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Building a billion dollar business from scratch—in Singapore

Zafar Anjum | June 9, 2015
This is the story of Derek Goh, Executive Chairman and CEO, Serial System—a poor Singaporean boy from a street hawker family who built a billion dollar company

Growth in the region

With more money, he grew aggressively and expanded the company at an even faster rate. He expanded the business in terms of manpower and geography. Using SAP, he automated the business.

"The technology decides the inventory," he says. "It's just like a hotel who knows exactly the preferences and purchase history or pattern of a returning customer. Business becomes more intelligent once you know your customer better."

Now, the company has surpassed the US$1 billion revenue mark. "In ten years, we are targeting $5 billion," he says, when asked about his future plans. "In terms of growth areas, if we are looking at the segments, we will be focusing more on automotives, the cloud and the so-called surveillance market."

"At the same time, we are building upon our strong core competencies to enter a new stage of growth to extend our network to the next level, by venturing beyond the distribution of electronics components to include finished consumer products," he adds.

In October 2014, Serial System won "The Most Transparent Company Award 2014" in the technology category at the 15th Securities Investors Association Singapore ("SIAS") Investors' Choice Awards.

Beyond achieving the US$1 billion revenue mark for the year ended 31 December 2014 (FY2014), the company reported a 45% rise in its net profit after tax for the January-to-March 2015 financial period ("1Q2015") to US$3.1 million over the same period.



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