The Star’s article, Googling for growth, looks like one of those articles where the PR team exchange high fives and back slaps because they’ve spun what seems to be a great story, and succeeds in pushing up the company’s stock price.
The story is about Malaysian e-marketplace provider AsiaEP Bhd, who is launching their it@h B2B search engine. The article talks about how qualified AsiaEP is to create this search engine and goes so far to dub AsiaEP the ‘Malaysian Google’.
The article quotes Managing Director Dr Bernard Tan as saying:
What we have done over the last 10 years is to create a search engine exclusively related to business and manufacturing purposes. We are likely the first in the world to create a business search engine with a simplified format.
The article goes on to talk about the revenue potential of the company and ends with this paragraph:
Teoh is expecting AsiaEPâ€™s FY08 and FY09 net profit to grow by 194.7% and 115.2% year-on-year to RM10.1mil and RM21.8mil respectively : â€œWe believe the assumptions underlying our forecast are conservative as we assume AsiaEP to garner just 0.2% and 0.5% of global B2B paid search market share in FY08 and FY09 respectively.â€?
My first thought when reading this article is that AsiaEP is putting the horse before the cart a bit. At the moment their search engine doesn’t even work very well – it returns results from trade directories and e-marketplaces mainly, and I don’t find the results are relevant as they claimed. Compare a search for “plastics supplier Malaysia” on it@h and on Google.
So their product doesn’t work great yet and they’re already singing about their earnings prospects? Like I said, good work for the PR team. Until then, I’ll be watching to see how this ‘Malaysian Google’ will do in the next few years.