Movers & Shakers Interview with the Dato' Tan Say Jim, MD and Founder of IRIS Corporation Berhad

Published: 23 Dec 2009

By Reuben Foong, Research Analyst, Smart Cards, ICT, Asia Pacific

Dato' Tan Say Jim

Dato' Tan Say Jim, MD and Founder of IRIS Corporation Berhad

Dato' Tan marked a place for IRIS on the world map with the introduction of the world's first ever e-Passport. Prior to IRIS, among the more notable positions he has held were: the Group Finance Manager of UMW Holdings Berhad, a company listed on the Main Board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, and the Group Treasurer of the Lion Group. In December 1997, he left the world of corporate finance to embark on the exciting career of providing security solutions to life through IRIS. An avid reader, a staunch environmentalist and a firm believer in the age-old adage that 'where there's a will, there's a way', Dato' Tan remains the driving force behind IRIS today.

 

Beginnings

The IRIS Corporation Story

Dato' Tan, for the benefit of our readers, perhaps you could tell us about the early days of IRIS Corporation and how it all started.

Dato' Tan: - If I were to turn back the clock, the groundbreaking was in 1994, with my two other partners. The three of us who founded the company were struck with the question, “Is there a way to better to protect national type documents”? Because at the time, national type documents were always paper based.

The concept of identity fraud at that time was something we didn't believe that would happen. If people wanted to cheat, they always thought of money.

It dawned on us that identity theft was no longer confined to financial fraud; for example, an account or a hire purchase could be obtained in someone else's name. It really is that simple.

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