The entrepreneur who turned down US$63m

PETALING JAYA, July 21 — Ivan Teh, 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

Fusionex Founder
Fusionex Founder

1,000 per cent cumulative growth rate since its launch in 2006.

The yearly CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) is 40 per cent. In 2012, revenues grew 27.93 per cent to £31.31 million (RM160.38 million) from £24.48 million in 2011, while net income improved 56.65 per cent from £8.13 million in 2011 to £12.74 million.
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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 founder 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.

With big data being its key focus since 2011, Ivan expects Fusionex to build on the momentum it has, aided by the RM50 million (US$15.7 million) it has committed to invest in R&D (research and development) over the next three years to strengthen its big data and analytics core. — Digital News Asia

https://www.malaymail.com/s/710859/the-entrepreneur-who-turned-down-us63m

Fusionex CEO receives Technopreneur of Excellence Title

Fusionex Managing Director and CEO Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh was awarded the Technopreneur of Excellence 2017 Award at the PIKOM ICT Awards ceremony over the weekend. The coveted award was presented to Teh, in recognition of Fusionex’s achievements and contributions towards growing and supporting the ICT sector in the region.
The star-studded event was marked by an attendance of approximately a thousand attendees, consisting of industry leaders, talents, and budding stars in the ICT arena. The Technopreneur of Excellence award is reserved for individuals demonstrating ICT best practices; as well as to commend their diligence, commitment, and continuous innovation.

This award marks the continuous excellence exhibited by Fusionex, helmed by Teh, and follows Fusionex’s earlier win of the Company Excellence Award in 2016.

Teh carried the Malaysian and ASEAN flags up high when he represented the country and region to speak at the 2017 Belt and Road Summit. Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC), Teh was one of the most prominent speakers, gathered to share their perspective and vision with thousands of business leaders and key government officials from almost 50 countries.

With Fusionex as a premier data technology player, Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh has also led Fusionex towards striking a strategic alliance with Alibaba Cloud, one of the fastest growing cloud providers in the world. Fusionex technology is also incorporated into the syllabus of certain local universities, to encourage homegrown ICT talent. Teh is a strong advocate for the nurturing of young talent, frequently encouraging students to consider ICT and data technology as a viable interest and career. He was also a judge for the Sunway University Dolphin Tank tech entrepreneur competition (by the Young Outliers) as well as Battle of the Digital Ninja event by MDEC held at KLCC.

Ivan Teh
Ivan Teh

Teh commented, “I am happy and humbled to receive this award. Accepting this in front of so many ICT friends, and colleagues reminds me that it takes everyone working together to advance the role of ICT in society.

I would like to congratulate and thank everyone from Team Fusionex who made this possible. We will continue to move upwards and onwards in our journey and mission to help shape this country and region in a positive manner with technology.” https://m.facebook.com/public/Ivan-Teh

Fusionex wins Malaysia Airlines project for information collaboration and data management platform

Fusionex Ivan Teh
Fusionex Ivan Teh

SOFTWARE solutions provider Fusionex has been awarded a contract of significant value with Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) to provide a group-wide data management platform that will increase work efficiency and ease of communications within its group.

MAB seeks to address the challenges encountered by its thousands of employees to work and communicate efficiently. With millions of travellers flying on MAB every month to almost 60 destinations, MAB requires a scalable platform to cope with the volume as well as complexity of data and information gathered, in MAB’s bid to better serve its customers and staff.

The platform will allow for collaboration within the company and also facilitates messaging and information sharing between employees. With all employees using the same platform, any communication, whether textual, imaging etc. would be accessible quickly and easily.

Apart from work purposes, the platform will allow employees to participate in leisure activities for an optimized work-life balance to be achieved. An enterprise social network feature will be deployed for employees to use as a social collaboration tool, in line with MAB’s objective to promote a strong and united corporate community.

Fusionex chief executive officer Ivan Teh (pic above) commented: “This initiative is applauded as it is targeted to bring Malaysia Airlines’ corporate performance to greater heights, as well as to foster closer communication among MAB employees. Coordinating thousands of employees with a huge amount of data across the globe is no small feat. This win showcases the vast potential for data management and data technology to empower a variety of sectors including aviation towards digital transformation, and we are delighted to be a part of this journey with Malaysia Airlines.” https://www.digitalnewsasia.com/digital-economy/fusionex-wins-malaysia-airlines-project-information-collaboration-and-data