Learn how 25-year-old Gordon Ho, a university dropout, is now paving the way for brands to expand in the SEA region

Gordon Ho

Gordon Ho is a 25-year-old Singaporean based in Bangkok, and the Managing director of Golden Eye Corp. Since the company's incorporation in 2021, Gordon has helped more than 20 companies with their expansion efforts into Southeast Asia, and his reach extends across Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. Some of Golden Eye Corp's notable clients include multinational corporations such as Durex (Thailand), All Kurma, Aura Air (Israel), Supreme Beverages, and many others.

Gordon embarked on his entrepreneurship journey in early 2017, at the age of 16. His first attempts at starting his own businesses and executing ideas ended in failure, which allowed him to learn, gain experience, and refine his skills over the years. He graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration from Singapore Polytechnic, which is where he attributes his business fundamentals, and also where he has volunteered as an alumni mentor to current students looking to cultivate their entrepreneurial spark.

Gordon observed that the cosmetics industry in Thailand was seeing consistent year-on-year growth, before and even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It gave him the idea to set up shop in Bangkok, where he could seize the opportunity of being in a larger country and serve a larger market outside of Singapore. In spite of the many risks that were present, Gordon decided to proceed with the venture.

Some of the challenges Gordon faced in his venture included having to understand Thailand's legal infrastructure and regulations, as well as hiring manpower for his company in a foreign environment in the middle of a pandemic, among other concerns. At one point, they even needed to pivot their original business model and start operations within five months. While he was primarily concerned with maintaining good investor relations, what Gordon feared the most was not being able to take care of his staff, and having to fold the business before they turned a profit.

Gordon had to do whatever it took to help his company survive. Thankfully, after a rough start, his effort eventually paid off and the business was able to find its footing.

After resolving all the challenges they faced, Gordon and his team were inclined to help other companies ease the process of setting up shop in Southeast Asia, and ensure that they find their footing in unfamiliar territory as frictionlessly as possible.

According to Gordon, an important step that can change a company's fate is to first seek out someone an individual or organization who is familiar with the local landscape and can assist with generating sales, which is the lifeblood of any business. That is the main form of assistance Golden Eye provides to other companies looking to expand. Apart from that, Gordon also recommends maximizing any form of governmental support from home. As an example, Singaporean companies looking to expand overseas can apply for a Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant from the Singapore government, which gives companies helpful financial assistance for their overseas operations.

Together with their sister company in Singapore, Gordon and Golden Eye Corp remain open to collaborating with any business owners/executives looking to explore opportunities in Southeast Asia.