“TIP inculcated the passion for entrepreneurship in me, motivated me, and made me focus on my long-term success rather than my current pains.”
Do you think entrepreneurship is an art or a science?
I think that it is both. First, I would need to follow what the market dictates and plan accordingly, that’s the science aspect to it. On the other hand, I would need to be able to innovate and be creative, so that I can value-add to my products and be able to compete as an added advantage, that would be the artistic aspect to it. Customers value innovation and you would need to be extra creative to win their trust and affirmation.
What are the reasons that inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
Prior to this programme, I was interested to run a start-up, but I had very limited knowledge regarding this. The TIP programme has been the greatest source of inspiration for me to want to do things differently in my life. Upon graduation from the programme, I decided to be bold and daring, to venture into the realm of entrepreneurship. I held firmly then to the belief that since I am still young, why shouldn’t I try something different such as entrepreneurship.
You had mentioned that the TIP programme inspired your dream, but in what aspects have this programme prepared you in your journey?
TIP has really taught me a lot, in terms of both technical and soft skills. I learnt how to do effective marketing and financial management. These skills were especially crucial in my early years as an entrepreneur. During those years where cash is limited, I can’t afford to divert my resources away to hire another accountant or financial assistant, hence it is a blessing that I am able to complete all those financial statements, calculations and planning all by myself, together with my partners. But most importantly, TIP inculcated the passion for entrepreneurship in me, motivated me, and made me focus on my long-term success rather than my current pains. During tough times, it would be easy to just give up and try something else but whenever I faced a setback, I told myself to stay put and never give up easily.
Apart from that, I made many lifelong friends, which till date we still exchange ideas and provide feedback to each other. My entrepreneurial spirit was greatly developed back then. It was really encouraging to be in an environment where friends around me were doing their best. It naturally made me want to do even better to be an entrepreneur.
As we know now, you are a successful entrepreneur, hence can you share with us the current challenges that you face and how do you overcome them?
There is never a moment where I consider myself as successful, as things around us change constantly. It is important to be able to keep abreast of the latest developments in the country. For instance, government policies can change within a relatively short period of time. The same goes for the Research & Development industry.
More stringent government policies could potentially affect the prospect of hiring more workers, and the change in the research focus at the universities, as well as the industrial needs, would often mean that we need to shift our current model or design to suit their needs.
Thankfully, for today I have a committed team who is passionate about what we are doing here and that certainly is one of the recipes for success.
“There is never a moment where I consider myself as successful, as things around me change and fluctuate constantly.”
What kind of advices would you provide to would-be entrepreneurs?
It is important to have the basic knowledge and skills. Financial management, marketing, troubleshooting of problems, as well as the ability to maintain good interpersonal relationships are all crucial skills. But ultimately, one must also have the patience and faith in one’s venture. New venture may take a long time to succeed. Sometimes it can take many years for one to see the fruits of their labours. It took me more than 10 years to reach my current stage of achievement.
I would tell would-be entrepreneurs that entrepreneurship is an arduous journey, but the fruits of labour are sweet. I have seen many talented people around me who lost their patience after a period of becoming an entrepreneur, especially when dealing with difficult customers and tough situations. They did not realise that these are the people who will help them to learn and improve their businesses. I would say, patience and perseverance do pay off when you are an entrepreneur. I give thanks to these difficult circumstances that I am able to develop and improve myself continuously. To me, there is always space for improvements and self-reflection.
Wang Hua Nan graduated with a Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation in Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Hua Nan is the Managing Director at MPN Tech, a company that specialised in printed circuit board (PCB) design, fabrication and assembles service. MPN Tech has factory businesses that extend far into Asia, Europe, America and Australia etc., and successfully adopted the international advanced technology and management system.