Pua (seated) autographs his book for the audience.
KOTA KINABALU July 4, 2012: Malaysia needs more talents to return to the country, including technopreneurs for the Information Technology (IT) industry to advance.
Pua Khein Seng, chairman and chief executive officer of Phison Electronics Corp, said a conducive environment was also necessary for entrepreneurs to develop their potentials.
“There is potential in the IT industry in Malaysia; we have talents but many of them are overseas.”
The thing is, there are not many success stories of technopreneurs in Malaysia and this is one of the reasons many opt to work overseas or with major companies rather than setting up their own business in this industry, he said.
“In Taiwan, we often hear stories of our seniors becoming successful entrepreneurs after graduating and these instil the belief that ‘I might stand a chance to succeed if I choose to be an entrepreneur’.
“In Malaysia, we don’t have that kind of success stories,” Pua said.
Phison Electronics Corp is the developer of the world’s first pen drive with system-on-chip (SOC) technology in 2001. Last year, the company recorded revenue of USD 1.1 billion and pre-tax net profit of USD 100 million. The company, which was established in November 2000 at Hsinchu, Taiwan, currently has some 600 employees. Phison also has branches in Japan, the United States, Shenzhen, China and Penang.
Pua shared his experience and success story in a talk held at Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School here on Monday.
Pua, who hails from Sekinchan, Selangor, studied at the renowned National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Taiwan in 1993.
At the age of 23 in 1997, he completed his undergraduate studies and continued his Masters degree.
During his third year of studies, he worked alongside his professor at the latter’s company in flash memory technology. In July 2000, Pua left the company and founded Phison with four other university mates four months later.
People should be encouraged to become entrepreneurs to create an ecosystem, he said.
However, he cautioned that setting up your own business did not necessarily lead to wealth, and there were times when losing money was part of the deal.
“You have to look at the objective and motive of becoming an entrepreneur.
“Many want to be entrepreneurs in order to get rich, and the success rate for those is slim.”
Depending on which industry, the cost of setting up your own company, particularly in the IT industry, can be high, he said.
“To become an entrepreneur you must have work experience, it is impossible to succeed if you want to become an entrepreneur right after you graduate,” he advised.
Pua was speaking from his own experience. He attributed the development of the SOC pen drive, which took only six months, to solid foundation that was built from years of working experience.
“It is like martial arts, if you have practised for three to five years, it won’t take long to invent and perfect a new move,” Pua quipped.
In the past, USB drives used to have multiple ICs, making them bulky and expensive. The introduction of SOC technology not only shrunk the size of the pen-drive, but also made it cheaper. The first pen drive Phison developed was 16 megabytes, which could replace 12 floppy discs, at the price of around RM300 at that time.
His book ‘Driven to Success’ was also available at the talk. Pua is not making profit from the book, as he has donated the copyright of the Chinese version to two charity organizations in Taiwan and the English version to The Federation of Alumni Associations of Taiwan Universities Malaysia to provide for study loans.