David Ng, CEO of gumi Asia, stresses, “Do what you love and love what you do!” His love is games, creating IP and content, and bringing it to the world. And his fulfillment comes from seeing others appreciate the content.
He learned very early in life that it is essential to know what your goals are. Then, in order to succeed, you must be able to work backwards and be very detailed and clear about what you will do.
Reason For Entrepreneurship
Ng has a background as an entrepreneur, but he emphasizes that most people do not become entrepreneurs simply because that is their specific goal. Instead, they start companies out of opportunity or passion. Or they begin out of frustration that others were not making something or providing a service that they would like, so they decided to do it themselves. He says, “In my case, my chief driver and motivation was money. I had to be a provider from a young age. The fastest way I knew how to do that was to build a business and make money as fast as I could.”
“To succeed as an entrepreneur,” he insists, “you must understand the who, where, what, when, why, and how of building a successful business: people, product, place, process, capital and domain knowledge.” He also advises, “Building a good team of a few good men/women is so important, and doing that little extra work to cross that fine line between good and great makes a world of difference in the product or service we are selling.”
Satisfaction and World Domination
The most satisfying aspect of Ng’s career is seeing former staff members climb the ladder to become captains of industry and hearing them acknowledge him as their mentor. He feels so proud of them and of having made an impact on their lives and careers. And the icing on the cake? Being the ‘cool Dad’ to his sons when they come home saying, “Hey Daddy, my friends love your company’s games.”
Ng began as CEO of gumi Asia after a search firm approached him to meet with Hironao Kunimitsu, founder of gumi Inc. When they met, he says, “We decided to conquer the world together!” To this position, he brought many years’ experience in the gaming industry as well as leadership positions in large MNCs in the field. He found that his people skills were especially significant in aiding gumi in regionalization and growth.
A View of the SEA Market
Over the last two years, Ng has seen the Southeast Asia games industry and market experience hyper-growth. Focus is shifting from the major markets of Japan, USA, China, Europe, and Korea as companies realize this is one of the fastest growing and untapped markets in the world. However, SEA is a fragmented market in terms of varied languages, borders, regulations, credit card penetration, telecommunications infrastructure, and device penetration. So there are challenges not found in more mature markets. But, he insists, “The ability to remove those pain points provides a unique opportunity for the better prepared.”
Companies entering the SEA market from other markets often make several mistakes. These include: lack of localization and culturalization of game content, lack of optimization of games to suit local telecommunications infrastructure, lack of geo-specific domain knowledge, and an inability to activate local marketing channels. Ng claims, “Most larger game companies just appoint regional marketing and user acquisition partners to fulfill their needs. This is a case of thinking global, but acting local.” He advises new entrants into the market, “Talk to gumi.”
For the next few years in the SEA industry, Ng expects to see rapid adoption of smartphones and exponential growth in the mobile gaming market. He suggests developers respond by shifting away from web-based to more native content. As for the future of gumi Asia, expect to see exciting new content and publishing channels. They intend to be the bridge between East and West.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.