Sands China Ltd.’s commitment to supporting local enterprises as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility has helped expand assets and sales growth of numerous local firms.
Viewing local businesses as strategic partners, Sands China has long extended its support to local small and medium enterprises as well as micro firms in line with the Macau SAR government’s initiative to support local SME development.
As one of its partners since Sands Macao started operations in the SAR, Loja de Ferragen Ng Kei, a machinery and tool store, recalls the immense support the gaming operator has given local SMEs.
Established in the city for over 50 years, the family business is currently run by Matthew Ung, the third-generation owner.
The storeowner has expanded the supply of materials such as chemical fuels, cleaning products and safety equipment. At present, the company has 50 brands and has a product catalogue of over 3,000 items for its retail and wholesale business.
Ung studied mechanical engineering in Canada and brought his expertise back to the SAR.
He has used his skills advantages to acquire products through his networks in Canada that are difficult to find in Southeast Asia. Ung recalled that when Sands China was looking for particular products from the US, he was able to source those products through his network in Canada and successfully started his cooperation with Sands China.
The storeowner recalls how businesses used to operate before Macau’s handover to China, noting that there were fewer networks made, hindering the expansion of businesses.
“There is a big difference in operating a business before and after the handover,” Ung said.
“The opportunities for business expansion then became wider, especially when working with large-scale companies like Sands China,” he added.
Ung said that the company’s business volume has continued to increase year by year through ongoing cooperation with gaming operators.
Sands China accounts for 60 percent of total sales for Loja de Ferragen Ng Kei, with overall business steadily increasing by 10 to 20 percent per annum.
Ung added that the collaboration with Sands China has also expanded his company’s business internationally. After suppling products to Sands China with positive feedback, Ung’s products were then also sourced for projects at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which is operated by Sands China’s parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp. This has established a valuable opportunity for the company to access overseas opportunities.
In a bid to assist local firms gain an understanding of how international companies are run, Sands China offers its Sands Procurement Academy to SME owners that are willing to participate.
The Sands Procurement Academy is co-organised with the Macao Chamber of Commerce and the Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Centre (CPTTM) and is an initiative to develop local suppliers. It shares business knowledge and skills to help local SME suppliers gain experience and capacity for working with large-scale international corporations like Sands China, and specifically targets three categories of local SME suppliers: small and micro-enterprises, Macau young entrepreneurs, and “Made-in-Macau” enterprises.
Given Sands China’s latest project, The Londoner Macao, Ung shared his belief that it will also make a big impact on their firm in terms of sales growth and connections.
“We are happy that we have expansion opportunities. What we are doing right now is continuously improving our products and services,” he explained Ung.
Meanwhile, Ung looks forward to the opportunities brought by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, believing that the platform set up by the central government carries great potential for the future development of local businesses.
In addition, Sands China pledges to continue to create procurement opportunities for local SME suppliers, so that its success and their success can go hand-in-hand – in line with the Macau government’s initiative to ‘buy local.’
Sands China also holds successful invitational matching sessions to give local SME suppliers a platform for presenting and demonstrating their products and services to potential users and buyers at Sands China properties.
The initiative has the goal of enhancing communication between vendors and users and improving the procurement success rate.
The company also recently stepped up its commitment to support local SME suppliers by launching a special financing program in cooperation with six local banks.
Sands China’s total procurement spend in 2018 was approximately MOP 10.7 billion, 77 percent of which was with local suppliers.
Sands China says it will maintain its focus on procurement with local SME suppliers, and looks forward to the continued success and benefits for both sides that the collaboration has brought about.