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Thursday 22 August 2019
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Michelle Low Chew Tung: Building the brand

Michelle Low Chew Tung
Michelle Low Chew Tung

If the name Michelle Low Chew Tung sounds familiar, chances are you have encountered her and her personal brand in one of her many capacities – business woman, mother, wife, mentor or volunteer. “I juggle pretty much a lot of things," Low Chew Tung told WMN. But what is of equal importance to her is how what she does is perceived. "We are our brand. What we put out there in terms of how we behave, how we are perceived, how we interact with others, whether in a corporate setting, as an entrepreneur or otherwise, it impacts negatively or positively on our development.”

A business woman at heart, Low Chew Tung said personal branding is huge internationally, with an online presence playing a major role in the persona and impression people create of their brands. “Your online profile is the first impression I’m going to get of you. I must be able to find you online. If I can’t find you I get wary. Who is the face of your business? What do you want people to know about your business? Are you targeting the right people? And if you do, how do you continue to build that relationship?” she said are some of the questions that need to be answered when building your brand.

Low Chew Tung runs two companies. Inveni Business and Technology Limited, which deals with custom manufacturing and product sourcing out of China and specific countries in Asia, and LCT Consulting & Associates Ltd, a marketing and business development consulting firm. Eventure, she said, is the event management division of LCT Consulting & Associates Ltd that offers event marketing and creative services, pre-event coordination and management, and on-site event support and services.

“I’ve been a management consultant for several years and when I left my corporate job to get into management consultancy on my own, I was already doing it as a side business.”

She said Inveni came about unofficially when she started sourcing products for consulting clients back in 2008. Today, the company offers what she calls a 360 solution. “We offer services from finding the supplier to delivery to your door at whatever destination you’re at,” but clients are not obligated to take the full package. “The services are also available in modular form. You can use only the services you want. But I tell people it’s moving parts. The most efficient way is to utilise that whole 360 because everything in China is about relationships, and we have people on the ground there.”

She said whether it’s a full product being used or a component of raw material to complete an actual product, her team works factory direct and provides a complete job. “We source products, provide a whole evaluation check list to ensure we have found the right supplier. Once we find the supplier then we do sampling prototyping, then we manage the production process. Quality control is what distinguishes us in the market because we are now aligned to one of the largest QC providers in Asia. That gives us the ability to provide quality services to our customers. We are the only company in the region that is doing what we do.”

Eventure, she said, provides services such as marketing strategies and social media management. “But then I started getting requests for events. ‘Michelle you have to come out and talk...’ I’d already been mentoring so I decided to give it a shot.” Last Thursday the company hosted a workshop on Building Your Personal Brand, at the Normandie Hotel in St Ann’s. The workshop was part of its Mastering Business Development series. “People need to know that the way you talk, present yourself, even the speed at which you reply to emails, all form part of your personal branding. It is about who you want to be and what you want to achieve."

But although the mother of one may be heavily into business, with her it’s never all about business. She finds the time to channel her expertise back into the community. She does a lot of mentoring with young, upcoming entrepreneurs. “I offer my assistance. But I also remind them that it is not just about academics. 'What is your involvement in your community like?' is one question I like to ask young entrepreneurs. You can look academically perfect on paper, but it is also so important to get involved in community work. To give back. ”

Low Chew Tung walks the talk. She is an ambassador for World Entrepreneurship Day TT, and works with a group of people she describes as "a great team". Additionally, she offers her services to two non-governmental organisations. "I’m the communications director on the AFETT (Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago) board, and I’m the president of Quota International TT. Quota International is a global non-profit organisation that operates in a number of countries around the world. Our mission is empowering women and children, the deaf and hard of hearing and people with speech deficiencies. We’ve only been in TT since 2017,” but she said the organisation has done quite a bit of work with the Trinidad and Tobago Association for the Hearing Impaired.

For her, everything she does, whether it is at home, at work, in the community or at play, the manner in which she does it is all a part of her personal brand. "It is all about developing a strong brand vision for yourself and bringing it to fruition. And, as with all other plans, at times you will need to review it and tweak it to keep it on track,” she said.

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