Technology, Dream and A Leap in IT Business

Noppadol Phanpanyalert


The graduation project of one man led him to see the opportunity in business and decided to leave his regular job in a famous and stable organization. What he did fits the definition of “leaving the comfort zone”. He opened a small company that was established by 3 co-founders without customers, income, and full-time employees. However, Noppadol Phanpanyalert or Golf sees the opportunity to grow in doing small business more than being an employee in a big company. “The future work” that only a handful


The first employee, the latest shareholder

After graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, Golf entered the world of office workers. Until one day, a senior at his university contacted him because he was interested to use networking software that Golf made before he graduated. This kind of software was considered an expert at that time and so, not many people were doing it. Golf’s senior was starting a company with 2 more shareholders. Everybody was a full-time office worker but they spent their weekends building up their business in a small office at a coffee shop in the Saphan Khwai area. They wanted to take Golf’s software and plugged it into the system that the company was developing and this is how 4 of them get to know one another. One year after that, one of the seniors, who was also a shareholder, received a governmental scholarship to study abroad for many years and the company lost a technical specialist like him. As they know Golf and had seen his capability, they thought that he might fill in the position and invited him to become part of this business. A glimpse of hope in having his own business flashed before him as his seniors offered him that opportunity. He then decided to join them in the newborn business as its very first regular worker and used part of his monthly salary to buy the company’s stocks till he fully became a shareholder in the end.

New step and the changing role

From a small employee in a big organization that worked according to what he was assigned to a business owner. He had to change his role from follower to leader. As the company was established not long ago, they did not have much budget. Thus, Golf had to do everything by himself, be it technical work, customer service, or even sales. Even though there were many things to do, he spent some of his time to take a master’s degree in business management, and that allowed him to be able to take care of the company’s financial aspect. Golf did almost everything in the company, except marketing which is the only thing that he said he was not specialized in. However, it is not a problem as each shareholder has their own expertise and they complete one another perfectly. Golf said proudly that “We’ve never gotten into a conflict. Everyone trusts one another and is good at different things. So, we enhance our strengths and erase our weaknesses. It is a perfect balance from business with shareholders.”

Three profits for a business’s sustainability

The strength of Idio-Tech, apart from being a company that provides service on designing, installation, and taking care of the IT system, is that the company has its own software development team. Their distinctive feature is IMSI software which provides internet service in public as one of the first few providers in the country and the software itself has been developing continuously for more than 10 years. Thus, their software stood out from the rest of the market. Also, their software is highly flexible in usage as customers can customize the software according to their demands. This is considered their strong point that rivals and overseas software companies have no match for them. However, to allow the business to grow sustainably, they must use more than one business model and always have to earn 3 parts of profit.

  • The first part is the profit that will continuously flow in without much effort from the company to find customers. This is the income that will feed the company which comes from the business model that Idio-Tech installed internet system in hotels and apartments. This allows an income from hardware and software maintenance and service charge.

  • The second part is the income that will allow the business to grow sustainably. This part comes from platform sale and solution to meet the demands of the customers which the right technology should be selected to suit the business of each customer.

  • The last part is the income that allows the business to grow tremendously. This usually comes at the right timing with the right business model. Luckily, Idio-Tech gets that chance from being the main contractor for the major telecommunications service providers of the country in installing WiFi Offload points and Fibre Optic for internet from research, installation to administration. The company was one of the very first few that steps in at the right place and time. They show that their work can expand extensively that their income rose by leaps and bounds. This is considered the very first S-Curve of the business since it was established.

Adjust to change and get ready to leap

In the first phase of doing business, Golf had fun doing everything on his own. However, on the day that the business had grown, the amount of work would increase like a shadow cast behind one’s body. Decentralization of power, thus, became so important to bring himself out of “Centre of The Dot”. Golf used the time that his company had more workload to construct the work system and his team at the same time. He taught his employees to understand work processes with project managers to overlook their own teams. The better the employees in taking care of people under their responsibility, the more they can help the company. The work system that Golf created was like a plan that led everybody to realize their own duty and work processes as a whole. Therefore, whether there were people joining or leaving, the work could continue smoothly without depending on specific personals. Golf always says that “When everything is brought into the process, we will not have to be the center of everything. When we are able to bring ourselves out of that point, we will have time to do whatever other people cannot and it has to only be us doing. That thing is to search for opportunity and new S-Curve to allow this business to grow even stronger.”

Technological work that has to take care of people with heart

Many people might have an idea that Idio-Tech work dealt mainly with computers. However, in reality, IT work is a service that makes use of technology to improve clients’ business, making it more effective. They have to work with clients from the process of designing, system planning, installing to after-sale service. “If we take care of our employees well, our employees will take care of our clients well. When our clients are satisfied, they will call us. Our clients’ business is our business” , Golf said. This is why Golf gives first priority to people. He told us that “I want people who work with me to be happy. To be happy with your work is like to have fun and get rewards at the same time.” Golf provides a whole package of welfare for his employees, including medical welfare, sports events, and annual outing, tea and coffee corners as well as scholarships for those who are interested to study in the course of their choice.

The most interesting part would be the party that will be held once every 2 months. Not only the party brings the people of the company together, it is the time that Golf gets to ask about their well-being and if problems are spotted, they can be solved immediately. As for the future, if any of the employees resign to start their own business or work somewhere else that will earn them more because of their experience with Idio-Tech, Golf will be more than honored to be part of their success. It is the reflection of what Golf heard from one of the leading businessmen in the country that, “If there is an employee quitting the job, don’t blame or ask them of the reason that makes them quit. But take a look at ourselves and see if we have done enough to take care of them.” Everybody has their own reasons for coming and leaving. If the goal in their life matches what the company can offer, like knowledge, income, happiness in working, they will be able to stay with the company for a long time. However, when it comes to a crossroads, everyone will have to choose their own path and Golf experienced it before.

Good days and bad nights that the business encountered

There are 2 main factors that business people have to encounter. They are money and people and Golf had already mentioned both. The first lesson on money happened 7 years ago from putting systems for one well-known hotel. Because the client was recommended by an ex-colleague and a big well-known hotel, Golf trusted them and did not collect the deposit beforehand. Also, he did not thoroughly check the representative who signed the contract and the most unfortunate thing was that the contract did not mention installment payment. When his job had 100 % completed, Golf could not collect payment from his client. 3 million baht that was expected to flow into the company and was considered a huge amount at that time was not received. It was such an expensive lesson for Idio-Tech. They had to look for other sources of cash flow to enhance the company’s liquidity and help the company to survive. It was not easy for a small company that had just started for not long.

As for the lesson on people, it happened during the time that the company had grown too fast that they were in need of people and recruitment took place in a rush that candidates’ qualification was not considered carefully. Newcomers made errors over and over again that service recovery happened countless times. The workload had been doubled. It was a lesson that Golf always uses to remind himself that “Recruiting people does not have to be as quick as making decisions in business”. If he still has doubt, he will wait till he found those people that meet his criteria or if he really is in a rush, he will look for tools to help him to filter people.

The lesson that Golf learned is that “Problem will come and go. Once it happened, we will know how to deal and handle it. It is a lesson that will help the company to grow strongly and systematically” .

Learning is endless

The wise words from Golf’s university professor, at the faculty of computer engineering, on the very first lesson they met, are still in Golf’s mind until today.

All of you are studying in a field that is ever-changing. The latest technology that you know of today will be outdated not long after. Therefore, I can only teach you the basics. From now and for the next 4 years, I hope that you always have that one skill within you which is “the ability to self-study” . In the future, no matter how technology will change, you will learn new things infinitely by yourselves.

Those words from the professor are still true no matter how much technology changes. The more new information acquired, the more solutions can be provided to drive the clients’ business. Besides, Golf gets to attend IEP Programme that was held by SCB which he was told by his co-founder to attend. Golf said that this is “like stepping into another world that isn’t relating to technical skill” . He gets to know many fellow business owners from various fields. There are seniors who provide advice and exchange knowledge and skills. It is a community that gains him both knowledge and connections. Also, he obtains knowledge about business finance that he always overlooks. But, today, he has learned that “We don’t need to entirely use our money. SCB can step in and help in our investment budget. It’s like we use less of our money, but gain more income.”

After completed IEP course and gotten a bigger picture of the business world, Golf decided to become one of the mentors according to the invitation from SCB to share his knowledge on IT to his fellow business owners. Apart from that, he sees the opportunity to bring technology to reduce expenses and increase profit for entrepreneurs. Many people have told him that it is right under their nose. They have never known that IT can help businesses in many aspects and this is one of the missions that Golf has announced. He said, “I want to provide knowledge on IT that I have to others as it is one of the factors that push Thai SME business forward and it is a power to drive Thai economy further” .

#SCBSME #SMEwithPurpose #เพื่อSMEเป็นที่1 #Idio-Tech #SCBmentor