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A TARCian’s Success Story as an Accomplished Techpreneur

May 19, 2024 | Campus News

As a humble boy from Teluk Intan, Perak who invested a few years pursuing his engineering qualification at the then Tunku Abdul Rahman College or TAR College, today, Dato’ Kelvin Kwek Eng Hock is a successful technology entrepreneur based in Kuala Lumpur. His company Nexstream Sdn Bhd was instrumental in creating some of the most popular mobile apps and solutions for renowned brands such as Tune Talk, TGV Cinemas, Great Eastern, Prudential, and Samsung.

Despite his impressive accomplishments in the digital space, Dato’ Kelvin has not forgotten his roots as he reminisced about his days as a student of the then TAR College (now known as Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology or TAR UMT).

“The time I spent at TAR College are the most memorable moments for me as a student. During my primary and secondary school days, my free time are spent doing part-time jobs, so I was only able to fully experience what ‘student life’ was after I joined TAR College from 1992 – 1997.

“Even today I can remember the little things like days spent hanging out around the School of Technology block (now known as Faculty of Engineering and Technology or FOET), Dewan Kuliah A, and the Block L canteen (now known as Yum Yum Cafeteria),” said Dato’ Kelvin.

The time spent studying for the certificate and diploma in electronics engineering did not just give Dato’ Kelvin the higher education he was aiming for, but also lifelong friendships and relationships that changed his life forever.

“I’ve made so many friends at TAR UMT, and I think I have 50 or more of them still in my group chat! In fact, I also met my wife in TAR UMT, who was studying business management at that time.”

Dato’ Kelvin’s entrepreneurship journey began as soon as he graduated in 1997 where he formed a company with a friend to provide business solutions to cyber cafes. This was followed by a period of working for big tech companies such as Huawei and Ericsson. But entrepreneurship has always remained close to Dato’ Kelvin’s heart.

“During my full-time employment, I was seriously thinking about what I really wanted to do; to have a full-time job until retirement or make it out on my own. In 2006, I finally committed myself to entrepreneurship by setting up a series of companies, beginning with Nexstream Sdn Bhd, where we focus on IT and system integration,” he explained.

After fighting through the challenges of the global pandemic, Dato’ Kelvin got a big break in 2022. Aliments, a food-ordering platform developed under Wirelessspace, a spin-off company from Nexstream, was acquired by a multinational company based in Singapore.

“The pandemic was a golden opportunity for us, because it changed people’s behaviour towards ordering food via online platforms. This allowed us to capitalise on the app and push our business to the next level.”

In terms of his leadership and entrepreneurial style, Dato’ Kelvin’s longevity and success in the tech space is thanks to his people-first mindset, where he encourages his team to become “world-class re-inventors” themselves.

“This is our philosophy - my team is always encouraged to think and become tech entrepreneurs themselves when they are working with clients. That way, they will become more invested in delivering the best solutions to our customers, and we thrive as a whole,” he added.

In addition, even though he now 51 years old, Dato’ Kelvin believes that maintaining a lifelong learning mindset is the key to success.

“My best advice to my fellow TARCians: Keep learning, and don’t stop learning even after you graduate from university. Expand your knowledge in various fields like philosophy, management, leadership, etc. Learning is the gateway to success, so as long as you keep learning, you will always be improving and eventually that will lead to success.”

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