Dato’ Chevy Beh makes many assertions as we sit down to chat. “Failure defines a person,” he declares. The other is the oft said, “If you don’t try, you will never know.” These are phrases that we commonly hear being bandied about but it also brings to mind another frequently quoted idiom—easier said than done.
In recent months Beh has gone to prove that he is someone who walks the talk, following the successful debut of BookDoc, a mobile application that connects patients with healthcare professionals, the first of its kind in Malaysia, when it was first launched in 2015. Beh had previously been the managing director of BP Healthcare, a company started by his father Dato’ Beh Chun Chuan, before he ventured out to make it on his own.
“In a family business the perception is that you are luckier because you have a platform to start,” he says. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he adds, but Beh is someone who likes to challenge himself. “I have being doing that from a young age,” he stresses. “From how I play polo, graduated with a double major, working as a banker and as a chartered investment analyst.”
He continues to do the same with BookDoc, fuelled by the belief that it is only when one challenges his or herself that one’s true potential is realised. “A lot of people don’t even try,” he stresses, “unless you challenge yourself, you will never know if you are pushing the boundaries.”
The circumstances, he says, were just right when he decided to strike it out on his own. Having already been a part of the healthcare industry, Beh had amassed the necessary contacts that put him an advantageous position to establish contacts. Added to that is the fact that the telco industry had evolved allowing for start-up companies.
“If you wanted to start 10 years ago, you couldn’t but now smartphones are so prevalent,” he explains. “If I don’t do it now, when is a better time? If I don’t do it, someone else will do it and why should I let someone else?
In just six months, BookDoc has succeeded in entering four countries and 17 cities. It has been endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism and will soon sign with SOCSO (Social Security Organisation). “I have signed more MOUs in the past six months that in the past six years in my previous capacity,” he says with a laugh.
Things have been hectic, he admits. He jokes that travel has become so frequent that it is almost akin to “taking a bus.” The success of BookDoc, he adds, is an endorsement of the work that he has put in into developing the start-up.
“BookDoc has come so far but people don’t know how much rejection I have gotten behind the scenes,” he says. “A lot of people rejected me two, three times but I kept pushing until they gave in to me,” admits Beh who says persistence is one of his key attributes.
The other characteristic he attributes to his success is discipline. Sleep has been become a luxury for Beh who confesses to “working day and night.” He is also an avid polo player who workouts every day to keep himself raring to go. Apart from polo, his other ‘guilty pleasure’ is cars, which didn’t put him amiss next to the Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupé.
“Cars serve different functions,” he says, when asked to state his choice. “Sometimes you are driving yourself, sometimes you want to be pushed. Some cars are very subtle but when you push it, it will deliver. Sometimes you want a car just to be seen and sometimes you want a car that is very low-key, you can go anywhere and people won’t notice you,” he adds. “It depends and I am fortunate to have cars that serve all these functions.”
So what kind of car would he be?
“The car that is very persistent,” he laughs. “I keep pushing and pushing. That is how you should do business too. You just can’t give up.”