The art of being cool is an expression we hear commonly amongst the young these days. For Dato’ Deric Wong, being cool has literally become an enterprising vocation, first as a corporate employee and now in running his own businesses in the air-conditioning line. Starting out in research and development before embarking on consultation and sales, the experience and knowledge gained provided Wong with a platform for entrepreneurship. The Greenergy group of companies’ signature trademark of energy conservation is well-known in the in the local green energy industry. In a recent interview, Dato’ Deric Wong, Group Chairman of Greenergy Group of Companies shares with Top10 of Malaysia on his journey along the green path, his company’s current developments and future business plans amidst the challenges of diversification within the Malaysian green energy landscape.
The world of being cool and comfortable became the domain of Dato’ Deric Wong, right after leaving University Malaya and armed with academic credentials in mechanical engineering. Noticeably a soft-spoken person with an eye for detail, his first career step in research and development at Dunham-Bush Industries provided him with an insight into the mechanics of air-conditioners.
Gaining experience through the field of consultation and at Trane, in sales and systems application while simultaneously climbing up the corporate leader, setting up his own enterprises became a natural progression for Wong. In addition to that, his services were being requested for.
“After 14 years in the business, I felt that I was ready to start off on my own on a professional basis with clients requesting for my services,” says Wong. “The first business venture in Mechanical & Electrical contracting, launched in 2013, was called Crius Engineering. This was followed by the setting up of Greenergy in 2014, dealing with the trading of green products. The green culture is still at an early stage in Malaysia and huge potentials exist especially with government initiatives. We are now looking at new initiatives such as LED products and heat pumps.”
The team supporting Wong’s efforts are just as experienced. “We started off with a minimal capital of $250k but we doubled that within a year,” recollects Wong. “The team, who were mostly my ex-colleagues, compensated for the low capital with their expertise and an established presence in the market,” he says. The company’s reputation for cost-cutting innovative methods has built up a portfolio of notable clients within the hotel and shopping mall industry with the likes of Armada Hotel and the Selayang Mall, in addition to the higher certifications it has received from the government.
Furthermore, Wong emphasises the fact that a positive mind-set is crucial when it comes to business. “The three important principles for success is positive thinking, focus and teamwork,” says Wong. “We were new in the field and had to think positive by being creative to surmount the challenges, especially with low capital. One way to gain a credible reputation was to structure the company based on international ISO standards.”
When asked about his leadership style, he explains that a flexible management style is practised within a team of 15 personnel where open discussions are the norm. “I prefer to lead my staff, to guide and work as a team. Brainstorming is an important culture here where everyone shares their views. A consolidation of such ideas creates innovations,” reveals Wong who strongly believes in teamwork and idea sharing.
On balancing his professional and personal life, Wong believes in an equal distribution of time between family and the office with quality time to spend with his son. “I seldom take work home. I apply the same principles of positive-thinking, focus and teamwork. I like sharing ideas in the office and similarly with my son, I prefer to listen to his views,” states Wong.
Moreover, Wong’s vision for the future direction of Greenergy is to leave the company as a lasting legacy for posterity. “I foresee Greenergy becoming a corporation that will continue to exist even without my presence. Companies cannot depend on a singular leadership as we find in sole ownership. The corporate structure should be systematic and formalised for this to happen,” says Wong.
As to what advice he would give to those who are keen on starting a business, Wong encourages them to work on building their dreams. “Build your dreams or else others will hire you to build their dreams. Also, don’t forget to gain sufficient knowledge and experience before embarking on new ventures,” shares Wong. A brilliant and innovative mind, Wong is sure to take his business to a new altitude.