Goldis investing in budding entrepreneurs


  • Business
  • Monday, 08 Aug 2005

TRADITIONALLY, the investing community assesses the profitability of new businesses based on their business models. But GOLDIS BHD, a private equity investment company, adopts a slightly different approach. 

Its executive chairman and chief executive officer Tan Lei Cheng pointed out that the company was prepared to take risks in new businesses, which included small and medium enterprises.  

“I think we have made mistakes in the past, where we did not focus enough on the individuals, but more on the business model. We find that this method is incorrect. 

Tan Lei Cheng

“We now weigh our decision more on the leaders who drive these companies. If problems crop up, we will try to work them out together, but that person has got to be honest and hardworking,” she explained in an interview. 

Goldis is prepared to “go all the way” to assist aspiring entrepreneurs build up their businesses by setting aside between RM100mil and RM150mil to provide mentorship and management guidance. 

The investment is in addition to the RM100mil it invested at the start of the year, which is planned for high-growth sectors in Malaysia and China. 

Tan, who has more than 20 years of experience in the property and corporate sectors, said Goldis operated in the “pre-bank” phase to help out budding businessmen, who had the ideas, but not the capital or management know-how. 

“We are helping entrepreneurs who do not have the capital or mentoring, but have the drive. They have the vision and the preparedness to work hard. Entrepreneurs versus salary men,” she said.  

Tan stressed that Goldis, whose tag line is We invest in entrepreneurs who grow our companies, was not a venture capital firm (VC). 

VCs, she said, tended to expect entrepreneurs to write financial models and plans, and also to exit these businesses after investment needs were fulfilled. 

Main board-listed Goldis is not focused on exiting the businesses, but instead intends to help them grow. “We are prepared to invest in the entrepreneurs and even give them courses where necessary,” she said, adding that they were encouraged to visit its website at www.goldis.com.my. 

To coax more budding entrepreneurs to come forward, Goldis has success stories to share. Among its investee companies are Diversified Healthcare Services Sdn Bhd (DHS), which registered a 36% pre-tax profit to RM8.7mil last year, with a 41% growth in revenue to RM82.6mil. 

Another investee company, mobile data communications technology enabler Macro Kiosk Bhd, registered more than 200% increase in pre-tax profit to RM2.3mil for the year ended Jan 31 this year. 

Tan said other than looking at investing in businesses in areas such as life sciences, information technology and wastewater management, the company had set its sights on China, in which it had invested about RM59.2mil since January.  

Other than the recent investment in a recycled water treatment plant, Goldis intends to provide similar assistance to aspiring Chinese entrepreneurs. 

“But, our initial focus is local businessmen. In addition to this assistance, we are prepared to help businesses that want to expand outside Malaysia to China, or other parts of the world. This can be achieved with our strong network and assistance to understand the global business culture,” she added.  


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