Business the green way
A desire to help consumers go green prompted three friends to start Chloros Solutions and bring green solutions to homes.
It all began when Peter Goh took a module on “Global Environmental Issues” during his final semester at the National University of Singapore.
“I realised a lot of money was pumped in by governments around the world into green research and development. But the ‘trickle-down’ effect to the end consumers was minimal. If you wanted to go green, chances are you would not know where to begin. Even if you knew, you would still need to look for suppliers for different products. And the challenge would be how to tell which is the best solution for you, ” recalls Peter.
Recognising the need for a service to bridge the gap between producers of green technologies and home owners, Peter roped in his friends, Melvin Chen and Rebekah Lin, to look into the market potential of such a business.
The trio spent the better part of 2010 in discussions and research and in October 2010, Chloros Solutions was born.
Explains Melvin, “Chloros is the Greek word for green. Since the concept of ‘green’ is as abstract as Greek to many people, we wanted to change this perception. Hence the name Chloros Solutions.”
Peter spearheads the business development, and Melvin oversees the technical department, while business administration graduate Rebekah manages the financial and investment aspects of the company.
To raise seed capital for their business, the team turned to SPRING’s Young Entrepreneurs Scheme for Start-ups (YES! Start-ups).
“The $50,000 grant from YES! Startups was instrumental in helping the company kick start operations, allowing us to purchase the necessary equipment,” recalls Peter.
“The networking events organised by SPRING also gave us the opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs and professionals, and this enabled us to develop ideas for our business.”
Today, Chloros Solutions offers a broad range of green technology solutions, such as energy evaluation, resource management, green retrofitting, waste management and development consultancy.
Its main clientele consists of homeowners of both HDB and private properties. The company also takes an interest in working with schools to help educate youths on the “green” message and spread the importance of adopting green practices. More recently, the team began its foray into commercial projects aimed at helping businesses go green and enjoy greater cost savings by using eco-friendly technologies.
“Many people think that going green is expensive and that only the rich can afford it. This is not true. Our business model helps our clients save 20-40% off their utility bills each month, which is a big selling point,” Melvin points out.
For Melvin and Peter, who have been pals since secondary school and hold degrees in aerospace engineering and sociology respectively, pursuing their entrepreneurial aspirations instead of settling into comfortable jobs after graduation has been a tough but rewarding journey.
“Sacrifices were definitely inevitable as we had to work seven days a week, attending to all matters, be it big or small. However, the satisfaction of watching the business grow more than makes up for these small sacrifices,” said Melvin.
Adds Peter, “Being young as we are now, there is no better time to take the plunge. The learning curve here is like no other but we believe we are gaining a lot more in many ways even though we may not earn as much as our peers holding stable jobs.”
As Chloros celebrates its first anniversary in October this year, the company is on track to break even by then and turn in profits by the end of 2011. This is a big achievement for a young company. With three more consultants onboard, Chloros is now looking into expanding its range of services.
“Chloros' biggest selling point is our dedicated and passionate team, who view the business as a means to help people. Nothing encourages us more than the smiles on our clients' faces when they receive their new bills and see the savings they have made,” Melvin sums up.
Chloros Solutions Pte Ltd is a boutique firm based in Singapore that operates as a one-stop hub for Green Technology Consultancy and Projects Management.