Prense Bina (M) Sdn Bhd, a leading supplier in seating systems has been supplying seating systems for almost all stadiums available in Malaysia. Despite being a small company with very limited manpower, they can cater to 40,000-seat venue.
How did they manage it? WargaBiz had the opportunity to interview the General Manager of Prense Bina (M) Sdn Bhd, Sasu Anthony to get to know all his incredible achievements and the story of how he made Malaysia proud when being awarded a prestigious project for the World Cup in Korea, 2002.
Prense Bina in the eye of the world
In just 7 years of operation, Anthony managed to secure a prestigious project supplying approximately 42,000 seating for Busan Stadium. “That was the highlight of our operation. Imagine, a small local company hailed in Kajang, Selangor being selected among other international companies to supply seats for World Cup 2002!”
Surprisingly, that wasn’t his only notable achievement. His hard work and hunger for new opportunity paid off handsomely when he was awarded various projects be it medium-size or large-size in local and overseas. Unfortunately, he had to go through all the difficulties during the first few years of the operation.
From a storekeeper to owning a company
Anthony shared Prense Bina (M) Sdn Bhd was commenced during the Asian financial crisis in 1996. Before that, he worked at a company supplying seating systems as a storekeeper for a few years. He was then promoted as a Sales Assistant and that was the point where he had a wild idea to begin a startup.
“After working for a few years, I already picked up the rhythm and all the necessary knowledge and skill for operating a company. So, I set my mind and I took a huge step, left the company for good and set Prense Bina.”
He expressed that his wife was a bit sceptical when he wanted to set up the company. “I was scared at that moment,” he laughs. “Who is mad enough to leave a stable job and open a startup during a recession time? But I thought, if my Plan A (setting up Prense Bina) didn’t go well, my Plan B was to get a new job.”
Prense Bina, combining functionality, solutions and aesthetic design
His very first project was supplying 3,000 seats for a lecture hall in UPM (University Putra Malaysia). Eventually, they started to grow and gain more projects day by day. Prense Bina’s specialist in retractable or telescopic seatings, auditorium, lecture hall, indoor and outdoor stadium.
“My previous boss told me that the chair will never die tomorrow. Every day people will need a chair.”
“Our clients could tell it’s our product just by looking at it. We have our trademark and we can customise according to their needs. We’re always looking for ways we can develop new designs and over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in turnover from these products, which is fantastic. We always push ourselves to not only focus on solutions – but create an impact by designing a product that combines functionality, sustainability and environmental-friendly. We’ve got a lot to offer,” adding that Prense Bina joined a Korean company to allow the company to grow tremendously in adopting new technology.
Throughout their operation, Prense Bina has done 400-500 projects in Malaysia and most of them are SUKMA projects. They have been selected as the main supplier for SUKMA projects which happen every two years. “We have done for SUKMA in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Currently, we have started our project for SUKMA which will be held in Johor next year,” adding that Prense Bina secured Istana Budaya project which just completed last year, beating all foreign competitors.
Setting foot in the Middle East market
In the next few years, Prense Bina will work to expand its offering throughout the Middle East market. At the moment, they have secured a project in Oman. “We have done almost 50 projects in the Middle East market, for instance, we supply the seating system for the Ferrari Abu Dhabi project. It’s just a medium-sized project, but our strategy is to slowly penetrate the market.”
Prense Bina has a solid reputation for accumulating RM5mil-RM6mil turnover per year. But, due to the current economy, the business is deemed to be slow. “I hope more projects will coming in and I’m dreaming to achieve RM5mil turnover this year.”
For Anthony, he aims to grow the company and bring in more new designs. “I have a dream to sell my product in China. If they can sell their products here (Malaysia), why can’t I do the same? (laughed). We are adjusting our compass to focus more on overseas rather than local by 60%,” he ended.