Transforming the logistics industry

A SOCIALLY responsible company, PKT Logistics provides logistics services that utilise local human resources and builds environmentally friendly warehouses. The company practises open engagement with communities and aims to inspire other businesses by having a positive impact on people and communities through its activities.

PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd’s growth trajectory over the past two decades can be traced back to its group chief executive and managing director Datuk Michael Tio who returned from the UK in 1996 to join the family business.

With his philosophy of “Dream of it, Talk about it, Plan for it, Work on it and Get it”, he took on the leading role to further revolutionise the company. He also leveraged on technology by making Facebook compulsory in PKT. Today, Facebook is PKT’s intranet and main communication tool.

To date, he has over 1.03 million Facebook followers and is also the chief executive officer of Malaysia Book of Records, after acquiring it in 2015. With his immense contribution to the logistics industry, he was appointed adjunct professor by University Utara Malaysia (UUM) and selected as one of the top CEOs in the CEO Faculty Programme under the Jabatan Pengajian Politeknik Malaysia and Ministry of Education. In November 2018, he was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Logistics Management by UUM.

PKT is also a strong advocate in giving back to the society in sustainable ways via various innovative programmes:

> Anak Belajar Ibu Berkerja (ABIB) Programme: PKT provides part-time work opportunities for mothers and housewives from surrounding communities at its warehouses.

The Smart Truckers programme is a CSR initiative by PKT which hires local graduates to be professional truckers that enjoy a pay of RM4,000 to RM6,000 a month.

> Smart Truckers: PKT hires fresh graduates who are trained to become truck drivers, revolutionising the trucking industry by making truck driving as a profession. After four years, the graduates will have the option to work in the office.

> Jom Bekerja Sambil Belajar (JBSB) Programme: Peninsula College students who study in PKT’s corporate campus – The Lighthouse Campus – can gain part-time working opportunities during non-contact hours. This provides them not just a source of supplementary income but also relevant and practical work experience.

Today, PKT is a leading niche logistics service provider in Malaysia with presence in South Korea, Taiwan and most Asean countries. It is an active proponent of unique and innovative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and has won many accolades, including the Frost and Sullivan Niche Logistics Service Provider of the Year, Sinchew Business Excellence Person of the Year and Star SOBA Entrepreneur of the Year.

“When PKT first participated in SOBA, we found there were a lot of items in the submission form that requires an answer. That was a wake-up call that we needed to improve internally and transform. We came back the next year as stronger participant.

“Every year we joined is a barometer to chart our progress. Because of that transformation, PKT has moved from a traditional Chinese company to a large SME, completely evolving all aspects of our business from branding to internal practices, ” said Tio.

After its triumph in SOBA, PKT’s branding among the business community increased and in turn, led to increase in turnover due to the media exposure and branding opportunity. It was also a very good boost to company morale. Also, PKT Logistics Group has grown into the large SME category.

Winning money-can’t-buy awards such as SOBA helped PKT to add credibility to the business, says Tio.

Tio added: “We decided to return as a sponsor to give back to the business community and encourage other SMEs the way SOBA has done for us.

“As a SOBA sponsor, we are looking to grow further with the SME community as a logistics provider – they (SOBA participants) could naturally be our future client.

They too will aspire to be a large SME like us and would remember the time they spent with our brand while participating in such award-related events.”

In addition, PKT has explored into new business verticals such as tertiary education through Peninsula College. Their campuses are currently located at Shah Alam, Klang and also Penang. Their fourth and upcoming campus called The Ship Campus, will be ready early 2020 at Batu Kawan, Penang.

He advises potential SOBA participants: “One of the weaknesses of SMEs is branding; they are not well versed on it and how to go about it. I say a good way to start is by participating in SOBA.”

Peninsula College’s The Ship Campus bridges the gap between academia and industry at PKT’s One Auto Hub in Batu Kawan, Penang.

Such awards are important to SMEs in terms of supporting their growth. As a SOBA winner, he is often asked how does one grow one’s company and to or at what level.

“Scaling your business is not easy. You have to create an additional niche; for us, via branding to get your customers to not only recognise but also chase after your brand as opposed to you chasing after them.

Winning money-can’t-buy awards such as SOBA will definitely add credibility to your business, ” says Tio.