Viewing his mother as his ultimate role model, Thomas has always taken her resourcefulness and perseverance as values to emulate and as the recipe for success in a business venture. He fondly mused that to his mother, the way to see challenges is as aptly described in the saying “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. Combining the ‘hunger’ to find his way out of a mediocre life through entrepreneurship as well as his mother’s resourcefulness, Thomas has come a very long way from the average person he humbly describes himself to be.
Today, his company Radica Softwares Sdn Bhd has revolutionised the way engineers can draw their circuits digitally through Electra which is now 9 years old and still going strong. Electra, an electrical Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) software is cited to be able to save 300% to 500% of time spent onto drawing circuits and has amassed global household names as its users such as Apple, SpaceX and Bombardier. Electra is used worldwide by users in 48 different countries and holistically covers circuits drawn in electrical, pneumatic as well as hydraulic form.
While Electra faced several hurdles in the past, such as finding an international payment gateway that wouldn’t come at the disadvantage of burdening exchange rates as well as penetrating the local market, Thomas has been steadfast in his motto of overcoming it all;
“Concentrate on making really good products and the customers will come regardless”. Today, in an effort to contribute back to Malaysia, Thomas is on the advisory board of University of Malaya and wishes to invest in students.
With Industry 4.0 and globalisation going hand in hand contributing to the world becoming smaller in time, Thomas opines that Malaysian software start-ups should firstly take advantage of keeping costs low by operating remotely from Malaysia. In order to make the most of this geographical advantage, they should also fully utilise the ability to set geographical pricing. Should they continue to go global while setting geographical pricing strategies, they are maximising their comparative advantage against other global start-ups.
As for what’s next for Radica Softwares Sdn Bhd, Thomas demonstrated to me his latest innovation: Vecta.io. Vecta.io is a real-time cloud based advanced SVG Editor, an ingenious creation of his that bridges the best of Google Docs real-time collaborative features and diagramming programme. Utilising Vecta.io would mean that just about anyone can do their diagramming, including electrical diagrams, on the go with only their mobile. They would also be able to work real-time with anyone, anywhere as it is browser-based!
As for his final say for budding software entrepreneurs out there, he tells them to keep their eyes on the bigger picture and focus on breaking through the glass ceiling of geographical limitations. “Always go global” as he says with a smile.