Staying In Focus with…Andrew Ching
An entrepreneurial journey inevitably involves a bumpy ride but as Andrew Ching discovered, building his company and had it public listed 13 years later, is truly rewarding on so many levels and not just monetary.
Unassuming, amiable but ever observant of his surroundings, 45-year old Andrew Ching founded E-Plus Global Limited in 2004 and he was one of the speakers at WIEF’s recent Young Fellows 2017 in May. Born in the historical state of Melaka, Ching has been working and living in Kuala Lumpur for most of his adult life and as in his own words, ‘Love putting smiles on people’s faces’.
Driven by his dislike of being told what to do and believe in himself as well as grim determination, Ching built his multiple award-winning events management company and is today its chief executive officer. By developing a ‘thick-skin’ he knocked on doors and made cold calls to build a network. In the first quarter of 2017, E-Plus Global went public in Australia, employs 50 people, has offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and of course, Malaysia.
His choices of locations are calculated because as he says, ‘Location will determine your reach to the markets you want to target. And every country,’ Ching reflects, ‘poses their own challenges in business. It’s how you decide to overcome these obstacles to achieve your goal.’
Worth AUD25 million, the events management company may be Ching’s pot of gold but as he admits when asked what did he really want to be when he became a grownup, ‘An aeronautical designer because of my fascination with planes and how to make them fly faster. But that dream went bust because I was only good at making paper planes.’
‘Self-satisfaction plays a very important role to be a successful event manager,’ Ching says and here he shares his entrepreneurial journey and toward which direction he thinks his industry is heading.
What was the journey like to get to where you are today as an entrepreneur?
It has been a long and tough journey but the most important things to have are determination, a supportive family and trustworthy friends.
What, if any, would be the golden rule for you when starting a business?
It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down in life, it’s how many times you pick yourself up and continue the journey that matters.
What led to the public listing of E-Plus Global?
Proper evaluation of a company’s worth that’s done in a transparent and credible market and to seek funding.
Biggest challenge of running an events management business?
[Finding and keeping] Passionate staff, cashflow and [the attitude of] ‘do or do not; there’s no try’.
Toward which direction do you see the industry you’re in heading?
Digitalisation of the industry is inevitable hence we should embrace this digital age. Whether in terms of knowledge or equipment, we as event managers should keep ourselves abreast with the latest trends and movement in this area.
In your opinion, what are the obstacles faced by business communities today compared to a decade ago?
As the world gets smaller with affordable travel and connectivity via the internet, smaller entities find themselves stacked up against the bigger players who now find it easier to get a foothold in markets all over the globe.
Besides technology, enviable human capital and an expanding economy, what do you think can be the one other thing that can elevate business?
The human spirit – while everything else can be replaced, nothing can replace or beat your determination.
Finally, if you’d known then what you know now, about starting a business, what would you do differently?
Life is never about regrets but about learning so I wouldn’t change anything I had to go through in the past.