Clemen Chiang was the youngest member of his MBA class at the University of Louisville, Kentucky when he began writing his business plan for Colemen International Pte Ltd, but he didn’t let his comparative youth and inexperience stop him from achieving his dreams. Colemen was launched on April 19, 2001. The company provides business and Internet solutions such as global managed services, mobile, international calls, data and Internet, hosting solutions, printing solutions, and promotions.
Clemen and his team used Business Plan Pro to write their business plan and, armed with this professional document and an impressive presentation, Colemen.com took its proposal to telecom giant StarHub. The #2 telecommunications company in Singapore, StarHub is a communications company providing a full range of information, communications and entertainment services over fixed, mobile, and Internet platforms. It operates its own nationwide broadband network that delivers multi-channel cable TV services, data services, voice services, and Internet access services. StarHub executives were so impressed with the team’s business plan that, despite Colemen.com’s start-up standing, it was awarded preferred partner status.
The most valuable benefit of Business Plan Pro Premier according to Clemen is the plan vs. actual feature. “We review our performance against our plan each quarter.” Explains Clemen, “After the first quarter there was so much variance in some areas, it was clear that some unexpectedly profitable avenues were going untapped. The plan helped us to see opportunities that we had not expected.”
The company achieved profitability within a year, and is currently mapping out forecasts for next year. “The three-year plan that we created was more than long enough.” said Clemen. “The economic climate in Asia is so fast moving that attempting to plan over five years is just not realistic. The business and technological climate is so dynamic that it is impossible to predict that far in advance.”
Clemen and his team soon proved that their company was worth the risk. In October 2002 the company was awarded with the top performance award for the highest level of revenue achieved of all other StarHub partners. The company beat out other resellers that have been working with StarHub as system integrators and product pushers for many years.
Colemen has had its share of challenges over the past year or so. As the business grows, Clemen and his colleagues have come to realize the importance of managing customer expectations. A change in senior management at StarHub almost impacted Colemen’s whole relationship with the larger telecom company. Their new contact could not see the long-term value of Colemen to StarHub’s business, and the company had to adapt their business and strategy to meet the new expectations of the StarHub manager in order to retain their position.
Currently, Clemen tells us that the company does a good job in reaching the corporate customer. They are focusing on ensuring that this foundation is solid and that customers who join them receive more value. However, the next step is to expand the relationship with these corporate customers to reach them on a consumer level, too.