In The Vortex Of Change

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Taking the bold gamble to leave the safety of a large corporation to set up his own business, Vertix, has seen Philip Tan overcome several challenges. He’s now communicating his intentions via his new brand of Bluetooth devices. By Kannan Chandran

Philip Tan gave up the comfort of public service and all the frills of high office to take on the challenge of going it on his own. It was a decision that has forced him to be innovative and has resulted in the creation of Vertix, a brand of communication devices for the sports industry.

His initial idea was to set up a call centre, something he had done in his previous organisations. “That was an area I was familiar with, but it was challenging getting manpower,” he recalls.

“Finding the first customer is never easy, as a start up,” he adds. Most of the large companies would gravitate towards established players, and there was the added challenge of training and retaining staff.

Having come from a communications and electronics background, he decided to venture further along this path by developing devices that would offer a wide variety of options for the leisure, sporting and casual communications sectors.

A $100,000 development grant helped in the launch of Vertix Bluetooth headsets, during the Tour de Bintan race. The $268 headsets can operate for 10 hours on a full charge and are currently being used by cyclists as a means of communication within a team of four or more, allowing for strategic moves to take place without the need for hand signals.

“It can be used for motorcyclists, paint ball or hunting, and we are looking at watersports next,” Tan says.

Beyond the leisure scene, Tan says it would be useful as an anti-piracy measure. “Many big ships with valuable cargo have snipers onboard. This would be useful for the security detail to communicate with each other.”

Read about Philip Tan’s challenges in setting up a brand, and how the name Vertix came about in the next issue of STORM V28, out on the newsstands in August.

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