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Interview with Cary Kum



Corporate Social Responsibilty

My City - Johannesburg



Our Building

First Aid and Basic Training



Social Media Survey

Health & Safety




Lunch in a box


Valentines Day


2013 Events




Chinese New Year


After a while Mr Robert thought that it was time for a change and I became involved with groupage. I remember how we made history at the time with our bargain prices which helped us to absorb the market.


ary took some time out from her very busy schedule in the Imports Department to share her journey with Mpisi. Over a few days we met in a variety of places to talk about her remarkable time spent at Mpisi up until now. I have been working at Mpisi since 2007. I remember quite well, because at that time my son was in Grade 3.

I remember how we made history at the time... I started working in the Imports Department and at that time I didn’t know much about the different shipping lines. I learnt a lot in Imports especially regarding our connection with clients. We constantly have to place ourselves in clients’ shoes – especially when they are quite panicked. We also need to keep on top of how the market is and how a financial crisis might affect it. This led me to enjoy being sociable with clients and to help in providing the best client service possible.

We worked hard to let our potential clients know about these bargain prices like handing out brochures to clients at Chinese shopping centres. As we didn’t have any graphic designers at the time I even helped to create and design the brochure. At that point I always knew that when I get lost I will ask Mr Robert for help and that I could trust in him as he would always assist me. After working in groupage I went back to Imports for a while to help out and thereafter I worked with Acelink in China Tel. Throughout this time I remained steadfast in my thinking of Mpisi as a service provider and that we always had to be one step ahead to enhance the services we provide. Since I have started working at Mpisi I can’t believe how much the company has changed. Wow! My mind started jogging and I remember when we started that we only occupied about a quarter of the ground floor. Step by step we moved forward and then moved to the third floor which we were only renting until earlier this year when we finally bought the whole building. Exciting times, right? After working at Mpisi for a year we finally bought our own trucks. At the time we were having a braai outside and then the three trucks we bought arrived and parked in the parking area. We all cheered and took a photo of ourselves next to the truck. Until this day my son gets so excited when he sees one of our Mpisi trucks on the road. I feel quite proud too because it is our own and we earned it. We also went to Mauritius once after Mr Robert gave us a target to make regarding our imports volume. At this time Mr Robert is very happy and so we all went. At another time, we also all went to the Drakensberg and our families were invited too. We really enjoyed our time there with the beautiful scenery.


I have been in South Africa for 16 years now. At the beginning it’s quite painful as my family is overseas and at that time I only knew my husband, then my boyfriend, and his family. Once I decided to stay here in South Africa, I found things to do which kept me busy. Now my life is a lot more stable. I am used to this regular life and if I had to go back to Hong Kong it will be too random and busy. Every day my family and I can stay together and be happy. Time with my family is precious. Even though I still have my home in Asia, it is different to here. Since I have been at the company the thing that has changed the most is the people working here. Our strategy remains the same yet people come and go all of the time. We always try and work as a team, when something doesn’t work out we will have a discussion and make suggestions on how to improve. In this way we learn from our mistakes. Management will always guide us step by step yet now new employees will always be given space to find themselves. New employees always bring new ideas and therefore flexibility is allowed because the company trusts us enough. I would like to advise any new employee that once you are here trust is very important. One needs to trust your team mates and team leader. As new employees you can bring something to Mpisi. Don’t worry about arguments – we are just discussing something. You also have to learn the basic route before you can run on your own. Always ask questions. Take care of yourself and take lunch like everyone else. In turn Mpisi takes care of its staff and provides us with security and a safe working environment. Everyone is important. “Good work is nothing without cooperation.” Bill Clinton


What building in Joburg is an eyesore to you? Carlton Centre. What would you tell someone that just moved to Joburg? Work hard and play even harder. What is your position at Mpisi Group? I am a clerk in the forwarding department.


phiwe Madela from the forwarding department took some time out from her busy schedule to tell us more about her life in Johannesburg.

How long have you lived in Johannesburg? It has been nine years. What do you love about living in Joburg? The big skyscrapers and the diversity of the city. Are there any things you dislike about living in Joburg? The traffic is the worst. What are some of your favourite things to do in Joburg? I like to go to New Town to watch theatre on a Friday, there is a lot one can do in Newtown – theatre, poetry, dance.


What does a regular day at Mpisi look like for you?

I like to go to New Town to watch theatre on a Friday...

I fulfil my duties for the day from the point of receiving the documents (the container) until it reaches the final destination (the client), therefore “meeting client expectations”.

If you could describe Joburg in one sentence what would that be? It’s survival of the fittest. If you compared Joburg to other South African cities such as Cape Town or Durban - what’s the same and what’s different? The people are the same, but the architecture and the vibes are different. What’s your favourite building in Joburg? My favourite building in Joburg is Constitution Hill and the Joburg art gallery.


First Aid and Basic Fire Fighting Training During the week of the 27th until the 31st of August Mpisi employees underwent training in First Aid and Basic Fire Fighting. Employees from our warehouses to head office gave their best to learn all about CPR and other emergency procedures. If there is ever an emergency situation we will know that we can go to one of our first aiders or basic fire fighters to assist us. The following poster will shed some more light on the matter and can be found on a company wall near you.



This indicates that someone has been injured.

This indicates the three pronged approach

1. Someone needs to call an ambulance.

2. Someone needs to call a first aider.

3. Someone needs to call HR.

This section has all of the information needed to call an ambulance.


This section has the phone numbers of first aiders.

This section has all the relevant contact numbers needed to phone HR.



bento lunch is a meal that is packed for lunch which is balanced, healthy and also visually appealing. It is similar in concept to the Korean dosirak, Taiwanese bian dang or Indian tiffin. The word “bento” is Japanese for packed meal.

Bento lunches consist of a different amount of portions which creates a balanced meal that provides one with enough nutrition for the day. These portions consist of: • Three parts carbohydrates. • One part protein. • Two parts fruit and vegetables – without any sugary treats, instant and fatty foods. Bento box lunches are also very colourful and visually appealing which enhances the overall eating experience. Picky eaters might also find themselves more enticed to eat certain foods if they are well presented.

The following is important to keep in mind when you try and create your own bento lunches: • Think balance in terms of nutrition, colour and texture. • Pack it in a compact manner and make use of cherry tomatoes and grapes to fill gaps and to stabilise the lunch in the bento box. • Think of which kinds of foods will be touching and won’t taste good together. Use cucumbers and lettuce slices to separate these foods from each other.

Bento lunches don’t have to be Japanese. One can mix and match or go with different countries’ cuisine every week such as Thai, Mexican, African – the options to get creative are endless.



The 14th of February was Valentine’s Day – restaurants were full of couples and a sense of renewed romance was in the air. Saint Valentine’s Day is named after a saint named Valentinus. According to popular beliefs Valentinus was imprisoned for marrying soldiers who weren’t allowed to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. Today Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a day in which love is shown to another in the form of gifts, confectionary and letters known as “valentines”.







Chinese New Year,

also known as Spring Festival, is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays. Because the Chinese calendar is based on the moon, it is also known as


the “Lunar New Year”. Chinese New Year starts on Chinese New Year’s eve which falls on the last day of the last month and runs up until the 15th day of the first month – which is known as the Lantern Festival.

This makes Chinese New Year the longest festival of all the traditional Chinese holidays. This year Chinese New Year was celebrated on the 10th of February in countries like China, Taiwan, and Singapore including various Chinatowns all across the world.

We at Mpisi Group bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon and welcome to the Year of the Snake.


Mpisi Group is constantly involved in giving back to society and being actively involved in the uplifting of communities. One such community project is the work we do with the Nan Hua Buddhist temple and the school – Nan Hua Academy. We are invested in the education of the young people receiving their schooling at the temple. After completing their studies at this temple, pupils are invited to send their CV’s to Mpisi for assistance with study and work opportunities too. Nan Hua temple is the largest Buddhist temple and seminary in Africa situated in Bronkhorstspruit – a short drive away from Johannesburg and offers visitors an introduction to the Buddhist way of life, various retreats and other events.



In 2004 Mpisi started out on the ground floor of the very same building we now own in Bedfordview, Johannesburg. At the time we had roughly 20 employees and started out as a clearing and forwarding company. Today, we have grown exponentially and now own the building which is our head office here in Johannesburg. Expect to see our maintenance guys out and about, fixing up the building and introducing new ideas and suggestions. If you might have any ideas or suggestions – please feel free to make use of our suggestion box in the main boardroom.







Where’s McPC? The Sequel I’m sure you all remember this guy – yes, it’s the one and only Mpisi Express mascot and generally just a cute little critter! In this issue you’ll have to solve a clue and then look for McPC on the right page. Here’s your clue: I am hidden amongst a sea of faces during a yearly celebration. If you can find McPC give us the page number and where McPC is hidden and you’ll enter our random draw to win this helpful Tobi Steam whizz of an iron – now your shirts will never be creased again! Either email your answers to or sms your answers to 078 160 3874. The closing date for entries is Tuesday, the 5th of March 2013 at 15h00. Happy hunting!



Mpisi Express 8  

Employee magazine

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