Moved To Malaysia With No Plans… But An Open Mind

Back in 1993 Mark Vedel started a company in Denmark together with a few partners. The company was selling software to control and manage the maintenance of large industrial systems and they were so successful that larger corporations eventually became interested to buy them.
In 2001 they made a deal with TietorEnator Denmark who took over their business, paid them all a good sum of money and then hired Mark as their Sales Manager. It’s easy to think that everybody would be happy and especially Mark Vedel with both money in hand and a prestigious job at a good salary… and he was for a while. However, from being the boss of your own company to being employed as a boss is somewhat different and Mark Vedel eventually became a little restless.
“One day my wife Elena asked me ‘do you want to move to Malaysia’ and I didn’t really need to think much about it at the time. I had traveled a lot in South East Asia, I still had money from the sales of the company on the account and Elena is originally from Malaysia… so why not?” says Mark Vedel.

From nothing to a good idea
“I moved without knowing what kind of work I wanted to do and with no job in hand or even in mind. However, in the beginning I did of course consider many different possibilities including being a consultant in IT which is my forte. Then late 2005 I suddenly got an idea… why not supply offshore IT services to Danish companies?” And that is what Mark Vedel is now doing except he is not limiting himself to sell offshore IT services to Denmark alone… he is also targeting the other Scandinavian countries including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.
Vedel IT Services was started in February 2006 and has since been granted MSC status in Malaysia. MSC stands for “Multimedia Super Corridor” and is given to companies which are doing either research or exports knowledge work which is basically IT. The status gives certain tax advantages as well as other advantages in the beginning and this as well as a good idea, professional knowledge and dedication has already made Mark Vedel a steady business income.

Dedicated IT development teams
“I am basically setting up as well as managing dedicated IT development teams in Malaysia on behalf of Scandinavian (Nordic) companies. I hire the team members in my company and then they work for the client in Scandinavia… and they only work for one client so it’s exactly like having them on the payroll”, explains Mark about his services.
In Scandinavia the client normally supplies detailed requirements and specifications when they sub-contract IT jobs. However, Mark Vedel has arranged for different procedures with his clients, they only come up with their user requirements and goals for the job. Then team members employed in Vedel IT Services write specifications and, after approval, perform the actual development.

A third of the price
“This way of working is possible when the Malaysian development team is a permanent team so for us the ideal client is either IT companies or IT departments of large corporations with regular development jobs. Then the team basically works as the company’s own IT department, they know all details like any other employee would so each new project becomes easier and easier to start and later implement. And it will cost only a third of same in Scandinavia”, Mark reveals. He confesses that it is not only the pricing of the IT professionals in Malaysia which makes such large pricing differences possible. It is also because the quality of the best IT professionals in Malaysia is higher than in Scandinavia as well as a higher productivity according to Mark Vedel. He believes that his company is very competitive offering huge cost savings for a better job compared to running the same development job in Scandinavia.
Mark is so confident about his business concept with several new clients expected to sign contracts shortly that he is already planning more services, one of which is a separate testing department. The basic idea is that Scandinavian companies developing their own software can send the new software for dedicated testing in Malaysia.

Planning the future
“I plan to set up a special testing team which will do nothing but software testing. They will know every typical mistake, loophole and typical user errors for any type of software so they can help clients identify and rectify these before release of their software solutions”, says Mark who at present employs 6 staff.
With new clients and projects Mark Vedel expects a turnover in 2007 of up to MYR 1mill and with more expansions in 2008 to expand from 6 staff to 30 staff members and even further in 2009.
It is hard to believe when Mark claims he had great difficulties concentrating on anything during his first 6 months in Malaysia. Now however, he feels much more settled as his wife is now in close contact with her Malaysian family, his two kids have settled in and a third baby is on the way. He also has managed to get a good mix of local and expat friends and has taken up one of his favourite sports again… in fact, he gets beaten every day by his Chinese badminton partner. Oh yes, Mark loves his life in Malaysia… and he is still having an open mind!

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