Global technopreneur shares success story
"I can share one thing with you, while many people think that being an entrepreneur is exciting and enjoyable, it is actually the opposite," said Pua Khein Seng, adding that if one stayed in comfort zone he would bound to suffer from lack of success.
Pua, chairman and chief executive officer of Phison Electronics Corp, Taiwan, was sharing his success story to an audience of more than 400 in a talk entitled "Driven to Success" under the Universiti Tunku Rahman (UTAR) Entrepreneurial Talk Series at UTAR Petaling Jaya Campus on 4 February 2012.
"I appreciate it very much that he [Pua] is willing to share his experiences with all the young people here and we hope that with this talk, there will more 'Mr Pua's' in Malaysia," said UTAR President Ir Professor Academician Dato Dr Chuah Hean Teik in welcoming Pua.
Pua's is exemplary of the from-rags-to-riches story in Malaysia of recent decades. Since Pua's grandfather migrated from Fujian Province, China to Malaysia, his family has been planting paddy in Sekinchan, Selangor. Since the age of nine, Pua was helping out at the paddy fields and thirty years later, he still remembers what his father said while they were resting at a hut in the fields. "No one will be poor the whole life through; work hard and you will have wealth" and Pua has embraced his father's advice since that day.
At the age of 19, Pua brought with him RM12,000 and left Malaysia for Taiwan. He was admitted to the National Chiao Tung University to pursue a degree in electronic and control engineering. During his third year in the university, he began research in flash memory technology in his professor's company. At 26, he went on his own and founded Phison Electronics with four partners. Phison produced the first USB flash drive with system-on-chip (SOC) technology in the world in 2001. Toshiba of Japan and M-Systems (now SanDisk) of Israel invested in Phison, and in 2007, the company produced about 38 percent of world's UBS drives and its annual revenue exceeded RM2 billion and became one of the top technology stocks in Taiwan.
Pua's success brought him many awards. In Taiwan, he was awarded outstanding young entrepreneur award in 2005, top ten outstanding general managers' award in 2006, and the ERSO (electronics research and service organisation) award from the Pan Wen Yuan Foundation in 2009. In Malaysia, he received outstanding youth award and Ernst and Young entrepreneur of the year award in 2008.
Mr Pua also highlighted that one must have effective teamwork ability, noble core values, creativity and quick execution capability to be a successful entrepreneur.
"Mr Pua's talk was very interesting and it will leave me with a lasting impression," said UTAR student Giri Ram Sreeramlu who attended the talk. While attendee Universiti Malaya Student Maureen Ng Siew Hua said, "The talk has given me a clear perspective of how to succeed in life and many guidelines for a brighter future."
Pua's two books titled '为自己争气 (Wei Ziji Zhengqi)' and 'Driven to Success' were sold at the talk, where he autographed the copies purchased.
Pua presenting the talk in English
Giri (left), Ng, and Pua autographing at the talk