In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to find people who don’t own a mobile phone. Mobile telecommunications have become such an integral part of our life. In keeping with this trend, MiBrand has taken the opportunity to sit down with some of the board of directors of Divine Spectrum Sdn Bhd.
Divine Spectrum Sdn Bhd was set up in 2010 as a company that focuses on providing full Turn-Key solutions in the field of Information Technology and Radio Frequency. This means that they work with key telecommunications operators and OEMs across the country in order to roll out telecommunications infrastructure.
Manjit Kaur, the founder of Divine Spectrum Sdn Bhd was kind enough to explain the business to us and answer some of our pressing questions. She recently won the Perdana Young Indian Entrepreneur Award 2017 and also shares with us her personal thoughts
Can you tell us a bit about the nature of your business?
Our business focuses on the area of wireless telecommunications, whereby we’re the fourth layer of the hierarchy. The first layer is of course the operators like Maxis, Digi and Huawei. Next are the main contractors who will sub-contract niche speed testing jobs to us.
Basically the main thing we do is test out 4G networks. In mobile telecommunications, the speed of internet information transfer is expressed as 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G. The higher the generation number, the faster the broadband speed.
We have many specialized equipment like scanners to test out the speed of the network, whether it’s performing up to par or not. We also have software that helps us perform drive testing, as well as 70-80 vehicles which we use to test the internet speed to phones when they’re travelling.
From there we prepare reports, which are submitted to the main contractors so that everyone has a clear picture of whether the new telecommunications equipment and site are working well or not.
Aren’t there many other companies doing similar work?
Yes, there are but we’re the best in the business. It’s a very niche market and main contractors really love it when we provide Turn-key solutions. This means that we cover everything from design to final testing before handing the project over to them.
It’s important for our clients to know that we’re fully committed. They can see where our assets are, and we’re based here so they know we’re not going to run away anytime soon. This is important for building trust.
Manjit, how did you end up in such a technical field after been trained as an accountant?
For the past seven years, I’ve been exposed to the technical side of the business, so now I’m quite used to it. My job entails making lots of financial decisions on how to safeguard the client’s expenditures and provide added value to their budget.
My previous experience working with some of the Big Four companies in Malaysia has taught me the importance of multitasking and not giving up. I’ve also managed to transform this company to be financially independent, profit generating and not credit reliant. I have also been able to retain skilled workers that are crucial to the company’s growth.
Learning to never say ‘No’ is another value I treasure. Even if the business opportunity has nothing to do with our current services, it’s a chance to start a new venture and fill a niche demand in the market. So definitely we’re keen to explore other industries.
What are some of your company achievements so far?
We’ve achieved a hike of 131% in turnovers in the past year, which we consider quite a good performance due to our added value services. We’re establishing ourselves as a well known name in the field of telecommunications due to our technology that rivals international competitors. We’re exploring new ventures moving forward. We own the largest fleet of vehicles for telecommunications testing in the whole country, and we have one of the highest pools of satisfied customers in South East Asia.
We’re also a leader in radio frequency equipment and supply. We can personalize service packages for customers too as there’s no hard and fast rule. We prioritize the customer’s wants first. We’re also committed to our corporate social responsibility by going green with our technology, and train our staff to increase their skill and knowledge. This is especially useful for new graduates.
We also work with Dignity, a Malaysian NGO dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and giving people back their self worth.
What are your future plans?
Well, right now we’re pretty much at the fourth layer, working as sub-contractors for the main contractors. We plan to move one level up and work directly with the operators. Right now we’re quite comfortable at the layer that we’re working. That, and we plan to improve our training for our staff.
For other countries in South East Asia, we partner with others and carry out testing with rented vehicles. Right now we have our hands full without Malaysian clients but we’re keen on venturing into the IT construction industry. So we’re actually looking at a different platform to expand our business.
What are some of the challenges you face?
Currently, the job itself is very demanding and very specialized, so we worry about our equipment and tools a lot. They’re very expensive, so we’re worried about it being damaged or stolen. The tools we use have to be of very good quality. Also, we face a lot of staff pinching, whereby the staff that we train become very highly skilled and sought after in this industry, and competitors tend to head hunt them.
Manjit, as a woman entrepreneur, what is your advice for other female entrepreneurs?
Always have a ‘Never Give Up’ attitude and don’t think of yourself as equal to men. You’re better (laughs). They may have their assumptions about you and it’s your responsibility to have a dream and push yourself to be where you have to be.
When I was at Ernst and Young, I felt that I was in the best platform to learn and gain experience but my nature is such that I don’t enjoy working under other people. After several years when I got the necessary certification, I left the company and went to Shell.
Life in Shell was much less stressful and I had more time for myself and that’s where I learnt to multitask, which has helped me build my work ethic and practices until today. I’ve always been ambitious since I’m young, so I’ve always known that I needed to work hard to achieve it.
Therefore, since I was in school, I’ve always aimed to be the best, and I did just that by being the best SPM student in my year at Convent Johor Bahru. You’ve also got to be a risk taker who’s not afraid to step outside the conservative expectations of you as a woman.
In my case I had very supportive parents and husband, which is why I dared to leave a comfortable corporate job and strike it out on my own. For me corporate jobs can be very structured and this may limit your ability to dream. The challenges of business and the people you meet here is much wider here than in the corporate world and it really builds up your mind.
How did you feel about winning the Perdana Young Indian Entrepreneur Award 2017?
Firstly, I’m very thankful to the Malaysian Indian Entrepreneurs Cooperative (MIEC) for recognizing my achievements. The award has opened many networking opportunities and thereby many platforms have opened up. This award has definitely pushed me to work harder, as well as the Industry Award too.
To young people, I would say that having support is important. Teamwork is important and I’m also thankful to all my staff. Finally, never give up on your dreams and work hard to achieve it.