PETALING JAYA, July 21 — Ivan Teh, Fusionex founder and managing director of AIM-listed Fusionex International Plc, has quietly gone on building a big data company that has had an eye-popping 1,000 per cent cumulative growth rate since its launch in 2006.
There are many things that stand out about Ivan, but one of them is this – his business had no angel investor, nor any venture funding. It was purely built on cash flow from satisfied customers and, in the first six months, on the sweat and toil of Ivan who put in 18-hour workdays to understand customer needs and build the software platform himself. He was a one-man show.
“It was an intense period,” he concedes, looking back. “I was speaking to my contacts and potential customers trying to understand their needs and to get a finger on the pulse as to why people would purchase my software. This was then followed by a lot of thought processes that went into trying to do something different.”
And what was this something different?
Nothing sexy, really. He just resolved to give customers a solution that was easy to use and effective to help them make sense of their data.
“People get confused. There are a lot of options out there to build your own big data solutions but in all honesty, most organisations don’t care, or don’t have the skill sets. This was the pain point I wanted to solve,” he says.
As anyone who has ever tried it knows, the hardest thing to do is to hide the complexity of very tough problems behind an easy-to-use front-end solution for customers.
This then translated into building the platform that Ivan worked on himself.
“From preparing the templates to coding the software to the documentation, I did it all myself,” he says, adding ‘pau ka-liao,’ colloquial Hokkien that roughly translates to ‘doing everything by one’s self.’
“It was an intense, exciting and, to be honest, painful time, but the great thing is that you woke up every morning highly motivated because you knew you were not doing anything monotonous,” he says.
Fast forward from those startups days in 2006 to Dec 18, 2012 and Fusionex listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) exchange with a big data focus, one of the sexiest terms in tech today.
Indeed, during the pre-IPO (initial public offering) roadshow, 38 of the 50 institutional investors who approached came on board. “The response was overwhelming,” says Ivan.
In all, Fusionex had RM200 million (US$62.8 million) committed to it, with the IPO offer oversubscribed by 300 per cent.
Amazingly, Ivan only took RM60 million (US$18.9 million), which is what his company had set out to raise. “I was told it was quite unheard of. But to me, taking all that money comes with a sense of responsibility. You have to do something in return. We could have taken the money and spent it differently and on the wrong strategy. That does not help your credibility,” he says.
Instead, what he did earned Fusionex huge credibility and translated into the fact that there were no selling shareholders on its IPO. In fact, everyone was interested to buy more.
Ending Dec 31 2012, Fusionex’s share price stood at £3.965 (RM21.48), more than double its IPO price of £1.70 (RM9.20) on Dec 18 2011. https://www.malaymail.com/s/710859/the-entrepreneur-who-turned-down-us63m
Kuala Lumpur – 5 September 2014 – Fusionex Managing Director Mr. Ivan Teh was honoured in the Asia Pacific region by winning the Most Outstanding Entrepreneur Award at the recent 2014 Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony held recently at The Grand Hyatt Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award (APEA) is a regional awards and recognition program for outstanding entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific, honouring male and female business leaders that have proven their enterprising spirit in the various industries that they participate in, whilst not neglecting their corporate social responsibilities.
Assessment by judges for the Most Outstanding Entrepreneur category is based on strict criteria; in particular, judges were required to assess whether the candidate for this award possessed the necessary entrepreneurial attributes to enable him/her to be a role model for future entrepreneurs as well as having the right temperament; the necessary tenacity, perseverance as well as other key qualities to continue inspiring, innovating and making a difference under adverse situations and environments.
Fusionex is one of the largest and most exciting IT company in the region with its arsenal of state-of-the-art products/solutions centred around business analytics and Big Data, many of which have won numerous regional as well as global awards and recognitions. In December 2012, Fusionex was listed on the London Stock Exchange as the largest technology IPO of the year, and was significantly oversubscribed with overwhelming interest from investors.
When asked to share his thoughts on being named as Most Outstanding Entrepreneur of the year, Mr. Teh commented, “I am humbled and pleasantly surprised to receive this great honour. This award is especially meaningful as it is not just about individual recognition, but more importantly this award serves as an endorsement of our [Fusionex] team’s talent, commitment and unquenchable passion that has driven all the innovation and success of Fusionex thus far. It is therefore only fitting that I dedicate this award to the ‘Fantastic Fusionex’ team; the strong partners and stakeholders whose confidence in us has been a pillar of strength; as well as our customers for the continuous support. This award will certainly spur our team to work even harder to reach greater heights, and to further excel at what we do. Thank you for this amazing recognition!”
The APEA has made its mark in over 12 markets in the region, making it the widest, most prestigious and accomplished awards of its kind. The APEA continues to be strictly regulated and judged, where only the most highly qualified candidates are selected through a stringent, multi-stage and multi-evaluation process, resulting in the APEA being a highly coveted award for entrepreneurs in this region. https://www.fusionex-international.com/Latest-News-Announcements/Fusionex-Managing-Director-Ivan-Teh-Wins-the-Most-Outstanding-Entrepreneur-Award-at-the-2014-Asia-Pacific-Entrepreneurship-Awards-Ceremony