A farm boy at heart

  • Focus
  • Monday, 05 Oct 2015

We are just regular folk not blessed with ridiculously high IQs, says Pua.

LOOKING back, Phison Electronics Corp chairman and chief executive officer Datuk Pua Khein-Seng says he doesn’t have any special interest in electronics.

“I studied electronics because my father asked me to,” he reveals.

“I’m still in this business because I am aware of the responsibility that I hold. I am responsible to my employees, and their families to ensure that the company would remain relevant in today’s world,” he says.

Pua, who still maintains a punishing schedule, says he only has five days of continuous vacation with his family a year.

“It’s not because I like it but because technology is developing so quickly that I have to keep up with it,” he explains.

Pua, who was raised in a farming family in Sekinchan, Selangor, holds to his father’s maxim: “You can wait for others but never let other’s wait for you.”

After completing his studies at Pin Hwa High School in 1992 at age 19, he went to the National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Taiwan to pursue a degree in electrical control engineering.

“I remember I was very poor, and when I needed a pair of glasses due to reading a lot using the lamp, my father had to pick vegetables to sell before he managed to get the RM20 for my glasses,” Pua recalls.

And in NCTU, he worked at the university’s grocery store and library to pay for his college fees.

Insisting that “we are just regular folk not blessed with ridiculously high IQs,” Pua says it was the will to do what needed to be done that matters most in one’s endeavours.

“I’ve known some entrepreneurs who get pretty self-important even before their companies get off the ground. They’d get themselves a new hair cut, a new suit, and start driving a nice car.

I often tell my employees that such behaviour would lead to their downfall. And I’m usually right; they would go down within a year,” he says.

Pua says he can see the potential in the storage device technology, with people “changing their device every 18 month while doubling their device’s storage capacity,” but his first love, he says, is actually farming. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that he still uses a feature phone along with a smartphone.

In 2009, Phison invested about US$1mil in a 7,000-sqm land to undertake organic farming, with the vegetables and fruits distributed to employees.

“It’s a place where they can gather, relax and de-stress. They can go and pluck their favourite fruits there,” he concludes. – by LIM WING HOOI

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