At the forefront of South East Asia’s blooming internet security and networking market, D-Synergy has remained one of the fastest-growing value-added distributors of cutting edge internet security and networking technology, satisfying customers with its attractive products as well as a sound business continuation policy.
The road to modern success however, was not easy. Managing Director Doreen Sim began her entrepreneur journey way back before her company’s establishment, where she worked multiple part-time jobs to gather enough money to pay for her university education and other expenses. Then in 1998, fresh out of university and armed with a degree in political science, Doreen plunged headfirst into the emergent ICT industry, despite having no prior engineering training or IT experience. She had to both cope with quickly learning the ropes of this challenging industry while trying to formulate and then execute a realistic business survival program.
Even after establishment, Doreen faced numerous challenges and obstacles; from the fundamentals of revenue building and cash flow management to differentiating D-Synergy’s products and services from the rest of the industry. In the end, the principles of discipline, perseverance, humility and hard work saw her through, and D-Synergy today is a rapidly-expanding key player in South East Asia’s lucrative ICT market.
Aware of the importance of a solid brand name, Doreen cites the company’s branding exercise and building of a strong foundation in partner-networking as two of the most vital things she has done to grow the business. D-Synergy has identified its market niche and strength within the realm of network security and wireless expertise, and is on an ongoing quest to remain enhanced with the most current domain knowledge and updated skill sets, investing in R&D and testing new technology to stay ahead.
However, like most other growing businesses, the needs for adequate financing and new capital injection are among some of the challenges faced by D-Synergy, most pertinent within its market niche due to an evolving ICT Eco-system. Doreen is daunted by staid manpower issues after a recent government-set quota, as well as challenged by the size of the local market.
To circumvent this, Doreen has adopted a very agile style to steer the company. She is not resistant to change – as many companies are – and is open to changing business focuses as one of the measures to counter sluggish market demand and lurking competitors.
The favorable brand name, coupled with the firm’s agile business adaptation style, allows the company to respond quickly and appropriately with speedy and effective strategies, and not be swept away in the wake of overwhelming market forces.
Sensing the limitation of our own local market, Doreen started to make her way into the Malaysian ICT industry eight years ago. “it was just like starting a business from scratch again”, explained Doreen. She has to juggle between spending a lot of time building the Malaysian operation while continuing to strengthen the Singapore business. The hard work invested in Malaysia has indeed paid off with the strong local network build and business opportunities that come with it. More importantly, the company earns respect and confidence locally with their expertise. Today, D-Synergy builds, owns and manages a large network of WiFi hotspots across peninsular Malaysia for F&B giants such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Burger King, Tune Hotels as well as being most prominently involved with the building and commissioning of the Kuala Lumpur municipal wireless project – Wireless@KL.
Ultimately, Doreen believes that the most effective business strategy would have to be D-Synergy’s sincere and humble way of doing business, earning the customers’ trust and respect. She believes that although the firm requires enough money to keep it running, they are not here to milk their customers, and instead tries to offer quality solutions to clients’ problems in line with D-Synergy’s forte and area of expertise.
Doreen also builds direct relationships with her customers at all levels. They inform her on where D-Synergy has done well for them, and also highlight to her where any mistakes within their projects lie. Doreen feels that the seemingly trivial formality is immensely important, since the customer will likely switch to another supplier if he or she does not like you or how you are doing things. Indeed, many of her clients have progressed to becoming personal friends, and sometimes, Doreen receives invitations to her customer-turned-friend’s place for a sumptuous home-cooked meal.
Confident of D-Synergy’s trustworthiness and their sincere way of doing business, Doreen’s customers refer to her more business contacts, building up the firm’s client base and generally improving the business. In this industry, Doreen believes that credibility and a polished track record are vital, and that every testimony determines the firm’s success, sustainability and survival.
The favorable brand name, couple with the firm’s agile business adaptation style, allows the company to respond quickly and appropriately with speedy and effective strategies, and not be swept away in the wake of overwhelming market forces.
Already at vanguard of South East Asia’s ICT market, Doreen will continue to forge a head in the business by providing more value-added service. Not confined to merely providing boxes, D-Synergy will include their vast domain knowledge and exceptional consultancy support to both the resellers and their customers. Doreen is also currently expanding her firm into Managed Network Security Services, to cater to some of her regional enterprise customers.
Although D-Synergy’s corporate social responsibility program is still in the pipeline, Doreen herself has been an ardent supporter of her religious organization’s free clinic program with regular financial support.
The entrepreneuring landscape has certainly become more dynamic from the days of our forefathers, with social, economic and political forces governing the quality and type of entrepreneur endeavors. Despite that, Doreen maintains that discipline and perseverance are still the underlying principles which will shape each and every business, regardless of its nature or clientele. Anything that is viable can only be achieved with discipline, and with enough perseverance, the roller-coaster process of business-building can be more passionately enjoyed.
The definition of entrepreneurship itself varies with the individual, but to Doreen, it is not about having that feel-good impression of being your own boss-it is about doing something others will not do and accomplishing stellar results.
ENTREPRENEURS’ DIGEST MAR| APR 2012