Great timing: SCS launches new subsidiary

Singapore's SCS launches a new subsidiary to vie in the e-business field. Despite the late entry, company executive believes the timing is better than ever for its inauguration.

Can you actually leverage on the current Internet industry slowdown to rake in more business and take a bigger market share? Mach30 is going to try.

SINGAPORE - A new e-business solutions provider, Mach30 was launched in Singapore yesterday. The company is a spin-off of SCS's (Singapore Computer Systems) e-commerce division.

While in SCS, the unit generated S$7.2 million revenue last year.

Do you think now is a good time to enter the e-business arena?YES

SCS itself has a market capitalization of S$350 million with revenue topping S$447.5 million last year, generating S$26.6 million of before tax profit.

According to Mach30 CEO, Fong Khai Yin, there is no better time than now to venture into the e-business arena.

"Mach30 was formed to address the whole e-business opportunity," said Fong, "and we saw that the crash actually creates opportunity."

Fong believes that the e-business crash has ended deep-pocket venture capital funding and reckless IT spending.

More and more, e-business investment in the Asia Pacific region will turn away from the expensive, inflexible solutions provided by large US vendors and start looking for cheaper and quicker ways of installing e-business solutions.

"A lot of dot-coms are suffering because they bought huge pieces of software from US costing millions of dollar, and all of a sudden, the dot-com era is gone," Fong said, "now they have to start making money and when they do the calculation, they realize that they cannot survive."

"We think we are going to be the first mover by transforming all this, and we're going to change the whole equation such that not only do you get value, but customized to your needs," Fong added.

Mach30 relies on component-based architecture to implement its e-business solutions. The company believes that such an approach will greatly shorten deployment time and make the solutions highly customizable.

It's services can be had for a trial-run at S$10 000 a month. Conversion to licenses will cost between S$20 000 to a million dollar a year depending on the requirements and arrangements.

The company already has a number of portals under its belt, including tx123.com, icx123.com, OmixAsia.com, NecxAsia.com, Aucsat.com and CarAuc.com.

Mach30 plans to expand its business exponentially by relying on investment partnerships and acquisitions.

In fact, that had been one of the reasons the company was spun off-to allow it the flexibility to attract investment partners.

It has received an initial investment of S$4 million from SCS to start off, and is at the closing round of talks with investors that will potentially net another S$15 million.

According to Fong, the strongest asset that the start-up has to capitalize on is its tie to its parent company.

"SCS is in 10 countries, as such, we have sales force that we can deploy in those countries to push our products out," Fong noted. "We already have customers in China, Thailand, Brunei and Malaysia."

SCS is also a part of the Singapore Technology Group, an even larger business entity in the local scene.

Even before Mach30 was rolled out as a company, it has already chalked up an order book of S$10 million while still with SCS.