"....though I never thought that we could lose, there's no regret, if I had to do the same again, I would, my friend, Fernando", and there goes a part of Abba’s famous song, Fernando, which presents a vision of nostalgia of two veterans reminiscing in old age about a war of liberation that they participated in during their younger days.
The old bittersweet memories revisited me over a feature-film “Mama Mia”, adaptation of the beloved musical Swedish super-band Abba screening in theatres recently.
Some friends asked whether I would start the Biometrics business once again if I have the chance to go back to the past. They all had seen me suffered and witnessed the struggle for the business to turnaround, thus, the question is, was it all worth it?
Business is very much similar to a war, but at the same time very different from a war. The battleground in business and war are both merciless and cutthroat. However, in a war, winning suffers lost of lives and losing always claims more. War is about life and death and one may end up in a sudden full stop. In contrast for a business, you may accept defeat and your lost of investment; but you may still have the chance to return to conquest your losing ground bit by bit so long as your fighting spirit is still burning.
Life was hard in my early days back in 2000, during the development of our biometrics products. The endless challenges, one after another, both technology and market struggles, failure after failure. A series of tasks, to reduce FAR (false acceptance rate) and FRR (fault rejection rate), to improve reading speed and 1: N verification, to achieve user-friendliness, cracking many scientists’ heads over the years.
Investment drained in vain and staff started to leave when the sunlight was not in sight. Our business only started to dawn in 2005, not before a cruel bloodshed and corpses of our defeated models piled in our labs.
Let us bear the pain, do not extend it to our customers! This is my conclusion after 5 years of suffering.
And two objectives were derived: To help our resellers to sell FingerTec products easier and to reduce resellers’ support costs and time. To achieve these 2 objectives, 4 modules that include Marketing, Training, Products and Technical were introduced in our Global Reseller Program. To deliver the 4 modules, 7 supporting websites were established to cover requisition of marketing materials in hardcopies, useful sales information in softcopies, training materials in softcopies, user technical guides, technical tips, accessories, and warranty claim, all are ready to serve its designated purposes.
And the presence of our products in 90+ countries worldwide finally rewarded us a small piece of success story.
Of course, life must goes on, so does a business. And the newborn model, FingerTec TA100 DIY, making its debut this month to further deliver simplicity, and with the missionary objective to put the resellers and the SME/SMI customers at ease. Off-the-shelves-kind of product, one might say.
So, there’s no regret. And, there’s no envy too of me seeing someone signing a multimillion contract for a single project. I choose to have multimillion pleasant customers using FingerTec products to claim a single victory. And, I was contended and would continue to deliver a simple message to my customers: With FingerTec, everything is easy!
So, my reply, “If I had to do the same again, I would, my friends.” And it’s definite.
by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ
by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ