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New CEO Chen reshapes tTech team

Two weeks into taking over the reins at technology service provider tTech, new CEO Norman Chen is already reshaping his senior team, with the split of the technical services management portfolio into two posts.

Another two management positions are to be combined amid cost-cutting.

No staff cuts are planned.

Chen says it’s all part of a realignment of the business in the wake of the November 30 departure of former boss Christopher Reckord. Technical services head Damani Brown also resigned on November 30. It’s his former position that is being reshaped into two posts under separate managers, one of whom will be responsible for large enterprises and the other for SMEs.

“We are looking at creating more customer-centric teams. Instead of having just one technical services manager, we have two focusing on separate areas,” said Chen, who was promoted to the position of CEO from within the company.

Meanwhile, Chen’s former portfolio of security business development manager has been subsumed into the two technical services managers’ portfolios.

Under the new setup, he will have a total of five senior managers reporting directly to him.

At the enterprise level, the focus will be on the provision of tech services to “the large conglomerates, like a Grace or NCB”.

“Typically, this is over 300 employees or IT users. How we provide services to an enterprise is quite different to how you provide service to a small to medium business. The expectations of both customers are quite different as well,” Chen said.

The new persons in the two roles are yet to be named, but at least one will be selected internally from among the 46 staff and should take up the post by January 1.

tTech Limited went public in 2016 and came on the market as a $220-million company by revenue. It’s grown revenue nearly consistently since then, but the tech services provider’s turnover has so far failed to break out of the $300-million band.

“We’re looking at working on those operational inefficiencies, but it won’t involve staff cuts. If you look at company performance, we have been growing revenue year on year. What we’ve not been tracking are the operational expenses,” said Chen, while declining to specify how the inefficiencies will be fixed ahead of internal communication with staff.

So far this year, tTech has been losing money -bleeding more than $6 million over nine months to September. It made a small profit of $3 million in the third quarter, but not enough to roll back the losses in the previous two periods.

Competition in the IT services field is not large in terms of players, but can be brutal in terms of accounts. The industry includes tTech and Symptai as main rivals, with the likes of Control-IT, Inova and others also chasing market share.

Chen says tTech mainly needs a revenue boost, which was the main reason behind the move to combine the sales and marketing portfolios. Sales Manager Marsha Bucknor has taken on the dual role, effective December 1.

By combining the two portfolios under one person, there will be better alignment between marketing efforts and sales targets, Chen added. Gillian Murray, who previously served as marketing manager, remains on board and will continue to act in her capacity as company secretary and assist with marketing efforts.

“We want to ensure that we have a marketing strategy that is in line with sales targets. For an organisation of our size, it was just felt that this was the best choice for the company overall,” Chen said.

The new CEO sees 2023 as a year to reposition the business, and 2024 as the time to reap and grow the business, saying by that time the necessary scalable infrastructure will be put in place.

At present, enterprise and SME business each contribute around 50 per cent to overall business, said Chen. This is not expected to change much, he added, as both segments will have staff focused on generating new business.

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