We talked to Png Chang Liang, founder of FeetCare, about the treatment of feet problems, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Png Chang Liang: Quality time matters; spending time with my loved ones at home is a great opportunity during this COVID-19 time.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded FeetCare.
Png Chang Liang: I suffer from Flat Foot and had difficulties buying the right products for my condition. So, right after University, he started FeetCare to provide accessible solutions for people with foot problems. I have been trained in dealing with foot conditions by FeetCare’s in-house podiatrist and am an expert in the knowledge of notable footwear brands in the market.
When we first started, we went around doing house visits with just a small suitcase. We even set up tables at national parks and reservoirs to help the elderly and runners check their feet’ condition and try out the products. After eight years of journey, we have helped 15,000 clients relieve foot pain. Even in this most challenging time, we’re still trying different ways to educate people about foot health knowledge.
How does FeetCare innovate?
Png Chang Liang: As footwear stores aren’t part of the essential services and critical economic sectors, our physical stores must stop operations for a few months to ensure our staff and customers’ safety. We digitized the buying process and switched the consultation process to an online platform. Our team just only spent three days being equipped to serve online.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Png Chang Liang: As a footwear store, customers tend to try out the product before purchasing; therefore, the processing time took longer, affecting the overall business revenue. Besides, the logistics took time to ship out the items to our customers during the pandemic, which indirectly affect the sales closing rate.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Png Chang Liang: FeetCare values talented employees. There are no employees who were laid off during the pandemic. However, to ensure the business could perform healthily, a salary reduction protocol must be implemented in certain circumstances. Luckily, we didn’t execute in the end.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Png Chang Liang: In customer relationship management, FeetCare is using Whatsapp to keep in touch with all our customers. Slack is used as an internal communication tool.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Png Chang Liang: Yes. The Singapore government provided a few grants to support the business stay strong during the pandemic.
Your final thoughts?
Png Chang Liang: Life is just a process, and there are always ups and downs. We must have faith that the worst moment will eventually pass. What keeps us staying strong even in the downtime is an optimistic attitude and firm action. Change is the new norm; have we prepared to embrace the uncertainty of life’s fearlessness?