Digistar CEO: ICT will remain core business

KUALA LUMPUR: Technology company Digistar Corp Bhd will continue to push the company’s information and communications technology (ICT) business even as management focuses on the property division.

Group chief executive officer Datuk Wira Lee Wah Chong said the ICT business would not be neglected as the business continues to contribute “consistent recurring income” even though the industry faced more challenges.

As part of this recurring income plan, the company would be launching a hi-tech central monitoring system (CMS) end of October.

The CMS, called Panther 911, was expected to generate long-term recurring income for the company from the financial year ending Sept 30, 2014 onwards.

“We want to grow both divisions simultaneously. My wish is to one day be able to set up a public-listed company for property and one for the ICT business,” Lee said.

He said both divisions were key earnings contributors to thecompany, the percentage of each varied based on the projects secured in each financial year.

The company has invested RM5mil over the past two years to develop the system, including the set-up of four CMS command centres in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca and Johor. All command centres would be up and running by the end of this year.

Lee said the second phase of this security system business involved expanding to Sabah and Sarawak.

“We estimate another RM5mil of investments to expand there over the next two years. We will need to look into the internet connectivity support there first,” he said.

The CMS would be offered on a monthly-subcription basis, at a price range Lee dubbed “as affordable as bringing your family out for a meal at a fast food joint”.

The group targets a subscription base of 500,000 in the next five years.

Lee said margins were hard to gauge as this would depend on the actual number of subscribers.

“Also, we estimate having to upgrade our equipment every seven years so we can’t say what margins we’re looking at yet.”

Referring to the company’s 15-year concession for the construction and asset management of the Malaysian National Technology Advancement Centre in Alor Gajah, Malacca,

Lee said the project now awaits the groundbreaking ceremony with the Works Ministry.

Margins for this project have been cited to be in the double-digit range.

Digistar’s CMS offers monitoring services via a comprehensive internet protocol-based platform and hi-tech surveillance system. It can switch to run on 3G, 4G and LTE networks during power disruptions.

The 24-hour real-time monitoring services would be offered to residential, commercial, industrial and public properties, covering a wide range of surveillance including alarm systems for the elderly, infant, vehicle and and self-monitoring.

The system is licenced under the Home Affairs Ministry. “The ministry is very receptive of this CMS as we can act as a bridge between the police and the public.”

The company also has an appetite for continued diversification as Lee implied that Digistar would be entering a new business next year.

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