Starting up a company is not an easy feat, let alone one focused on electrical engineering software. Owing to his hard work and innovation, Ipoh-born Thomas Yip has brought about international acclaim to our beloved city with Radica Software!
Initially established circa 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, Radica Software had its beginnings traced back to when Thomas was a budding assistant engineer, who then became an entrepreneur and formed his own small-scale industrial automation company.
“I worked as an assistant engineer not long after completion of my degree course in electrical and electronic engineering in Singapore, whilst moonlighting for projects with my friends as a means for extra income, which then led me to jump into starting my own business.
“The company had been operating for 10 years, designing electrical control systems for a multitude of industrial machines,” reminisced Thomas, who’s also the chief executive officer of Radica Software.
The turning point of his company came when they were requested to submit quotations for a large-scale project worth more than RM1 million.
“It was an experience to remember for a lifetime. We had an extremely tight schedule in creating circuit designs. What’s worse, the tools available back then were overpriced and required tedious work.
“Therefore, we decided to create our own circuit design software to submit the quotation.
“Despite the ultimate rejection, I realised that the software was an unprecedented fruit of our labour. When the software was made available online, sales boomed internationally within three weeks!” Thomas further recalled.
Electra, the flagship software of Radica, is an electrical computer-aided design (CAD) schematic software in which its automation process facilitates productive drafting of technical diagrams up to five times faster.
“With Electra, engineers are able to lessen their workload of inserting details which otherwise are tedious work, not mentioning that a typical engineering project consists of hundreds of schematic pages.
“The automation process is, in the simplest description, an autowiring feature that connects symbols and a smart circuit reuse system which enables users to replicate a circuit diagram in its entirety, without having to draft another, detail by detail,” Thomas elaborated.
Electra customers comprise countless high profile companies, just to name a few, NASA, Apple and SpaceX by Elon Musk, which made it to the global headlines as of late.
Apart from Electra, the company also offers Vecta, a collaborative SVG editor mainly used by graphic designers, where members of a project are able to collaborate in real-time and Nano, a scalable vector graphics (SVG) compressor application.
“SVG produces a much higher image quality in comparison to the usual file types, such as PNG or rasterized images.
“The challenge today for website maintenance parties is the storage and bandwidth requirement for image delivery to internet users.
“Therefore, Nano is there to help and it’s able to save up to 80 percent of these requirements by optimising SVG image file sizes, while simultaneously retaining image quality, resulting in a much faster webpage loading time,” he mentioned.
What’s even more to be raved about is that Radica Software is the first of its kind to provide a cloud-based CAD software!
“My partner and I were given the opportunity to go to Silicon Valley, where we discovered the potential of a cloud-based operation. That indeed makes everything all the more accessible.
“With Electra Cloud, users, regardless of physical boundaries, are able to work on their projects, even without the need to install an additional standalone software, as long as they have an internet browser.
“The changing way of life and working standards call for easy access to literally everything and that must be included for engineers. Who else is going to make life easier for them?” Thomas expressed.
Realising that most clients are from out of Malaysia, Thomas decided to relocate the company to Ipoh. Speaking on this, he explained, “In this era dominated by technological advancement, electrical engineering being one of the most-influenced industries, why should I endure the bustling, fast-paced life in Kuala Lumpur?
“A small city like Ipoh where I grew up is conducive. If one particular benefit is to be mentioned from the current technological era, it’s that the global boundary has diminished. Every one of us is connected to each other via our smartphones and the internet, no matter where we are.
“Besides, Ipoh provides a much better quality of life not only to me, but also my entire team at Radica. There is much less traffic congestion and minimum distractions, not mentioning the abundance of good food,” he stated.
Thomas attributed the immeasurable success of Radica Software to his team and most importantly, his friend cum business partner, Marcus Woo.
“Without Marcus’ help, Radica wouldn’t have been able to step into the market and be among internationally recognised tech companies. The team is equally as crucial in ensuring that the company stays on track. I thank each and every one of them for being with me,” he conveyed.