate the potential of each individual to deliver beyond their ability or hidden talents like excellent salesmanship in this case!
Qn 4) If given a chance again to do something similar, would you want to be involved?
Agnes and Liying : Yes! Of course!
Agnes:I’m proud that our efforts can help make another life better! I did not know that we can be super sales people.
Liying:In fact, I am already looking out for the next volunteering event by CapitaLand Hope Foundation. Well, that aside, I remembered that I was busy coordinating the event on top of my daily activities and actually, I did not think much of it except to pray hard and ensure that the coordination went smoothly. It was only when I was writing the very first end-of-the-day sales email update to the volunteers that I was truly wowed by the ability and the unity of my colleagues here in CLS. It is comforting to know that there are actually courageous and enthusiastic people in our midst who are willing to go the extra mile and the group’s intentional efforts towards contributing back to the wellbeing of the community in which, we have operations in.
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