THE previous two articles discussed Blue Ocean Strategy and how world-famous companies have used it to their advantage.

Today’s article looks at how the same business strategy has worked successfully in some homegrown companies.


Sheng Siong Supermarket

Some people love the “old-world” atmosphere of wet markets. They don’t mind jostling with crowds of people because that’s all part of the experience. Then there are those who would prefer to skip wet markets altogether because they are smelly and the floors are wet and slippery.

This latter group of people is the target of Sheng Siong Supermarket, which sells fish and other types of seafood, meats and poultry, as well as a variety of groceries in an air-conditioned, clean and organised environment.

Founder Lim Hock Chee, a former pork seller, has grown Sheng Siong from its first outlet in Ang Mo Kio to 22 outlets and a $65 million distribution centre. It launched a blue ocean for people who dislike shopping in wet markets and attracted a new group of customers who want affordable prices as well as comfort.


Killiney Kopitiam

This coffee shop chain took the local tradition of having a cup of coffee with kaya toast to a new level by serving nostalgia in a clean and efficient environment. Each of its 25 outlets are decked with black and white photos of the original coffee shop in Killiney Road and old-style marble-topped wooden tables and chairs.

Owned by Mr T.S. Woon, who bought the original coffee shop on Killiney Road, the coffee chain created a blue ocean by attracting a new type of patrons — executives who find the clean, updated environment suitable for a coffee break or a business meeting.



This bakery chain made bread an attractive food item with its organised boutique layout, innovative offerings and clever, tongue-in-cheek product names. Its innovative bestseller, the pork floss bun, spawned copycats all over the island. Its see-through kitchens allow customers to witness the making and baking of their favourite bread items.

With BreadTalk, founder George Quek did not compete against other confectionaries. Instead, his bakery was a blue ocean that attracted a new breed of customers who previously viewed bread as an unexciting breakfast staple. From one outlet, BreadTalk has since gone global with a presence in 15 countries and more than 200 boutique bakeries.



From marketing household products, Mr Ron Sim saw an untapped area in the healthy lifestyle market. His blue ocean created new demand: customers could de-stress and soothe their aches and pains in the comfort of their own homes with their affordable massage chairs. OSIM is now a global company with 1,104 outlets in 31 countries.


Night Safari

At 5pm, you will see elephants and other animals crossing from the Singapore Zoo over to the Night Safari. Same animals, different customers. Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the parent company of attractions like Jurong Bird Park and the Zoo, created a blue ocean by innovating on the concept of a traditional zoo and attracting a new market of customers.



This department store is synonymous with crowds and packed inventory. You can buy nearly everything here at competitive prices. Mustafa also offers a supermarket, foreign exchange services, visa processing, travel booking and a café offering drinks and snacks.

Its founder, Mustaq Ahmed, created blue oceans by offering a wide variety of goods and services and making them available 24 hours a day. Occupying a unique position in the retail market, Mustafa has grown from a 900 sq ft shop to a 70,000 sq ft department store selling 75,000 items.