PETALING JAYA: Two mechanical engineering graduates took a leap of faith to start a business in a completely different field – information and communications technology (ICT).
Back then, the internet had only been around for seven years in Malaysia and few people had personal computers at home, but fresh graduates Ko Yun Hung and Kelvin Pah Wai Onn decided to found SNS Network, a one-man business that provided ICT products and related services.
The move has paid off for the duo as they have transformed their small business in Ipoh, Perak, into one of Malaysia’s largest ICT resellers by revenue with annual sales of over a billion. from RM.
The ICT provider rebranded itself as SNS Network Technology Bhd following its rapid growth with diverse customers ranging from individual consumers to government-related agencies and corporations.
Ko and Pah, who serve as Managing Director and Executive Director respectively, recently launched the company’s prospectus seeking listing on Bursa Malaysia’s ACE market to raise new capital to fund its business expansion plans.
Ko and Pah believe that the ICT industry has many business opportunities to exploit.
“The ICT industry is always interesting. Before that was called the computer industry and it was a new industry that was flourishing at that time. I chose this industry because of the opportunities it offered.
“My parents helped me start the business along with my partner and classmate Pah, whose mother contributed capital to our business. As new graduates, we had no capital to start a business, but we had a lot of crazy ideas,” Ko told StarBiz.
He said that it was not easy to succeed in this industry due to the strong competition with newcomers and large resellers.
“We carefully chose the positioning of SNS and the target markets we wanted to serve. We identified our niche and made sure to deliver and so we grew in strength over the years.
“This industry still has a bright future because things are constantly changing. For example, after the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of users has increased in our company, which translates into many opportunities,” he said.
SNS Network’s growth over the years has faced its challenges, Ko said.
“The main challenge we face today is talent. Getting the right talent is very important. The ICT industry is not easy to adopt because there is always new knowledge and things change quickly in the world. ‘industry.
“The commitment is that we need to ensure that our employees are trained to keep up to date with the latest industry skills and knowledge.
“In addition to providing training, retaining people is the challenge. Our upcoming initial public offering (IPO) is an opportunity for our employees to participate in the capital of the company.
“We need to provide a better platform for employees to have a better career path,” he said.
He advised people who want to venture into the ICT industry to commit to continuous improvement.
“There are always new things happening and new changes in the ICT industry in terms of product knowledge, technology and product pricing. This industry is changing very rapidly.
“The skills and knowledge you learned six months ago may not be relevant now. The knowledge you learned today will become obsolete three years from now.
“If you want to venture into this industry, you have to love what you do and master the ever-changing knowledge. These are the criteria for success in the industry,” he said.
SNS’s IPO shares are open for subscription until August 18, 2022, with a listing scheduled for September 2, 2022.
The company intends to raise RM90.7 million through the issuance of 362.9 million new SNS shares, representing 22.5% of the enlarged share capital, at an issue price of 25 sen per share. .
SNS will use proceeds from the IPO for capital expenditures to expand the company’s Desktop as a Service (DaaS) subscription service and partially fund the construction of its new regional hub. DaaS is a device rental model offered to customers based on monthly subscription payments.
The remaining proceeds will be used to establish 10 new retail stores, fund marketing activities for its in-house brand JOI, repay bank loans and for working capital as well as cover listing fees.
The main business activities of SNS are the sale of ICT products comprising hardware, appliances and associated peripherals of third-party brands and JOI through its physical stores and online and commercial channels.
It also provides device repairs and related services for Apple as well as the sale of broadband services for Telekom Malaysia, Celcom, Maxis and other telecom operators.
SNS Network currently has 18 retail stores in Low Yat Plaza and six in Digital Mall.