HE has achieved more than his dream of settling down in his Sitiawan hometown and having a good career.
While jobs are scarce in small towns, Wong Ong Hua’s e-commerce company has almost 100 young people on its payroll currently.
“Only one of my staff is not from Sitiawan. This employee however is getting married to a local this December,” the 42-year-old CEO of online game store SEA Gamer Mall told MetroPerak during a visit to his company in Taman Ria Jaya in Sitiawan recently.
Wong founded his e-commerce business in computer games with one computer in his house in Kg Cina, Sitiawan nine years ago.
He was operating from home for the first three years.
“I like to play computer games. There is a market for it. It is also a cash business and does not involve after-sales service,” he said of the reasons he was drawn into the business.
He said 80% of his sales now comes from abroad, against 20% initially.
An electrical engineer from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Skudai, Wong said he headed home upon graduation in 1998 and opened a computer shop with RM30,000 from his father.
Dressed in T-shirt and jeans, Wong comes across as a frank and jovial person who engages well with others.
“I think I only had two meetings with my staff in all these years. My team will usually highlight matters to me. We have discussions and I will make decisions on the spot,” he said, pointing out that speed and creativity are important in the IT business.
“Things are moving and changing so fast these days,” said Wong, adding that he is glad he does not have to contend with the stresses of life in a city.
Besides, Wong said, the city is not an ideal place to raise kids.
He said his wife, an accountant by training, is now a homemaker taking care of their four children.
Recalling his teenage days in the village, he said he was grateful for being introduced to church where he got lots of guidance, encouragement and help to chart his life.
Fast forward to the present, Wong said he loves to provide job opportunities for the locals, especially the young.
He said only five of his employees are aged above 30.
“The criteria is that they must be responsible, hardworking and willing to learn,” he said, adding that training is provided for them.
“There are opportunities around us but we must be able to put our knowledge into practice, be focus on what we are doing and act fast,” he said of the increasingly competitive work and business environment nowadays.