Long-term view vital to Vix Technology's ASEAN success
Patience, performance and partnerships have played key roles in Vix Technology's success in ASEAN markets. Over the last 20 years, the company has applied these approaches to seize lucrative opportunities in the fast-growing transport ticketing and payment market in the region.
Vix Technology General Manager Asia Pacific, Mark Messenger, acknowledges opportunities in ASEAN countries can take years to emerge.
'We've needed to be patient, but knowing ASEAN markets are investing heavily in transport infrastructure, the need for the associated ticketing systems will continue to grow,' Messenger says. 'Yet when the need does arise, authorities and operators have traditionally moved very quickly, and we've needed to be ready for that.'
'You simply need to spend time in a market in ASEAN to understand how it's developing and be ready for it,' he adds.
This long-term approach has paid off handsomely for Vix Technology. Individually, as a member of consortia, and in joint ventures, the company has delivered several prominent projects in ASEAN markets. These include the "EZLink" integrated smart ticketing system in Singapore, multiple projects in Thailand, including a national smart card clearing house, and a unified payment system for multiple transit operators in Malaysia.
Development of the unified payment system is the cornerstone of Vix Technology's sizeable investment in Malaysia. The company has established its Asian operating headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, seconded international staff into the country and created a local support presence.
'We have capacity for up to 40 support people here, and since September 2017 have been recruiting very heavily to build that up,' Messenger says.
Furthermore, Vix Technology's Group Chief Executive Officer has moved to Malaysia to be close to the market and support Vix Technology's business development activities.
'We see Malaysia as a long-term hub for Asian development and as a springboard into other global markets,' Messenger says.
In Thailand, Vix Technology has also established a joint venture with a local operator to support and maintain the "Rabbit Card" electronic payment system and support business development in the region.
'This type of joint venture was a good model to provide local support and ongoing extension of the system,' Messenger says. 'The partnership approach provided comfort to the customer as we now have a mutual stake in the project's long-term success.'
Vix Technology has received considerable support from Austrade over the last 10 to 15 years as the company built its presence in ASEAN markets.
'We've worked with Austrade several times to perform market studies,' Messenger says. 'In addition, they've often introduced us to organisations in the region who are looking to develop partnerships.
'Furthermore, we've had opportunities to go on trade tours to the region and they've supported us on study tours where we've presented ourselves to stakeholders in key markets.'
'We'll continue to use Austrade and Australian embassy resources as we go into new markets as it lends us additional credibility until we become established,' he adds.
With Vix Technology solidly established in Thailand and Malaysia, the company is well positioned for growth.
'We can pursue new projects in those countries or extensions to the systems we've already implemented,' Messenger says. 'There is a lot of work happening in both those markets and we're confident about opportunities there, as well as in other ASEAN countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam.'