Trust, hard work and a stroke of fate played a key role in the establishment and growth of SGX mainboard-listed company, Excelpoint Technology Ltd (“Excelpoint” or “the Group”), one of Asia’s leading regional electronics components distributor with integrated technical capabilities.
For a Singapore company that has generated over S$1 Billion of annual revenue in FY2016 with a business presence in more than 25 cities across Asia Pacific, it is truly surprising that this 30-year old company started with just a mere US$25,000. The understated nature of the Excelpoint is reflective of its founder and Group CEO, Mr. Albert Phuay, who prefers to let the track record and value propositions of the Group speak for itself.
In fact, a stroke of fate led Albert to start the Group in 1987, when one of the electronics suppliers that he was working with offered him an opportunity to distribute their components. Sensing that this was a great opportunity, he faced another huge challenge as he did not have the financial ability to start a business. Fortunately, one of his friends trusted his enterprising spirit and ambitions and loaned him US$25,000 to start Excelpoint, which led to an important turning point in his life. The trust and goodwill his friend placed in him now serve as a founding value for the Group and it has been one of the cornerstones of his business principles that have led to the Group’s growth over the past 30 years.
Albert’s strong sense of responsibility and enterprising spirit was inculcated at a very young age of 8 years old as his family struggled to make ends meet. As the eldest child, he possesses a strong obligation towards his family and he began to contribute to his family’s income by selling sugar cane after school. It was not an easy work and it was from these humble beginnings that he found his calling as an entrepreneur as he felt the immense satisfaction and motivation when his customers left with an appreciative smile on their face. Despite being born to a family with limited resources, Albert’s parents were strict believers in the importance of education and knowledge learning, hence they utilise most of their limited resources to support their children’s educational path.
Growing up, with his parents’ focus on education and encouragement, Albert developed a life-long love of learning and reading. And while he did well enough to advance to university studies, he decided to pursue a different path in his education studies as it was a huge sum of financial commitment and he believed that such resources can be put to better use for the benefit of his younger siblings.
After his graduation from technical school, he worked for various electronics companies and even after he progressed up towards the corporate ladder for 10 years, he harboured strong ambitions and a culmination of all these working experiences and knowledge prepared him for the next turning point in his entrepreneurship journey ahead.
With the borrowed sum of USD$25,000 and an electronics distribution agreement, Albert worked hard on building up Excelpoint’s business foundation serving both the upstream and downstream customers in the electronics industry. He was 100% hands-on and no task or role was too small for him at Excelpoint, from being a driver, storekeeper or salesperson.
Even until today, Albert continues to put in 14-hour work days with a strong passion to match. With strong working ethics and determination, Albert progressively built up Excelpoint’s comprehensive business presence in Asia Pacific with a growing network of suppliers and customers. Notably, Albert’s previous working experience in China led him to another important business foresight that would further enhance Excelpoint’s growth in its formative years.
Before China’s economic growth reforms in the early 1980s, Albert recognised the untapped prospects for the growth and development of technology and electronics in the developing manufacturing industry in China.
In addition, following his parents’ traditional values in Chinese culture and wisdom, Albert felt a strong inclination to contribute to the improvement of the nascent electronics sector in China. Taking the time to understand the Chinese culture and their business practices, he started from scratch and devoted many years cultivating Excelpoint’s business relationships in China, successfully building up its reputation and track record in the Chinese market. As one of the Group’s core business foundations, Excelpoint has developed a comprehensive distribution and supply chain network not just in China, but across Asia Pacific by building strong trust and relationships.
Aligned with the Group’s customer-oriented focus, the Group established an in-house Research & Development team after recognising that customers required value-added engineering and technological services to meet evolving technology and consumer trends. This new strategy further strengthened the foundations of Excelpoint’s business model with a beneficial tripartite working relationship between suppliers, customers and Excelpoint. This has set Excelpoint apart from its competitors and remains one of the pillars of business sustainability up till today. This was another testament to Albert’s focus to remain relevant and create new value propositions for its customers and suppliers.
Recently, the Asian’s electronics manufacturing supply chain has shown positive momentum and this has spurred the demand for Excelpoint’s products and services, giving rise to new business opportunities in the markets that the Group operates in.
Being adaptive to new market trends is a key trait of the Group and to tap the new opportunities in the Internet-of-Things (“IoT”) market segment, Albert has formed a dedicated and professional team within Excelpoint to design solutions that can be applied to a broad range of applications in this field.
Driven by the Chinese management philosophy of “people first”, another defining trait of Excelpoint is its enterprising spirit, a “big family” working environment with a strong sense of belonging to its growing number of employees. Realising that human capital is an integral part of the Group’s growth and future, Albert has been steadfastly focused on the recruitment and cultivation of human talent and development within Excelpoint over the past three decades. Ultimately, Albert has his vision set on creating a virtuous ecosystem that can take Excelpoint to greater heights and strengthen their working relationship with its stakeholders.
On the personal front, there have been many sacrifices over the past 30 years by Albert as he spent a significant amount of his time outside of Singapore to grow Excelpoint’s business relationships and network. However, he remains relentless in his pursuit of exceeding expectations for his customers and business partners. At the same time, his love of learning and sports remain undiminished, where he devotes a good part of his personal time on reading and to train regularly for his marathon events.
Looking back on Excelpoint’s corporate milestones over the past 30 years, including an SGX main board listing on 07 January 2004 amongst others, Albert has laid a strong business foundation for the next generation of leaders within Excelpoint to continue to build trust with its stakeholders and deliver new growth prospects for the Group. Having turned 60 this year, he has dedicated half his life to Excelpoint, and he feels that one of his biggest achievement is to have built a great team of people who have worked alongside him, and Excelpoint, through good and bad times.