Engineer to entrepreneur: the daring
journey of Taiwan's iGaming tycoon
KEY SUCCESS FACTOR: THE UNYIELDING SPIRIT OF THE ENGINEER
Graduating with a master's degree in information technology from Taiwan's esteemed
National Chiao Tung University, Ku founded XSG in 2009, incorporating into the company
the problem-solving tenacity of the engineer. From a humble start of 20 or so people,
the company initially leveraged past experiences to work as a gaming software
contractor, and the fulfillment of 4 or 5 US $600,000 orders was enough to make for a
bountiful year. Following a few twists and turns along the way, however, Ku became wary
of running a business on the whims of the clients, and he soon grasped the necessity of
establishing one's own brand. When a particular client decided to suddenly withdraw its
order, Ku gave the greenlight to see production to the end. As the product was finally
brought online, misfortune blossomed into a miracle.
"08 Online" was released in 2011, and it alone made a record US $57 million in revenue
during 2016, a figure more than doubling the company's capital. Success did not make Ku
complacent, however, as he proactively directed business development into new sectors,
accelerating R&D into seven major product lines and setting eyes on the global market.
In simultaneously deepening and broadening XSG's scope of software and hardware
expertise, Ku explained: "market trends are changing; everywhere competitors are
blasting off with the latest technology. We mustn't view the island nation of Taiwan as
our ultimate target market. We must march forward onto the world."
AN INDUSTRY-MINDED COMPANY THAT ASPIRES TO GREATNESS, AND A BID TO TAKE ON THE WORLD
"The Taiwanese market does not possess the capacity to sustain long-term business
development, so for a brand to last upwards of 50 years, the company's vision must
follow the industry's trends," Ku noted, "this is why I aim to engage with every single
product category within the industry."
XSG's recent licensing developments in the markets abroad have been promising: for
instance, the "internet café system," launched May of last year with a multitude of
built-in games, was licensed to several internet cafés in the US. These hot spots for
local community gatherings provided for the company a revenue of US $1.2 million on the
very first month, and in addition returned cuts of their monthly earnings thereafter.
Assured of the potential behind the licensing model, Ku already has plans in place not
only to duplicate the model in other countries, but also to further invest in the
development of proprietary physical cabinets and circuit boards. "Diversification of our
services allows us to get a clearer picture of our customer segments. Only then can we
pinpoint our points of market entry."
"I'm not here to tackle the Taiwanese market, I'm here to build an extraordinary
company! In five years' time I'll make XSG no. 1 in Asia!" As Ku makes his remarks,
XSG's ascent onto the world stage has already begun.
For more, please reference Business Today issue #1084.