In the hot seat

TTRacing has expanded beyond the gaming community, attracting a wider audience seeking affordable upgrades for home workspaces. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

IN an industry dominated by luxury brands targeting the top segment of the gaming market, Henry Ting, founder and CEO of TTRacing, saw an opportunity to make gaming chairs accessible to a wider audience. Sitting across Ting at his flagship showroom in Bangsar, it’s clear that his call was the right one.

Occupying the first floor space, TTRacing’s showroom features multiple models of ergonomic chairs and accessories. Starting the company in 2017, Ting admits that it wasn’t gaming chairs that struck his interest first but rather gaming peripherals.

“It was probably back in 2013 or 2014, when I was studying that I started getting into that business,” he tells us.

The Malaysian-born entrepreneur who completed his tertiary education at the reputable Nanyang Technological University in Singapore turned to selling gaming peripherals as a business during his studying days.

“I guess this aspect was also born out of my own personal interests, which is gaming so I was selling things like mouses, keyboards and headsets.”

Elevating the gaming experience

It was during this period that his dual passions for gaming and business converged, sparking his aspiration to expand his enterprise and connect with a broader audience.

“I sold gaming peripherals for about four years and then I started looking at gaming chairs,” he explains.

Ting states at the time, gaming chairs weren’t exactly “a thing” and it was relatively a new segment then.

“It wasn’t really seen anywhere and that got me really interested because it was related to the gaming industry as well.”

Ting saw the potential in having an accessible product that delivered comfort, which was also affordable enough for gamers to enhance their experience.

“I thought anyone who has to sit at home six to eight hours would love something that was both stylish and comfortable, which could blend well with a cool modern interior environment.”

With that idea TTRacing was born. But turning his passion for gaming into developing the best products for gamers did face some obstacles at the beginning.

“The idea of gaming chairs used to be rather novel when I first started, so getting external investments was one of the toughest hurdles I was forced to overcome — considering the great capital investment needed to develop the product,” he admits.

Another was to understand how gaming chairs were made and how to make a viable business out of it.

Ready for a challenge

Recalling how he started TTRacing, Ting elaborates that he looked at his experience in selling gaming peripherals.

“The business was nothing fancy — I was just reselling other people’s brands online but the business was centred on some core values,” he admits.

For starters, he says that back then, the majority of gaming peripherals available in the market were branded, which made them very expensive and often out of reach for customers.

“Some gaming mouses cost a few hundred and I focused on selling ones that were more affordably priced. I also realised that most gamers had a full set like headsets and keyboards but what was lacking was a gaming chair.”

And as a gamer himself, Ting understood the importance of comfort as long hours were spent in front of the screen.

“To me it was quite quite obvious that it was the right segment to get into but it took a lot of understanding of the entire gaming market to figure out how it would work.

“I also had to find suppliers and learn about other aspects of the business like designing and manufacturing the product.”

Ting admits in the first year, it was pretty much a learning experience with fair bit of trial and error. A lot of time and effort was also spent in securing the right partners to build his chairs and understanding how to market the product.

Driving the business

Not just content with just spearheading the business, Ting also got hands-on with the designs of the product.

“I am very particular about what goes into a chair,” he says with a smile.

He explains that the designs are done in-house but he does provide input with regards to certain aesthetics.

“Frankly, when we started, the market wasn’t really ready for a gaming chair. But the segment has certainly transitioned a lot,” he adds.

“Back then most were designed with bright, flashy colours but these days its more sophisticated with a minimalist look and feel.”

Upon closer inspection, the design elements of TTRacing’s chairs also exude a race car inspired feel, which according to Ting is directly related to the name of the brand.

The focus was also centred upon making TTRacing’s products attainable for the mass market.

“The goal was to make the products affordable and also to grow beyond the gaming sphere,” Ting elaborates. “Today we have a broad range of products — we dont just have gaming chairs, we have tables, the Ergochair and more.”

Ting emphasises that he wants to grow and build TTRacing, making it a brand that is synonymous with comfort. “I would say the brand experience is not just about seating and aesthetics but the entire ergonomic experience.”

Levelling up

Under Ting’s visionary leadership, TTRacing has expanded beyond the gaming community, attracting a wider audience seeking affordable upgrades for home workspaces.

With showrooms in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, Singapore, and Thailand, TTRacing aims to further penetrate the South-East Asian market.

“Our business is mostly online but our physical showrooms provide an avenue for people to come in and experience the products themselves.”

Having served over 300,000 customers and supplying 15,000 chairs monthly, TTRacing is now also the official partner of the 3-day PUBG MOBILE Super League SEA.

As the brand grows globally, its commitment to affordability and quality remains steadfast.

Looking ahead, Ting explains that the next phase of the business will be focused on brand building and also bringing new products to customers based on what they want and need.

Its current line-up has seen the brand expand its products to include licensed products with popular franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, which fuels the brand’s appeal amongst the masses.

“These IPs provide us an opportunity to reach out to a huge fanbase,” he says. However, Ting stresses that he doesn’t want TTRacing to be labelled as just a gaming chair company.

“We want to be an ergonomic company. This is why when we expanded our product line, we didn’t expand into gaming peripherals, because that’s not what we are.”

Ting says although the last seven years have been eventful and exciting, there are still a lot more that he wants to achieve with TTRacing.

“We want this to be a global brand,” he states. “We are now in five countries but in the next five years, hopefully you will see us everywhere.”

This article first appeared in Star Biz7 weekly edition.

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