M’sian ICT provider for laptops, printers & more

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[This is a sponsored article with SNS Network.]

Not everyone gets fired up and excited about ICT (Information and Communications Technology), but Kelvin Pah, the Sales and Marketing Director of SNS Network founded a business based on a more niche interest.

“When you’re passionate about something, you want to share it with others, so this is how we keep our business growing by sharing technology to demonstrate what technology means to us,” said Kelvin.

He makes up one half of the co-founding team of SNS Network alongside Ko Yun Hung, the Managing Director of SNS Network. The duo started the company in Ipoh back in 1999.

Building the brand name from scratch

During the first 10 years of the company’s existence, Kelvin said they could only focus on customers in Ipoh as they lacked the manpower to diversify and expand. They had just 40 staff members on their payroll. Thus, they honed in on providing IT solutions to the B2B and B2C markets in that region.

Like any other business, they were a relatively unknown name when they started. But through tireless networking, the duo onboarded brands such as Intel and Compaq (which merged with HP in 2000), and some of these partnerships have lasted till today.

In their 21 years of operation, they’ve supplied IT equipment to schools, SMEs, government services, corporates and the like. They even provided services such as cabling work, networking services and broadband installation to their customers.

From the left: Kelvin Pah and Ko Yun Hung, co-founders of SNS Network during one of the showcase seminars / Image Credit: SNS Network

But as time went by, they’ve shifted their focus to concentrate on 3 core segments in the business:

  • B2C: Running and managing omnichannel outlets such as GLOO, and mono-brand outlets such as iTworld and Mi Stores.
  • B2B: Providing IT solutions to corporates and enterprises
  • Services Business: Providing broadband services, cabling work, networking services and software installation.

“We started from the small town of Ipoh, which is situated right in the middle between Penang and Kuala Lumpur. But when you have a smaller city, you also have a smaller market,” said Kelvin. However, it was that strategic location in between 2 hubs that allowed the business to expand to Klang Valley and neighbouring cities in 2009.

The SNS Network Headquarters in Ipoh / Image Credit: SNS Network

Kelvin revealed to us that in 2020, SNS Network had a year-over-year revenue of RM700 million, and in 2019, they had a YOY revenue of RM600 million, roughly about RM100 million increase yearly. 

However, 2021 is poised to be a breakthrough year for the company, as they’re hoping to breach the RM1 billion mark by the end of the fiscal year. The company also ships around 300,000 units of laptops and PCs yearly to customers nationwide.

Working closely with big-name brands

While SNS Network does have a host of brands under their umbrella, one of their mainstays is Hewlett Packard (HP). Kelvin told us that while they previously dealt with Compaq which was subsequently merged with HP, they only began working closely together 14 years ago. 

As one of HP’s main partners locally, they’ve brought products ranging from laptops to printers from HP into the local market. Kelvin said that working with the brand has always been a breeze and he believes that HP has great products that can fit the needs of many. 

For example, one of the products that SNS Network is bringing in under the GLOO store is the HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw.

The HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw showing off it’s small form factor / Image Credit: HP

It is an all-in-one printer that can print, scan and copy. The printer can also be set up easily using a mobile device and you can even print pictures and documents straight from your phone, as it is built with wireless and mobile printing functionalities. 

This means you don’t have to go through the hassle of finding a USB plug and wasting time connecting software and the likes to just print a document. If you wish, you can also print directly from a USB device plugged into the printer. The printer is also one of the smallest from HP, measuring at 421.9 x 422.9 x 344.1mm.

As one of the main partners for HP products locally, SNS Network has a dedicated support and service team to handle any HP enquiries that come their way.

One of the other printers available from SNS Network, the HP LaserJet MFP M236dw / Image Credit: HP

Making Malaysia’s own brand of laptops

While providing IT services and solutions proved to be a fruitful endeavour for the company, they felt that Malaysia lacked an affordable solution that caters specifically to the needs of the locals. Partnering up with Microsoft and Intel, SNS Network launched JOI (read as joy) back in 2014.

Their very first product was the JOI 8—a sub RM500 mobile tablet. When it was launched, it was regarded as the nation’s very first locally-branded Windows 8.1 tablet. But SNS Network did not rest on their laurels as they continued their collaboration with Windows and Intel to work on their next line of products.

And in 2018, they finally launched the JOI Book 100, which was available for RM1,299. While the specs under the hood were nothing too cutting-edge for the time, its affordability and design turned a few heads for those who were looking for a lightweight laptop to be used on the go.

Since then, they’ve expanded their product list to include all-in-one devices (monitors with PCs built in them) smart boards for classrooms and more. On top of distributing their own brand locally, SNS Network relies on strategic partnerships to provide competitive offerings in the local market.

Fuelled with a passion and a team that is now 300+ strong, Kelvin hopes he can continue to provide more options and choices for Malaysians, by bringing in a variety of other brands to the market. He also said that he’s planning SNS Network for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the near future and to expand their B2B network so they can cater to more companies and enterprises with their solutions.

Featured Image Credit: SNS Network

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