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Goal-setting helps people know what they are building towards, an important thing to note when you are growing a company, says PKT’s Michael Tio. JOY LEE reports.

PKT Logistics Group CEO Datuk Michael Tio is a go-getter. He lives by the philosophy, “dream of it, talk about it, plan for it, work on it and get it”.

And to Tio, setting targets is an important part of “getting it”. Having goals, he believes, help people know what they are building towards and whether they are on the right path or not.

“People must have some sort of target at every stage of their lives to achieve. Give yourself a goal, achieve it, then move on to the next stage. This is a show of someone who is in control of his or her life,” he says.

Tio recalls his first taste of ambition when he earned his first salary as a babysitter while studying in the UK at age 18. He was keen to earn more money after that, taking on any work opportunity that came his way.

“When I went to the UK, my mother gave me £600 for my pocket money for the first year. When she visited me in my second year, I returned her money and started paying for my own tuition fees,” Tio reveals.

Not long after, Tio stretched his goal, aiming to make his first million before he turned 21.

For that, he was eager to start a used car business. He worked hard to achieve his goal, establishing contacts and making arrangements for cars to be shipped from the UK to Malaysia.

Along the way, Tio also picked up the ins and outs of the used car business as well as learned to evaluate deals and to handle other entrepreneurs.

“I was busy making and spending money. Life is short. I also wanted to enjoy the money I made,” he laughs, adding that he managed to achieve his million-ringgit-goal at 21.

Setting goals, he says, has not only helped him as a person but also shaped him into the shrewd entrepreneur he is today.

When he returned to Malaysia, Tio had similar big targets for PKT. And he has worked hard over the years to modernise the logistics company, implementing initiatives to make PKT a fun and empowering workplace to be in.

He has also worked to grow the company’s margins. Tio has previously shared that he intends to make PKT a RM1bil concern and he is satisfied with the company’s milestones in getting there.

“There is a satisfaction in achieving goals. But knowing how to adjust your target when you can’t achieve your goal is also important. You need to know how to take corrective measures,” he says.

For example, PKT had diversified its business segments during the 1997 financial crisis to meet its target margin even when sales was falling, Tio explains.

Set short-term targets. But be flexible so that you can find other ways to still reach the end goal, he emphasises.

Tio reckons he has unintentionally set plenty of goals for himself over the years and thinks he is the better because of them.

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