Name of Recipient:
Mr. Kenneth Koh
In this modern day and age, computers are everywhere, dictating how companies and systems work. For Mr. Kenneth Koh, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Techsource Systems Pte Ltd, he thinks computers are not the most important element in the digital age, as once, he heard the saying that computers are actually the most stupid creation in the world, as without the software it takes to operate the machinery, the computers are useless pieces of junk that are made from sand. With that thought, it inspired Mr. Koh to rise and give more appreciation and representation to the neglected element of computer software.
Venturing with a partner into the software industry in 1996, Mr. Koh and his partner chose the name Techsource for the company, as they felt it represented the point source of all technologies. They now provide engineering and scientific software to the ASEAN region. These software are crucial for companies doing research and development into various technologies and products, as well as bio-analysis for certain specialized companies. In addition, they also provide the automotive software for the computers that are present in cars, as well as new chips for anyone looking to replace their parts.
For Mr. Koh, setting up a business already seemed like a natural route to him. Influenced by his father who worked hard to fulfill his entrepreneur dreams, but ultimately did not manage to do so, Mr. Koh resolved to establish a company of his by the age of thirty-one. Not only did he do that, but Mr. Koh managed to achieve that dream two years earlier than he had planned.
But the path to this dream had not been an easy journey. As Mr. Koh is in the software industry, he soon became acutely aware that piracy was a massive problem for them. At that time, the crackdown on piracy was not as stringent as now, and pirated copies of software were used widely. This resulted in a loss of possible sales for Techsource as some companies preferred to take the easy and cheaper route in their company operations. In addition, Mr. Koh felt he had very little experience in manpower management, and Techsource struggled initially to hire and maintain their staff in the early years of establishment. But finance issues soon became a biggest problem. When Techsource first started, their financial situation was very tight, and their setup costs were high. After the first nine months of operations, Mr. Koh almost had to close down the company due to their dire cash flow.
To overcome these problems, Mr. Koh had to be very cautious in their business practices and urge their clients for their prompt payment. He had to be prudent in their spending, and not over-commit and expand their business too aggressively. He also hired staff to help with the management of the manpower issue, employing internal and external training to groom their staff, aiding in the fostering of belonging to the company. However right now, piracy is still a very current problem for the technology industry, and Mr. Koh feels that much more education about this topic is still needed.
Today, however, Techsource have successfully weathered the storm, and have come out the other side stronger and better. Their software is extensively sought after in local universities and polytechnics, which is now accepted as a tool of necessity for learning. This situation is also seen in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines as well, with their products used to teach and develop skills for students of various countries. Humorously, Mr. Koh also wistfully noted that their software is constantly the top ten most pirated software in the industry, and often, one can already find them as early as two weeks after every new release.
Mr. Koh is certainly someone who has been the best and worst moments of being an entrepreneur. Through his journey, he has picked up various valuable tips and lessons, and he now kindly shares them with whoever aspires to do the same. “Never try to do two things at one. Working and starting up a business at the same time. This journey is for those who risk to lose, as there is really no failure; it is just part of the process to winning.” Mr. Koh then added, “Having passion for what you do is important. Find and work for it and not money. There is a lot of pressure to make money, sure, but if you work with passion and instead of just towards monetary goals, money will come to look for you.” Furthermore, Mr. Koh believes an entrepreneur cannot be lazy. “They must be able to withstand hardship, and they cannot wait for instructions on what to do. For an entrepreneur, it is like they are given a plot of grass, they have to walk on their own, and soon there will be a path created by them.”
Indeed, Mr. Koh has taken and implemented much of his own advice that he gives. And he plans to use that to bring Techsource to greater heights. As more and more countries are introducing a wider range of software training, Mr. Koh knows the demand of his software will continue rising. Hence, he plans to break into other markets in the ASEAN region that has been tapped into yet. With his experience in managing his resources and in the latest technologies, Mr. Koh is well poised to lead Techsource to a more prosperous era in their history.
10 Ubi Crescent #06-49
Ubi Tech Park Lobby C S(408564)
T| 6842 4222
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