Group to extend globally via offices abroad

NASCOM has counterparts in America, eastern and western Europe, the Middle East, Britain, South-East Asia, the African continent and India.  

In Europe alone, Nascom has plans to go on a massive expansion to establish about 20 offices in Europe by June this year.  

Nascom expects a generous RM9mil computer sales in Europe based on its order books from corporate buyers for March and April. It targets to sell about 1,000 computer units in every European country.  

While the PC Suria brand doesn't have international recognition yet, Nora said, it would not invest in branding.  

“We know we can’t compete with the big players. We are nowhere near them. To invest in branding, it will take more than one year to see the returns. So we have decided to come out with a strategy to market overseas first for the returns.  

“We will take advantage of our overseas counterparts who have contacts in the corporate world. It would be easier for us to secure contracts from corporate clients.  

“If we compete with international computer manufacturers, we will lose out because we are not well-known yet. However, we do selling, producing and servicing. We are only looking to take about 1% to 2% of their market share and we are comfortable with it.  

“International players need to at least sell 10,000 to 20,000 units per month but our sales of 3,000 to 4,000 units per month would ensure us good profits,” she said.  

At present, Nascom has 12 offices abroad including in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Britain, Dubai, Switzerland and Singapore (covering under-developed countries like Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East).  

Its Dubai office oversees other Islamic countries like Qatar and Bahrain.  

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Nora projected that by June, manufacturing and sales should be running smoothly for its global market. Nascom targets to have about 50 offices worldwide by June.  

It has also identified Indonesia and India as potential countries to set up manufacturing plants. While its Olivetti manufacturing plant caters to the European computer market needs and other OEM businesses, the Indonesia-based plant caters to the South-East Asian market.  

It is in the final stages of closing a joint-venture deal with its In- donesian manufacturing partner and work should start soon. Nascom has a confirmed order of 4,000 computer units every month from In- donesia.  

Meanwhile, its Indian manufacturing plant based in Bangalore will start to produce for the Middle East market by the middle of this year.  

According to Nora, Nascom this year will concentrate in Thailand, Hong Kong and particularly in China, although China is a competitive market.  

Late last year, PC Suria managed to penetrate the local market. While it may not be on par with the likes of Compaq, Dell and IBM, Nora said that PC Suria computers were sold at its branches across the country and government cooperatives.  

“We had good sales months especially in November and December last year. Turnover from our computer sales in 2000 was about RM200mil. We targeted RM1bil last year but we didn't achieve that. Instead, we made about RM300mil,” she said. 

Nora said that to see good returns the company had to sell on volumes.  

“We have less customers with concentrated services. Our repair service time is about two hours for the local market. These satisfied customers will bring in more customers later. You can buy any computer in the market but without a good service, there is no point,” Nora said. 

Its local customers are corporate buyers and government cooperatives.  

Production from its Shah Alam plant in Selangor, which has a maximum capacity of 30,000 units per month, will cover the local and Singapore markets.  

Its Singapore-based office does marketing for developing countries such as Africa and eastern Europe, where Nascom is not prepared to set up offices there yet.  

Nascom has seven board directors, including several high-profile personalities. They are Zulkifli Amin Mamat, Tan Sri Jaffar Abdul (former deputy inspector general of police), Datuk Seri Panglima Md Salleh Md Said Keruak (ex-Sabah politician), Norashikin Shahrom, Azman Elis, Datuk Syed Ariff Fadzillah Syed Awaluddin (former diplomat) and Datuk Abdul Wahab Harun (former Malaysian ambassador).  

Shareholders in Nascom are TRB Network Sdn Bhd (in the midst of a name change to Nascom Group) which holds 74%, Nisiha Corp Sdn Bhd (12.5%), Prima Persona Sdn Bhd (2.5%), Zulkifli Amin Mamat (5%), Norashikin Hj Shahrom (3%) and Azman Elis (3%). 

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