A SHARED passion for connecting people and businesses is what motivated two friends to set up a company focusing on managed Internet services in Malaysia.
And with RM300,000, Chew Choo Soon and Chang Wai Hoong established Mykris Asia Sdn Bhd in 2001.
The company that specialises in providing managed Internet services to enterprises, government-linked companies (GLCs), financial institutions and institutions of higher learning today has a turnover surpassing RM35mil.
Chang, who is executive director, said there were less than 10 workers when they started the business, and multitasking was expected of each one.
Today, the company has 90 workers in 10 departments – finance, sales, marketing, help desk, people, engineering and service delivery.
During its first decade, Mykris Asia’s entire focus was on connecting people and corporate sectors nationwide.
The company was committed to ensuring most logistics companies and investment banks had a reliable and fast Internet network; any disruption to connectivity could results in losses worth millions of ringgit.
“We had to be careful in managing our cash flow,” said Chang, adding that they also had to deal with employee turnover issues in the company.
This led to the duo coming up with Mykris DNA in 2016 to build a new working culture.
There are five key values in the Mykris DNA programme – building credibility through open and trust communication, innovating through creativity, nurturing relationships through care, drive loyalty and commitment through intrapreneurship, as well as seeking a win-win situation through shared responsibility.
Chang said their staff, who are considered as assets, were encouraged to keep an open mind and confide in them.
“Some of them have financial and family problems and I advise them accordingly,” Chang said at their office in Setia Walk in Persiaran Wawasan, Puchong.
Chew said as part of Mykris DNA, the employees were required to wear a special T-shirt every Friday, highlighting the programme’s key values.
“We set up a steering committee to get staff feedback after which we respond to their needs,” said the managing director.
Based on this feedback, they found that the staff prioritised medical coverage and education.
Chew said their outpatient medical coverage was thus extended to the employees’ immediate family members two years ago.
For the managers, medical insurance as well as hospital and surgical coverage was also extended to their families.
The company also began offering education loans to employees looking to upskill themselves.
“We are willing to fully subsidise certain courses as long as they are recognised and helpful for the personal growth of our employees,” Chew said.
Chang added that salary deductions were done each month to help the staff take up these certified courses.
“For example, we provided a RM50,000 loan to a senior executive who wanted to pursue an MBA at a local university,” he said.
Employees who completed certified courses, added Chew, even received increments and promotions as part of the company’s reward system.
A mentoring programme is also offered by Mykris Asia to help its employees become well-rounded individuals.
Early this year, a customised RM100,000 performance management system was put in place to handle employee needs efficiently, focusing on core competency as well as functional and leadership aspects.
Chew said the system monitors the performance of the employees and shows ways to improve if they do not meet expectations.
“If they fail to perform, we will give them a chance to improve their personal skills,” he said.
Besides that, a three-year survey was conducted by the company on how to grow and retain talent.
“We have allocated RM100,000 to train our staff this year,” he said, adding that training would be on knowledge, skills and personal growth.
“Every department is responsible for mapping out its own chart for staff training,” Chew said.
In addition, excellence performance and promotions are announced during the company’s annual dinner as a show of appreciation.
Three years ago, the Zero MC (medical leave) and Emergency Leave (EL) reward programme was introduced.
“We give RM700 to staff members who did not take any MC or EL for a whole year as a reward. Thirty-nine employees reaped the benefits of this reward programme last year.
Chang said to encourage employees to stay healthy, the gym membership for employees is subsidised, and there are plans to offer interest-free housing loans to eligible employees.
Mykris Asia branding and marketing specialist Jackal Cheng said an “Allstar” gratification programme was initiated two years ago to help grow and develop the staff.
Then there is the Job Rotation programme introduced last year that has also helped staff improve their related skills.
Mykris Asia won the Silver Award in the Best Employer category (above RM25mil category) at the Star Outstanding Business Award (SOBA) 2017.
Encouraged by this win, Cheng said they were planning to join SOBA 2018 in the Best Marketing, Best Brand, Best Innovation and Best Employer categories.
Asked what he thought made a good employer, Chew said staff must have peace of mind at the workplace.
“A good employer gives his staff a feeling of a win-win situation,” he said.
Chew inspiring employees to be their stakeholders and supporting them in their personal or entrepreneurial dreams were among future plans.
Currently, Chang said 90% of Mykris Asia’s business was from enterprises and expressing hope for collaborations with GLCs under the Pakatan Harapan government.
The company will be moving into a RM9.3mil six-storey corporate building in Bukit Jalil by the end of this year.