Making customers happy makes him a winner

SRA honorary secretary Helen Khoo with Mr Kumar Munasamy Perimal, who won the Service Superstar award yesterday.
SRA honorary secretary Helen Khoo with Mr Kumar Munasamy Perimal, who won the Service Superstar award yesterday.PHOTO: SINGAPORE RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

Operations manager beats more than 2,500 nominees to clinch Service Superstar award

Mr Kumar Munasamy Perimal, an operations manager at a petrol station, once took four litres of petrol in a metal container to a customer who had run out of fuel and was stranded on the road.

Better known as MP to his customers at 7-Eleven@Shell, he also once personally went to another station to buy model Ferrari cars for a customer who needed 30 pieces for his clients.

For such exemplary service, he took home the Service Superstar award yesterday, beating more than 2,500 other nominees to the top spot.

The annual Excellent Service Award for the retail sector, organised by the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), was handed out in a ceremony at the Kallang Theatre.

Mr Kumar, 49, has been working at Shell for the past 19 years. He has worked his way up from being a car washer, pump attendant, cashier, and assistant shift manager to his current post as an operations manager running three stations in Yishun and Sembawang.

"The service line is about making customers happy. Simple things like calling them 'brother' make a difference, make them comfortable," he said.

Mr Kumar has won several sales awards, including one that took him to Japan and another that led him to meet racing legend Michael Schumacher.

At yesterday's event, the number of winners who clinched awards in the top category, called the Star award, increased by more than 10 per cent, compared with last year. A total of 94 retailers took part in this year's nomination.

"We hope that this will continue to inspire more employers to recognise their staff's hard work and dedication," said SRA executive director Anthony Gan.

Two others shortlisted for the Superstar award this year are Mr Ng Khin Wee, assistant shop manager at Fox clothing store, and Ms Koh Lim Chew, branch manager at Yishun Post Office Central.

Mr Ng, 28, went out of his way to replace damaged snap buttons on a dress belonging to a little girl, and Ms Koh, 56, personally delivered a passport to a customer so that he could catch his flight on time.

As part of the awards, companies that did well in categories such as cosmetics and wellness, department store and telecommunications were recognised. They were identified through a retail industry mystery shopping programme.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2015, with the headline 'Making customers happy makes him a winner'. Print Edition | Subscribe