Dedication Swift Bridge Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd
The fifth generation of internet protocol (5G) signifies a new generation of information technology, driving new capabilities such as mobile communications, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. Thus, the demand for semiconductor increased tremendously. As a Malaysian company, Swift Bridge Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd specializes in providing high-precision high-frequency coaxial test cable assembly solutions. Swift Bridge Technologies has decades of professional experiences in design and manufacture of cable assemblies, from concept to production. The company focuses on precision high-frequency coaxial test cable assembly solutions from 40 GHz to 125 GHz.
Overcoming the challenges
The Managing Director of Swift Bridge Technologies, Mejar Bersekutu (PA) Chong Soon Kheng DJN, PJK, PJM, has extensive work experience spanning over three decades on his side. At the age of forty-two, a series of events following a decision by his former company management led SK to partner up with an American engineer and establish Swift Bridge Technologies. Along the way, SK recounts the challenges he has faced in growing Swift Bridge. “Without thinking much, I stepped out from my comfort zone and had to work from scratch in 2012. At the very moment, I didn’t expect the high investment cost on test equipment ranging at US$1 million. I need to put my best foot forward since I have made the decision.” SK said with a smile. He recounts a humble family background that involved working at a young age to supplement his family’s income as well as earn some pocket money for himself. It was only when he encountered a word of enlightenment from the nobleman, realizing the importance of education and knowledge. As such, he strongly believes that determination is important to reverse the situation and move upstream, as the saying goes: when there is a will there is a way.
Swift Bridge Technologies designs and produces high-precision high-frequency coaxial test cable assembly solutions for testing test and measurements, the company believes that quality is more important to make a good product. The end product is cost-effective because the entire design and assembly are developed in-house. Typically, the cable solution up to 40GHz are inelastic, however Swift Bridge Technologies managed to enhance the product with more flexibility, and this breakthrough has impressed most of the test engineers.
Malaysian Investment Development Agency (MIDA) had then awarded pioneer status to the Swift Bridge Technologies. Having futuristic vision, SK brainstormed with his co-founder on “How can we break through?” because Swift Bridge Technologies’ brand is not as well-established as the giant MNCs within the industry. “In 2013, Huawei contested in the United Nations to develop a platform for 5G. An article states that China has been spending a lot of money for the 5G development and I soon realized that 5G will be the upcoming industry trend. Therefore in 2014, my co-founder and I made a daring decision that we will be investing on the development of 110Ghz test cable, and to enhance the product quality to outstand other products. Two and a half years later, we finally produced a prototype in the third quarter of 2017 and the prototype was tested successfully! In 2018, we took part in the International Design Exhibition (DesignCon) in Silicon Valley, USA. The moment I showcased the 110Ghz prototype cable, we managed to amaze majority of the participants at the exhibition! Most of the candidates were technopreneurs and they were caught in astonishment and had been wondering about our achievement. We have been receiving many enquiries after that. A little accomplishment has broadcasted and made our company turned popular overnight!” The business strategy had enabled Swift Bridge Technologies to break into the international perspective, and immediately received USD$2 million worth of orders. In the subsequent year, the business revenue exceeded USD$3 million. SK said happily, “In fact, being entrepreneur is like making a bet. Everyone can tell you the risk but an entrepreneur can see the reward.” The breakthrough of Swift Bridge Technologies can be described as Malaysia’s pride and venturing into a new journey. Having good resources collaboration of efforts from both the US Silicon Valley and Malaysia Silicon Valley, the overall product development and features were enhanced and this has created value for our global customers. Proudly say, Malaysia plant is able to produce 110GHz high-frequency cable, and there are plans in progress for investing in the 125GHz test equipment.
With the unprecedented situation of Covid-19, most of the economy were severely impacted including the capital markets, trade, domestic and foreign direct investment industry etc. Swift Bridge Technologies had experienced at least 38% of reduction in revenue as a result of the pandemic. When Malaysia government enforced a total lockdown in 2020, most of the businesses were halted for the first two weeks whereby movement of productions and goods were totally restricted. In addition, our business was also impacted by the US policy turmoil in 2020. “Having pulled through the awful experiences, I then initiated the business contingency plan by rolling out a hybrid working schedule and ensure all employees adhere to the standard of procedures. Fortunately, with the cooperation from employees, none of our employees were infected by the virus. In 2021, we shifted gear on our operations strategy to cater to the current needs. Our sales revenue has increased 30% as compared to 2020. I consider we are fortunate to sail through the crisis. We have to change our mindset as well as adapt to the current situation for work. It is important to maintain a positive attitude and mindset to deal with the new normal. Besides, working from home is a challenging task especially juggling between work life balance”, SK believes.
Principle of Appreciation
SK, who is generous and humble, has a strong Chinese culture in him, especially being gratitude. He always reminds himself that it is important to return the favour to the one who helped him in the past, and this stayed in his mind forever. He believes that having good attitude over knowledge is the key to success. At the age of 14, SK has been actively involved in the community service. During the establishment of the company, it has been enthusiastic about charity and contributions to the society. One of the biggest charity events organized by the company was during the pandemic. Instead of donating face shields to the needy, we setup four production lines to produce 250,000 face shields (with some donations collected from other companies) and distributed them to all primary and secondary schools (regardless of ethnic) in Penang, Malaysia with the help from the Ministry of Education. Apart from that, Swift Bridge Technologies has been playing an important role to cultivating the next generation by donating 10 programmable robots to Penang Han Chiang High School with the objective to stimulate the interest for research and development among the students, and encouraged the students to pursue their dream in engineering field.
Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR)
In July 2021, Dr Ngoo and SK has established a Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) known as “PgCare Alliance”. “It is heart-breaking to come across many people had lost their jobs during this pandemic. For instance, the middle-income group were impacted and were forced to downgrade to low-income group, and they were in need of help. Worst still, some even gave up, surrender for immediate aid, not mentioning those who suffered mental illness and committed suicide. Having witnessed all these unfortunate news, Dr Ngoo and I submitted a proposal to the Penang Chief Minister, with the hope to unite all the NGOs and resources to serve those in need.” The PgCare Alliance platform focuses on four major objectives namely, (1) mental health, (2) employment and entrepreneurship and financial planning, (3) food and daily necessities, and (4) funds raising. With SK’s reputation, he received a lot of enthusiastic feedback when he led the ‘mental health’ section. Presently, 11 Mental Health Associations have agreed to join the alliances. Several non-governmental organizations that have been operating independently such as FMM, SAMENTA, Lions Clubs International, Tzu Chi, JCI International, etc have agreed to take part as well as gaining the full support of the Penang state government. We also designed a central system software within a short period of time to connect the collaboration from all parties. “I believe that with the unity of the professional bodies behind these alliances, we can extend our hands to the people who were affected by the pandemic, be it financially or psychologically. I have consistently received calls from donors despite our fund-raising program has yet to commence.
Since this is the first, large-scale public welfare project in Malaysia, I am looking forward to other states to follow suit.” Relate to Swift Bridge Technologies, we have encountered challenges for the past 9 years and yet we managed to embrace it. Staying positive is one of the key successes.