Our team at Redbrick Mortgage Advisory had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Tan Gan Hong, COO of ParkNParcel, for our series on “Redbrick Conversations with”, where we chat with leaders of different verticals and how they value add to our local community in their unique way.
ParkNParcel is an up-and-coming company that introduced the concept of using residential homes as parcel collection points and has been growing rapidly since its inception of home deliveries. Gan Hong shares how his career evolved, his personal challenges and how he co-founded ParkNParcel.
Q: Can you tell us more about yourself, and how you got to where you are today?
Gan Hong: I had a sensational career, started as a stock broker and became a remisier, averaging a 5-digit monthly income. However, when finance moved online and away from traditional channels, companies began to offer lowered rates of commission. This trend affected my income and got me thinking.
During one of our many conversations, my co-founder, Bryan, was fretting from his personal experiences where there was no one home when his parcel was delivered and at times, stolen. This sparked the idea of starting ParkNParcel – an eco-system of retail and residential collection points whilst getting rewarded. This fresh idea caught the attention of the media and we continued to scale.
Due to Covid-19, we evolved and took pre-caution by reducing home-collection points. We shifted our focus to build our network for home delivery services. That was when our growth accelerated from doing 10 to 20 parcels to 6,000 parcels daily. We will continue to focus more on quality instead of pricing. With our large fleet of 80 drivers, we are poised for fast growth as well as maintaining our high service standards. We aim to move into the Top 3 providers next year, 2 notches up from where we are now.
Q: What are some of the milestones you have reached on a personal level?
Gan Hong: I think growing this company is my biggest achievement. Unlike many of our larger competitors who has billions in funding, the funding we have is merely a fraction of what these companies have received. We had grown to become the top 5 companies in the market. In this regard, it is a major achievement by my team.
On a personal level, I think I have matured and gained an analytic and passionate mindset as compared to my younger self. It is no longer just about dollars and cents, it involves respect, vision, emotional quotient, passion and much more.
Q. In that context, how will you define what success means to you?
Gan Hong: To me, success is being able to do something that you like and a journey to achieve. It is about creating a legacy of value, where the business will strive and ParkNParcel to become one of the giants in the industry.
Q. What hobbies do you have and what do you do in your free time?
Gan Hong: I love to run and go to the gym when I can. During my free time, I will accompany my parents and loved ones.
Q: What is one interesting fact about yourself?
Gan Hong: I had a roller-coaster ride on both financial and personal fronts. I had experienced the lows where ParkNParcel was at its infancy and family time was almost non-existent. As we ride to the high, we ensure that we reward our employees first for their good performance before ourselves. Plus, there’s this one thing that we’ve learned over the years: reward people first, then they will reward you.
Q. How was the company name “ParkNParcel” coined?
Using your neighbours as collection points is a new concept in the market, we hope for this to be a habit and to become part and parcel of users’ lives, so pun intended, the name ParkNParcel was born.
Q. With the rise of e-commerce, logistics is a booming industry that many companies are entering. How will ParkNParcel maintain its appeal?
Gan Hong: Our customers can be generally categorised into Business to Customers (B2C) and Customer to Customer (C2C). For B2C, we have achieved good KPIs on e-commerce platforms of Lazada and Shopee. This having good driver’s attitude into the service matrix. As compared to our competitors, our 4star ratings have been the highest.
We will continue to thrive in providing higher quality service with our agile fleet and this will work in tandem in branding our company with good quality, competitive pricing and low loss rate.
Also, I think one of our success factors is having effective communication with our drivers. I believe ParkNParcel is the only company so far which work closely with drivers in lost parcel situations instead of direct punishment or incentive reduction. This helps to reduce the vicious cycle of having parcels lost and drivers earning less.
Q: What are some of the important values that you want the company to be associated with?
Gan Hong: We focus and pride ourselves on responsibility and quality service. Although some parcels may arrive late due to sudden surge in volume, we continue to provide quality service by ensuring the parcels are not missing or damaged.
Q: Could you describe your current property of residence?
Gan Hong: I am currently staying with my parents in a 4-room HDB flat in Bedok. I am still contemplating between getting an EC and a condominium as I am planning to get married soon.
Q: What do you look out for when searching for a property?
Gan Hong: First, the location must be in the east like Bedok or MacPherson. I have grown up in the east of Singapore and I feel a strong attachment to this area. Besides the location, floor area and price, amenities available will also be an important area of consideration.
I have viewed a few freehold properties located in the east with comfortable floor area for my family of 4.
Q: Do you believe in ‘leverage all I can’ or ‘pay down as soon as I can’ school of thought?
Gan Hong: Since I was a stockbroker, I’m very used to the concept of leveraging. So, cash in the bank is more important to me. I will take a loan so I can put my money to “work harder” on other investments.
Q: What kind of advice would you give to new homeowners and aspiring property investors?
Gan Hong: I think it depends on how much they can afford, and what it takes to make them happy. If the apartment makes you happy and is within your means, just go for it. It would be better than overstretching yourself and being at a location you are not satisfied with – you wouldn’t stay there for long.
Q: Which is your favourite estate in Singapore and why?
Gan Hong: I love Siglap and Tanah Merah area, which is akin to the Bukit Timah of the east. It is right next to the area I have lived in since young, and it has been my goal to move to this area.