- Glotech Prima accumulated RM2mil revenue in the first year of operation.
- He once had to sell his cars to clear up all the pending payments and start again from zero.
Everyone has a story – for the Managing Director of Glotech Prima, Fahmi Ismail, he never thought he will go this far. These days, with digital transformation at the forefront of business agendas, he believes he has taken the right move, at the right time. We spoke to the 33-year-old entrepreneur with a strong vision on how he built the IT company without having any experience let alone knowledge in the related industry.
Glotech Prima: When business is in the blood
“My dad is a businessman, he used to run a construction company. So, I was exposed to business since I was young.” Being the youngest sibling, he helped his father ran the company for almost nine years. But, he had to let go of his role in the company to follow his wife to London.
“I went to London for 1 year to accompany my wife who was studying there. During that time, I worked as a travel agent, handling customers on the ground. That was my first time working for someone. Before that, I was the boss (laughs) but it sure worth the experience.” Coming back from London, he had the urge to start a business – but construction wasn’t his main choice being that there were so many players and the competition was getting stiffer. Thinking which industry he should venture into, his friends advised him to go for IT. That was when the story of Glotech Prima began.
“I’m a risk-taker, not afraid to try something new”
His friends recommended him to go for IT as the market had a potential prospect. He spent most of his time networking with prominent people in the industry and studied their strategies and actions taken. In return, they gave him advice on how to be a big player. “I started with trading hardware and slowly invested in software development even though I had zero experience at that time. They (clients, suppliers, friends) didn’t know I was a risk-taker (laughs). I decided to take the risk, fully aware of the potential loss I would have to bear if things did not work out, and well, I just did it.”
In building a business, the first step matter the most. Once you initiate an action, the posssibility to success if 50/50.
Initially, Glotech Prima started with a very small team. With only one manpower, they explored the unknown path and get familiarised. “In 2014, the business was getting better, we handled quite a few big projects with government agencies such as MCMC and LHDN. Clients started to know who is Glotech Prima,” he said.
Ahead of the game
Interestingly, compared to other IT consulting and software development companies available in the market, Glotech Prima has its own uniqueness. They create software based on customer needs, rather than offering on-the-shelf software. From focusing on creating monitoring surveillance system, they started to explore a new area.
Fahmi shared that he invested in creating a team who can develop in-house apps. “We have a full suite of software development services and a strong portfolio comprising of past and current projects which have helped us to convince and win clients. At Glotech, we are proud to be one of a few Bumiputera companies who can do ready-to-use app,” said Fahmi who graduated in International Business majoring in Finance and Banking from Management & Science University (MSU).
The first-year operation was a huge success
Despite having zero experience and knowledge in the IT industry, Fahmi proved that he can do absolutely anything. His company accumulated RM2 mil revenue in the first year of operation. “Considering that Glotech Prima is an SME, that digit is the biggest achievement for us. What I can say is, it’s not easy to convince the clients if you don’t speak the lingo. So, I spent my time reading articles and get familiar with all the technical jargons.” All the blood, sweat and tears paid off handsomely and they relocated to a bigger office.
Glotech Prima won’t be here without my dedicated team. Without them, I’m nothing.
IT landscape is changing, for a better future
With the recent change in government, the new government has been heralding Malaysia as a global ICT hub through the development of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) flagship project, and the ongoing upgrade of Malaysia’s telecommunications and IT infrastructure. “I believe the current government has been doing the right thing in improving the infrastructure – meaning the speed of the internet. We are talking about 5G which can drive the changes in the landscape of the industry.”
Go travel, see the world and learn. It’s the best way for you to be creative.
IT has become a massive industry in our country. Previously, people thought that as an IT graduate, they can only work in an IT company. Truth to be told, the landscape is changing drastically. Most of the industries available in Malaysia require someone who has knowledge and skill relating to IT. “Whenever I gave career talk at my alumni, I always stress the importance of taking any professional certificate relating to IT. Spend some time to attend any IT class and get a certificate. It could be AutoCAD class, basic coding class or even Microsoft class. With that certificate, you are on a different level compared to other fresh graduates. That’s a selling point for you to get a job.”
The future of Glotech Prima
As a managing director, Fahmi has sketched some strategies to sustain the company. He shared that Glotech Prima would like to create apps for the mass market that can benefit the community. “We are diverting our focus from fully taking government projects to creating apps for the mass market. I think it’s the right time for us to shift our focus,” emphasising that he is ready to invest RM1 mil in the project.
Generally, Glotech Prima accumulated an average of RM1mil revenue every year. But for 2019, they are expecting a higher figure, judging from the positive outcome in the first and second quarter of 2019. “This year, we are targeting around RM3-4 mil revenue. We have already achieved half of the digit by the second quarter, hoping that we can accumulate another half by the end of this year,” he ends.