Founder and CEO, Mr Chan Kee Siak of Exabytes was recently interviewed by HostAdvice, a web hosting information centre with a community of web hosting experts and experienced consumers. Mr Chan shared some insights on the humble beginnings of how Exabytes came about to the challenges and how they overcame them to achieve the success of Exabytes today.
Read on to find out more about what Exabytes do, his view on bitcoin and how we stay on top of the game.
With more than 20 years on the market, Exabytes has more than 160k customers worldwide. What is the story behind Exabytes? How did it all start?
I started my first business selling computers when I was 19 years old, as a college student.
Inspired by Michael Dell’s DELL.com which uses website and eCommerce to sell computers, I also wanted to have a website. From there, I started to learn about doing website, domain, and web design. Then I realized I needed a server to host my website.
I tried to look around for a provider locally, but I couldn’t find a reasonable one.
Later on, I found some hosting companies in the US where you can resell and I became their reseller.
The reselling business was going well for me, and my business grew tremendously.
A few months later I stopped my computer selling business and after 1 year, I quit my studies too. I then started full-time in the hosting business.
With my hosting business, we also started to invest in our own server hardware and infrastructure.
Our business continued to grow and within 5 years, we grew to be the largest hosting provider in Malaysia.
A few years later, we continue to expand our business to Singapore and now we are also in Indonesia.
We have done over 10 different hosting companies’ acquisitions across the 3 countries and further expanded our footprints.
20 years is a lot of experience and a lot of ups and downs. What were the challenges that you had to face at the beginning?
My first challenge was when I wanted to signup as a US hosting company reseller, I don’t have a credit card. My parents didn’t have a credit card either.
Finally, I managed to loan a credit card from my cousin to start the business.
At different stages of each business, you will face new challenges, from early days, server FSCK (Linux) to Blue Screen (Windows), then overloading issues, marketing, customer service …etc.
How did you overcome those challenges?
This can be overcome over time by constantly learning, hiring the right talents, sending a team and even myself for training, get a coach, mentors… etc.
As long as you have a positive attitude towards the problems, and always think of “Customer First”, you will be able to find a way to get things sold.
What are the main products and services of Exabytes?
Over the 20 years, we have also expanded our products and services portfolio to:
- WordPress Hosting
- Dedicated Servers
- VMWare Public Cloud
- VMWare Private Cloud
- Managed Digital Marketing
- Managed eCommerce
- Managed Website Design
- Business Solutions
With 160k customers around the world, customer satisfaction is a crucial part of success. How is Exabytes handling customer satisfaction?
We follow the principles of “RASA” which is a Malay word that means “FEEL”.
RASA also stands for “Reliable, Affordable, Simple and Advantage”.
Base on this RASA principle, this is how we create and design our products as well as customer’s experience.
We are also obsessed with customers. “Customer First”; customers are always first.
We ensure customers are happy and satisfied with our services, that’s where ratings and reviews from customers formed the major part of our benchmark.
We noticed that you are offering CRM+Office. Can you tell us a bit more about this service that you are offering?
We have been constantly transforming ourselves towards what our valued customers need.
We also transformed from a Hosting provider to a Digital Enabler.
This means, today, what our customers require is not just domain and hosting, they also need other services that can help in growing their businesses, and with that, we expanded our products portfolio to other digital services, such as:
- Microsoft Office 365
- FreshSales CRM
- FreshChat Chatbots
- Dropbox Sign (formerly HelloSign)
- Dropbox Enterprise …etc
There are many companies that are working with Bitcoin at the moment. What are your views on this way of payment? Do you have any plans to introduce it as a payment method? How do you feel this payment method will change the hosting industry in general?
We are probably already too late to enter this game, but will definitely monitor it and explore the opportunity.
We noticed that over the year Exabytes has collected many awards. What is the award that you are most proud of? Why it is important to be on the top of the game?
Among the so many business awards, the Deloitte Technology Fast500 Asia Pacific 2009 is probably the most prestigious.
There are new trends and technologies that are coming out every year. How Exabytes is investing in new technologies that will take the company to the next level?
Constant innovation and always keep an open mind.
Be sensitive to what customers want and the market potential.
Empower team to try new and different things, embrace new partnerships.
We are finishing up with 2021 and entering a new year. What are your plans for 2022?
Really wish the covid19 pandemic will over soon, and World Peace ☺
We will continue to play our part in helping more businesses worldwide to “GROW their Business online”
Finally, is there anything else you would like to share with the hosting community about the products and services of Exabytes?
With our strong footprint in South East Asia, we welcome anyone who is interested to resell our services or form a strategic cross partnership. We are also looking for hosting companies that are for sale.