TAKING CONNECTIVITY TO GREAT HEIGHTS

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Apps Design Studio started out as a straight-forward mobile app development company, and pioneer in Malaysia that creates mobile apps for both iPhone and Android smartphones. For its CEO, Eden Yap, reaching such heights was no walk in the park. In a recent interview with Top 10 of Malaysia, Eden speaks about his passion for gadgets as well as how innovation and sustainability are crucial components in the world of business.

After completing his Diploma in Programming from Informatics College, Eden Yap began his journey in the industry by working in a stock broker firm before venturing into his own company. “I started out as a programmer in the Electronic Data Processing (EDP) department in one of the stock broker firm in the country. After working there for a couple of years, I left the place to create my own company where we started off by building websites. Then in 2008, Apple introduced the first iPhone 3G and I saw it as a perfect opportunity to shift our direction. That’s why I converted my company into one that makes apps and called it Apps Design Studio,” he explains.

As someone who loves gadgets and all things technology, Eden went the extra mile to purchase his first iPhone in Singapore. “After getting hold of my first iPhone, I began exploring the iPhone and started to learn how to make mobile apps for it. My company first developed a simple information app in 2009. We started building Android App in 2011. Over the years, we have developed countless apps, where some of them are on the App Store, while 80% of them are not. This is because we do a lot of corporate apps for BMW, Proton, Hyundai, Genting, Digi, Acson, Hitachi, Hatten Group, PJD Group and more.”

Although mobile apps are common these days, it wasn’t the case 10 years ago. This is why it was a struggle for Eden to convince his clients that mobile apps are the future. Most people are contended with websites and they don’t see the benefits of mobile apps and how powerful that may change the world. However, according to Eden, the demand in Malaysia increased a fair bit in the last two years and he thinks it’s because of GrabCar and Airbnb.

“Currently, we are working on many interesting and ground-breaking apps like an event booking and reservation app for restaurants, beauty salons and more as well as a merchant app. We are also developing an

e-magazine app for an Australian company where they want to transform their hard-cover book into a digital one and it will be interactive, making it one-of-a-kind. The next one is truly exciting for me and it’s the newest point-to-point delivery app where the sender can send you the items from any point that you request. For example, if you’re at a shop at a particular time, the items can be sent to you there and it all can be arranged and trace through this app.”

However, reaching such milestones didn’t come easy for him. It took Eden years of hard work, discipline and perseverance to be where he is right now. There are also multiple notable challenges that he faced over the years. “I think one of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced is maintaining and sustainability. This is because my company doesn’t do any maintenance for the apps, so our income stream is pretty limited. But then I found a solution by building platform apps with maintenance. With such apps, we have to always upgrade it or add new features and this generated continuous income for us.”

As for his advice for future mobile app developers, he says: “You have to be focused and think of a way to be innovative. This is because everyone is doing the same thing, so you have to find a way to stand out in the pool of talented and hardworking individuals.”