IFSEC Southeast Asia is always an exciting show. Held in Kuala Lumpur, it is an event which proudly showcases all that is new and interesting in the security world, reflecting the vibrant and colourful city which hosts it.
It is also a key event in TDSi’s exhibition calendar. Having just returned, we have been impressed and inspired by the frenetic enthusiasm of our local partners and customers - which says just as much about Malaysia and the wider security market as it does about the show itself. It is also a highly enjoyable destination to visit, as myself and the team found out!
A vibrant and exciting city
Aside from the hard work of the exhibition itself, attending the show allowed the TDSi team to also take in some of the sights and culture of Malaysia. With very friendly locals and great hospitality we knew it would be well worth exploring Kuala Lumpur. It is very much a 24 hour city, with more entertainment and shopping malls than anyone could ever wish for. With the exhibition hall right next to the world-famous Petronas Towers we were certainly well placed. There is even a branch of Harrods in a mall at the foot of the towers, offering some luxury retail opportunities within easy reach.
Something which our British-based team felt straight away was the 30+ degrees heat and high level of humidity which took a little while to acclimatise to. During our visit this was offset by a daily thunderstorm, which gave a beautiful lightning display, but also helped to clear the atmosphere for a while with huge amounts of rain.
Enjoying the local culture and hospitality
With low cost (by UK standards) taxis it is easy to get out and explore the city. We also ventured outside Kuala Lumpur, taking in the impressive caves and Hindu temple at Baku Caves. We were intrigued by the combination of natural and man-made beauty at the site with vivid colours and awe-inspiring rock formations. It is also an important site for fauna and flora with the adorable but mischievous Capuchin monkeys particularly catching the eye!
You can’t visit Malaysia without experiencing the food. You can often find local people selling amazing spices and this is reflected in the wonderful choice of dishes on offer. It is quite an eye-opener to realise that the Asian-style food we get in the UK is nothing like that which you get when you are actually there! TDSi’s Product and Marketing Manager, Sarah Phillips, put the rest of us to shame by diving straight in and eating a curry (served on a banana leaf) with her hands (as is the custom) needless to say it was a messy endeavour but Sarah would be the first to admit an enjoyable one!
Whilst we were there our Senior Export Technical Support Engineer, Kevan Fry, celebrated his birthday. Kuala Lumpur is the perfect destination to celebrate in, so we helped him do so over three separate evenings (well it would be rude not to!) I would like to stress though, that as a key part of our training event team at the show and a key advisor on our stand, Kevan made sure he was up bright and early each morning to complete the task in hand!
Ever-increasing show visitors
Naturally our main reason for being in Kuala Lumpur was to exhibit at IFSEC Southeast Asia. This year was TDSi’s third visit to IFSEC Southeast Asia and I am proud to say the visitor numbers to our stand keep growing. In 2015 we attracted 50% more visitors than our debut in 2013, which I firmly believe is a mixture of ever-increasing interest in the event as well as the attractions on display on our stand.
Interestingly analysis of our own leads shows that we had visitors not only from Malaysia but a number of other countries across the region including Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore. It was a reminder that the security market is rapidly becoming a fully international one. IFSEC Southeast Asia certainly lives up to its title when it comes to attracting interest from right across region and beyond.
Training and support
With our appearance at IFSEC Southeast Asia we felt it offered the ideal opportunity to provide technical and sales training through a focussed seminar for our partners the first specific one we have hosted in Malaysia. We held the seminar on the second day of the event to make it easier for our guests to enjoy the first and last days of the show.
The seminar attracted a very respectable 35 people who were keen to get firmly up to speed on TDSi’s latest technology and to hone their sales skills as well. Not only was it a beneficial session for our partners, it was also a valuable feedback opportunity for our team. We don’t get as many opportunities as we would like to really ‘talk shop’ with our local partners and to gain specific insight into the local market and its needs. It is hugely beneficial to not only discuss our product development, but also the ways in which we support our partners and market ourselves in the region.
To crown our visit we were also delighted to present our ‘Export Partner of the Year’ Award to Vastiq Solutions at the show, in recognition of the company’s substantial growth in business and impressive projects that are in development and also already underway in the region. As we always say, TDSi is a success because of the hard work of our partners and the award was very well deserved.
A thriving security market
The other benefit of having in-depth conversations with our local partners is that it gives us a real flavour of the local security market. When you visit Kuala Lumpur (in fact Malaysia as a whole) you realise what a positive and progressive place it is for business. The Petronas Towers are a perfect embodiment of the pride Malaysia has in its self.
The country has very impressive natural resources - including its oil and petroleum industry and palm oil, which are key exports. Despite a recent lowing of the currency exchange rate, the effects on the security business there seem to be negligible. Our partners and customers gave us a very positive outlook for business with projects moving forward at incredible speed. We fully expect to see excellent growth from our partners over the next 12-18 months.
The future of exports
Malaysia is an important part of our export strategy. We are always looking to expand our exports portfolio and Malaysia, along with Southeast Asia as a whole, is proving to be even more promising than we had expected. With growing markets that have high expectations on their security investments and an enthusiasm to install and integrate them, we feel TDSi and our partners are perfectly placed to fulfil these requirements and enjoy the success this builds.
If you ever get the chance to visit Malaysia (either for business or pleasure,) the TDSi team and I can assure you it will be well worth the visit!
TDSi Managing Director
John has been at TDSi as Managing Director since 2003 and as well as being responsible for the growth and success of the company, John also looks after projects in Asia. A recent noteable success is the signing of a 5 year strategic agreement with China Rail.