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Big In a Dotcom World
New Straits Times, October 2, 2000
SHE'S young and petite but when It comes to business, especially
that of a new dotcom, Fione Tan Is busy moving forward with big
"I plan to retire when I am 30," says the confident 22- year-old
Tan who is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of eOneNet.com
Sdn Bhd. "I want to travel, and see the world."
Her remark is not a sign of being tired of the corporate life
but rather an indication of her confidence in her company, which
according to her Is progressing marvellously. She claims that
eOneNet.com, which was softly
launched in April, has been profitable, raking In about RM30,
000 in profits In Its first month of operations.
"We have a steady growth of RM20, 000 profits each month," she
says. With just a small Investment and what It considers an attractive
business model, conenet.com has convinced 70 customers to subscribe
to Its home-grown Web Creator 2000 software. The software was
developed to allow small and medium-sized companies to have e-business
- not e- commerce - operations up and running in a couple of hours.
This can be done using two haste services that each cost under
RM2,000, Tan says. "It's a stepping stone for them," she adds.
"Malaysian companies generally don't have the time and budget
for huge investments to get into e-business." Another unique way
of eOneNet.com business model
is through seminars." We thought of launching our site, but we
observed that when so many dotcom companies launched their sites,
there was hardly any value in it, " Tan says.
"Customer will come and get the piggy back, then go back and then
they will forget about it," she explain. " You are not transferring
anything to them or giving them any benefit." She believes that
there are values organising relevant seminars. "You are disseminating
valuable knowledge and getting to be know for it," she say.
She adds that on the average eOneNet.com
seminars on e-business are gaining popularity. She has already
reserved requests from other cities to host such events. The seminars
usually include leaders of companies who share their experiences
and gives advice on issues related to starting a dotcom business.
With the way her company is progressing, there's no question that
Tan's adrenaline level is raising. Two months ago she gave a modest
projection of her company's growth by that September, eonenet.com
would have 70 customers from 50, which was the figure again then.
Now, when her customer base has reached 70, it would be hard to
says she is modest about her projection. Just a week ago, when
comp times interviewed her, Tan said that she is quite confident
of signing up 10,000 customers by December this year.
And she say that this number does not include the potential customers
in China, where she is planning to have conenet.com business up
by end of this year.
Being relatively young, Tan is used to remarks and questions about
her age and capabilities. But she has learned not to make that
as an issue. She started her first job as a marketing executive
at the age of 19 at Pan Global Insurance, right after she getting
her honours degree in management and marketing from the Up-per
Iowa University, a non- profitable organization, on a scholarship."Some
of my clients would look at me, being short and young and I know
that they are thinking what to do with me," Tan says. "You just
have to win their confidence through what they expect of you,
making sure everything is okay."
In fact, at times she made sure she got what she wanted. She recalls
her experience when she was working at Kurnia Insurance, handling
monthly budgets of RM1 million and needed to get approvals from
"I would stand there and make sure they give them to me. Figuratively,
they had to really kick me so that I'll leave," she recalls a
with laughter. For her perseverance and achievement she was awarded
the Best Performer of the Year as well as the Highest Achiever
of the Year.
It is hard to imagine this feisty woman used to be as quiet as
a mouse during her school days at Sekolah Menengah Jinjang in
Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.
"When people talk to me, I would hardly respond. I would just
say 'oh okay'," she looks back. That all changed after she joined
the Girl Guides and Ranger and Guides club at her school where
she ended up representing her school at State level. "After 15
years of silence, I couldn't keep my mouth shut," she grins.
At SMJ, Tan was considered one of the top students throughout
her five years there, achieving 7A 6As respectively for her Sijil
Rendah Pelajaran (SRP) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.
At the age where many enjoy shopping and bonding with their friends
at their leisure time, spends most of her talking about business!
in day out with her customers and co-workers. can't run away from
I have to discuss with partners on how to progress your company,"
Her parents are just keen as her about the economy. "They will
cut newspaper articles on companies that they think competitive
to the business of eOneNet.com,"
she Her parents also help the seminars that eOneNet.com organises.
"They took leave in the recent seminar to help me out," she says.
Marriage is on hold Tan who thinks it is a partnership that will
tie her freedom. "I will probably get married at either 28, but
nothing sooner that," she says firm might as well live it first
since I will be spending about 50 years with future husband.
"Business usually priority for Tan but she is also very fond of
her dogs. Last month her colleague Harrace Lau, heard an emotional
Tan on the phone just a few minutes before her presentation at
"My dog Fiona just died then and I was crying about the whole
thing and I told him to take my place,' Tan, who at one time had
Amazon.com's founder Jeff Bezos has an admirer in Tan, who is
trying to follow his footsteps. "He once said in an article that
he not want to look back age of 80 and regrets not doing what
he wants,"Fione says..
And that's exactly what she wants to avoid as well.
"Thinking Big In A Dotcom World - New Straits Times"
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