"Make it happen. That is my motto in life. I never say 'no' to any challenge and this belief has guided me in all my endeavours and achievements," asserts Eunice Chua, director, business development at SingExpress Pte Ltd.
Eunice may be in her 70s, but try telling this grand dame to slow down, and you will be met by a spirited protest. As she passionately puts it: "I inject excitement into my life and I just enjoy what I do!" It is this joie de vivre for life that draws people to her and makes her a natural whizz in an industry that is all about people and meeting their needs.
The right doors have always opened for Eunice at the right moments, including her 11 years as an air hostess with then Malayan Airways. Her spunky and confident attitude, backed by an ever ready inventory of witty replies must have won over her interviewers although she had never given serious thought to it.
After a corporate stint with Qantas Airways as a corporate quality and standards manager, Eunice agreed to join Franco Asian and help Janet Tan-Collis set up her outbound MICE division. It wasn't long before another friend came calling and asked for her help. This time, it was with Peter Choo of Scenic Travel. Being a creative person, Eunice was never one for numbers; yet she managed to double their sales figures over two consecutive years. Call it pure ingenuity or plain gumption, but Eunice is able to dive deep into new territories and make it work - including successfully managing her first medical conference.
"I have to thank Nancy Tan, managing director of Ace:Daytons Direct for helping me with my first medical conference. She not only helped me through each detailed step of my proposal late one night, but she even got her staff to put on Tour East uniforms to help out with onsite registration. Her generous support was much appreciated, and all I did to deserve it was to help her run her promotional booth for a nephrology event. This kind of collaboration among us is priceless. We may be competitors, but we are still friends," shares Eunice.
Over the years, Eunice gained a loyal following of high-profile clients and helped bring many groups to Singapore, some of whom continually return to Singapore because of their trust in Eunice.
To thrive in an industry that has become increasingly competitive and demanding, Eunice has this advice to give to the young and aspiring: "Dare to make decisions and to make mistakes. It is very important to listen well and to ask questions. Being observant and tactful will go a long way in helping you understand your clients' needs. And most importantly, you must be genuine and truly be a people person."
A creative maven, poet and doyenne of Peranakan culture, Eunice embodies authentic hospitality that has helped promote Singapore to many international delegates. At home, she even has a museum of artefacts and art pieces that evokes engaging talking points.