Week in Review: Phison founder determined to make his mark here

  • Phison part of Creative Product Development Program which aims to create success stories
  • Wants to open up the eyes of the design community that there is opportunity in melding design with electronics

Week in Review: Phison founder determined to make his mark hereTHIS was just a packed week for the ecosystem but it has become so common that I am tempted to say that it was just another typical week!
 
There was loads going on in the start-up space, from MOL Global making yet another acquisition (by the way, we were the only ones to reveal how much equity they took) as it widens its global footprint; to articles by highly regarded individuals in the start-up space in Malaysia and Singapore about raising money.
 
But I know the conversations this weekend and the coming week will be about any impact that the coming tax on revenue derived from e-commerce will have.
 
I am frankly unperturbed by this. E-commerce has been around for over 15 years in Malaysia and while it really took off last year, the arguments that government needs to cut the sector some slack, especially to small e-commerce companies and blog shop owners, is not relevant anymore.
 
Everyone making a penny from e-commerce has had a great run already. Complain for a while to let off steam and then just get on with it. And please don’t use the argument that this will cause prices online to go up as you have to “pass on the costs.” You are going to lose out to your competitors who don’t do that, unless you have a super special item or product that only you are selling. Are you?
 
Moving away from this, I really want to talk about K.S. Pua, the quiet Malaysian who runs a fabless IC (integrated circuit chip) design company that is listed in Taiwan.
 
Pua once gave a talk at an exhibition in Kuala Lumpur where he said that the Government kept trying to get him to set up some manufacturing in Malaysia and was offering all kinds of incentives. This was in 2009.
 
His reaction to that? “My company has close to US$1 billion in cash. I don’t want your incentives but I do want your business,” he said, ever the entrepreneur.
 
He did not get any business from the Malaysian Government but on March 11, he became part of an initiative to get all the designers in Malaysia, from your industrial designers to the product and fashion designers, to start looking at the possibilities of combining their creativity with electronics and to hopefully start making money from this.
 
Week in Review: Phison founder determined to make his mark hereWith the world inexorably moving towards an era where there is going to be a chip (likely to be made in Penang) in everything, the bet is that consumers will not want a bland smart item. Smart does not have to be soulless.
 
In fact, smart with style is a lucrative niche. According to data shared at the launch of this program, the opportunity stands at US$170 billion a year, in the global digital entertainment and lifestyle product market.
 
But to Pua (pic), the initiative, Creative Product Development Program, is all about creating success stories throughout the Electronics and Electrical (E&E) value chain.
 
His focus on creating successes is simple. Nothing inspires and motivates an individual more than seeing others succeed and thinking, “Hey, I can do better.”
 
Isn’t that why we never seem to run out of eager entrepreneurs who think they can open the next hot restaurant? Even though a dozen have failed before in that same spot? The food scene in Bangsar is a perfect example.
 
Pua, who has been in Taiwan since the early 1990s, witnessed firsthand the electrifying impact of the success of the early Taiwanese entrepreneurs in the E&E space. He is now determined to play a catalyst role in the industry in Malaysia. The ecosystem is all the better for it.
 
Previous Installments:
 
Week in Review: A once hot start-up fights to stay relevant

Week in Review: Fueling the dreams of start-ups

Week in Review: Penang no longer just about MNCs

Week in Review: We’re all going to be watching Matt Chandran

Week in Review: Success begets success

Week in Review: Data centers, unsung heroes and digital economy drivers

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