SINGAPORE - We were tired of working for others," said Mr Joe Wee, 30. So he quit his job in New Zealand two years ago to help his fraternal twin brother, Marcus, with Aftershock PC, a Singapore start-up selling customised gaming laptops.
He said: "My brother said he needed help, so I came back and wrote the press release for the Aftershock X11 model."
Besides being more compact and lighter than the typical oversized gaming laptops, the X11 was different because a buyer can choose individual components such as the processor and hard drive.
Within just two years, Aftershock has become a fixture at local IT shows. While it mainly sells its 13- to 17-inch gaming laptops via its website, it has a showroom at Funan DigitaLife Mall.
Marcus believes his company is doing well because it focuses on customer service. He cited the abundance of five-star reviews (165 out of 202) on Aftershock's Facebook page as evidence that its customer-centric approach works.
He said: "Our goal is to make our customers happy. Build a relationship with them and they will come back to you in the future."
Marcus presented the idea of selling customised gaming laptops at a technopreneurship course while studying at the Singapore Management University. But he was young and lacked the capital to pursue this interest. It had grown out of his experience as a boarding student at Geelong Grammar School in Australia, where the brothers had studied.
Then, they had played games such as Counter-Strike and Age Of Empires on laptops because of the convenience. Nowadays, they play Defence Of The Ancients 2 (Dota 2) and they have even customised a Dota 2-themed Aftershock laptop for top local player Daryl "iceiceice" Koh.
This year, Marcus expects to sell twice as many laptops as last year. He declined to say how much the company earns. But they recently moved to a larger service centre to handle the demand.
Their headcount has more than quadrupled from three in 2012 to 13. Interestingly, all the employees had previously bought Aftershock laptops.
"They love the stuff already and believe in our product enough to put the money down for it," he said.
The company now has an office in Ho Chi Minh managed by a Singaporean partner.
Custom desktop PCs are next on Aftershock's agenda. It plans to launch these PCs, featuring a minimalist chassis from Taiwanese brand Lian Li, later this month to compete with system builders in Sim Lim Square.
Said Marcus: "We are targeting the mainstream market with reasonably priced, custom desktop systems."
This article was first published on August 6, 2014.
Get a copy of Digital Life, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.