Nova MSC upbeat to lead digital govt service


Nova MSC Bhd is optimistic to become the nation’s leading digital government and health solutions provider within the next three to five years.

The software and services firm group CEO Steven Chan Wing Kong sees major potentials in Malaysia as the country’s local council systems are easily about 20 times bigger than Singapore’s.

“We have provided our services in Putrajaya before. That said, we have been constantly in contact with different areas of the newly elected government.

“There is interest as we are in talks with some local authorities. However, the sales cycle of the government’s projects tends to be longer as the gestation period can go up to three years,” he said.

Nova has enjoyed immense success in Singapore with about 98% of business growth there. It has to reduce Singapore’s contribution to about 50% as the focus is now to grow the markets in Malaysia, China, Japan, Australia and the Middle East.

“Basically, we are trying to reduce the contribution from Singapore within the next three years. There are already ongoing exercises to achieve the target,” he said, adding that Nova intends to replicate its Singapore success in Malaysia.

The group foresees a substantial revenue contribution from its digital services segment in Malaysia as a key growth engine which underpins the firm’s long-term prospects.

“We are very well-versed in the implementation of the digital government agenda as we have been in the industry for more than 20 years. We have a proven track record in Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia,” he told reporters at the group’s media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He added that digitalisation is becoming a norm and governments need to catch up with the new way as it is faster, more convenient and cost efficient.

Nova’s digital government products are tailored to manage operations across building and constructions, land transport and government agencies.

Chan said Nova can provide a one-stop solution platform, which will streamline and automate processes that usually would need long approval time, such as permits, while increasing transparency.

“We improve the business-to-government, government-to-government and government-to-business interactions,” he said.

To date, Nova’s key customers within the Singaporean government include the Urban Development Authority, Building and Construction Authority, Land Transport Authority, Ministry of Law and the

Attorney-General’s Chambers. Chan said Malaysia’s healthcare sector offers promising opportunities for Nova’s smart healthcare system.

“Our system can be utilised to address issues associated with the country’s health services and facilities.

“Both public and private healthcare providers in Malaysia can make better and informed decisions related to patient treatments using the system,” he said.

The firm aims to continue improving the healthcare system by centralising systems on patients’, clinical and hospital information.

Chan said Nova is considering introducing a pay-per-use option where the government/client would not need to pay, unless the medium is utilised.

“The government will not need to spend millions at one go as we will only charge up on transaction. We believe there is a huge market segment of which we could capitalise,” he said.

The company now has an orderbook of RM117 million, with earnings visibility for the next three years.

It recently disposed of its automation segment, Primus-Tech Pte Ltd, for RM8.9 million to Japan Asia Group Ltd, to focus on its two core businesses — digital government and healthcare services.

PrimusTech’s business is in the provision, design and implementation of integrated control and automation systems, and information technology for buildings and facilities, as well as in engineering maintenance services.

With Nova’s focus on its two businesses, Chan expects the firm to return to the black next year after running at a loss since 2016.

“We are positive to turn profitable by the next financial year, supported by the firm’s sustainable business model,” he said.

The firm recorded a net loss of RM5.77 million in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2018, a decrease compared to the RM20.51 million net loss in the same corresponding period last year.