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Tan Min-Liang: Gamer creating the best for gamers

Razer chief Tan Min-Liang still remains involved in product development.
Razer chief Tan Min-Liang still remains involved in product development.ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Last year, an anonymous fan uploaded a snapshot of his forearm to the Razer Insider online forum. He had inked the name of the company's chief executive, "Min Liang Tan", on it in its signature squarish font.

Such dedication from users is common for Razer, which specialises in video gaming products. Mr Tan Min-Liang, the company's co-founder and chief executive, sees it as a huge responsibility.

He said: "It is on us to create the best products that we possibly can, for the fans who have dedicated themselves for life to the brand."

Mr Tan, 39, started the company in 2005 with co-founder Robert Krakoff. From a two-man team in a small office in San Diego, California, Razer now has nearly 1,000 employees in 10 offices worldwide.

The company has always been driven by a simple tagline: "For Gamers. By Gamers."

No other company focuses its design philosophy on gamers as Razer does, Mr Tan said.

Razer has taken the lead in innovation, introducing several industry-first technologies. It has developed its own mechanical keyboard switches - the first for a gaming firm - which changes the way that a keyboard feels and operates, and it has also developed its own open-source virtual reality ecosystem, OSVR.

Razer, headquartered in San Francisco, California, has grown into a global brand, with its market spread evenly across the US, Europe and Asia. There has been explosive growth in emerging markets such as China, Eastern Europe and Latin America, Mr Tan said.

 

Razer's expansion has come in tandem with the burgeoning video gaming and e-sports industry, which has become a big sector in entertainment.

Mr Tan remains heavily involved in product development. He shuttles between Razer's three design centres every month, spending two weeks in San Francisco, a week in Taiwan and another in Singapore.

With such a busy schedule, has he ever considered slowing down? "I haven't thought about that. There's still so much room for us to grow, and I'm not ready to take a back seat. We're just getting started."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2016, with the headline 'Gamer creating the best for gamers'. Print Edition | Subscribe