SINGAPORE (Mar 26): Three years ago, Abdul Rahim Mohamad Wambri, known to his friends as Raye, led a team of tradesmen in the set-up of a business overseas. The group, which consisted of experts in work from plumbing to electrical wiring, spent about $100,000 on vans and tools to establish a handyman operation in Malaysia. It was their first foray overseas — and the experience crushed him.

“[Many customers] did not care about compliance [with building regulations],” he says. “When you do not care about compliance, the cost goes down. But we did not want to do things that were not compliant, so we couldn’t support the operation.” Two years later, the team ended its loss-making stint in Malaysia.

Raye, a mechanical engineer by training, is operational director of HRD Professional Handy man, a two-decade-old local enterprise. With no other footholds in the region, the company’s reach is limited to the Singapore market. Meanwhile, operating costs are rising and making it more difficult for the company to survive.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook