Names of Recipients:
Mr. Kenny Tan
Ms. Veronica Chua
The road to success is not always a straightforward path. There will most definitely be obstacles along the way, roadblocks to stop one from achieving their full entrepreneurship potential. For these entrepreneurs, some may falter; decide to abandon their pursuits for good. But some rise from the ashes, bigger and better, prepared to take on whatever challenges they have been thrown. Mr. Kenny Tan and Ms. Veronica Chua, the leaders of Coex Services Asia Pte Ltd, have done exactly just that by not bowing in the face of adversity, and they have now led the company to one of the finest periods in its history.
Coex Asia’s business focuses on Marine, Oil & Gas and Heavy Industries. It is the regional sales and service centre for Synectics Surveillance System. Synectics’ award winning security system includes a full range of COEX™ safe area, marine and explosion-proof camera stations, digital recording systems, and Synergy Video Management software.
The tightly regulated Oil and Gas industry faces tough surveillance challenges that include hazardous and explosive areas, corrosive conditions, remote monitoring, and sophisticated video integration to safety and security related alarm systems. With rising fuel costs, injury risks and external threats, comprehensive security solutions for Oil & Gas facilities such as process plants, refineries, platforms and FPSOs are more demanding than ever. Synectics’ innovative approach to new and emerging technologies through ongoing research and development efforts ensures that Synectics remains at the forefront of product design and development within the specialist Oil & Gas sector.
The 1997 major financial crisis has actually led Kenny to make a decisive move to switch from commercial Security business into the niche Oil & Gas market. Recognizing the potential present in the oil and gas surveillance industry, as many are not aware or do not understand the market needs, they then decided to venture into it. Kenny discovered that at that time, Coex UK did not have a big presence in Asia, and the idea of a joint venture soon rose. Kenny flew over to Coex in UK and started to discuss his business plan with the UK partners. Discussions begun, approval was given, and Coex Asia was established in the year 2002. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength, expanding Coex business in Asia considerably.
During the initial startup years of Coex Asia, they were met with a couple of challenges, including understanding the oil and gas industry, finding the right clientele, and so on. This is especially critical as they were going into an industry that is totally different from commercial security industry. Kenny has more than 20 years of experience in commercial CCTV and it takes him about 3 years to fully understand the Oil & Gas CCTV business.
It has been one long lesson in entrepreneurship for both Kenny and Veronica. Kenny said, “I think it is good experience in learning how to set up a business, how to increase sales, and how to handle your business in times of crisis.” He then added, “The success of a company boils down to the first three years of operation. To make it through, it is the passion that will sustain you. With passion comes the involvement.” Veronica on the other hand believes that cash flow management and working environment are integral to success. She added “You have to retain your talented staff, and optimize their strengths. Also, managing your cash flow is very important. We have seen other companies that did not do well because they did not manage their cash flow properly.”
It is always not easy to find the right partners in setting up businesses. Throughout the years, they have partnered up with other people in different industries, but many of such ventures did not continue on due to various reasons.
Coex Asia is now part of Synectics Group, a global leader in advanced surveillance, security and integration technologies and services. Synectics PLC is listed on the UK AIM market and has over 450 employees spread across three continents; North America, Europe and Asia.
Coex Asia has continued to go from strength to strength, and their continually expanding client base is testament to a wealth of delighted customers who have benefited from COEX and Synectics products and a level of service that is second to none.
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