On a mission to revolutionise the custom PC market

Within a year after its launch in 2017, Dreamcore managed to break even due to its marketing efforts at IT fairs.

NOT long after it was launched at an IT fair back in 2017, Dreamcore quickly struck a chord with consumers and grew to become a popular personal computer (PC) brand with a strong following.

Back then, founder Shaun Tan noticed that there were not many companies that catered to the enterprise crowd. The service quality in the custom PC market could also be improved, he said.

"The problem we saw was that people were going out buying PCs and settling for technology that was not optimised for them," he said. "Because of that, we set out to build a high-quality product, and at the same time provide a white-glove customer service experience."

Today, Dreamcore strives to make it easy for consumers to get what they need based on their specific use cases, said Tan.

The company also focuses on educating their consumers and guiding them through the somewhat complex process of choosing and buying a custom PC.

Promising market

Despite the PC market heading towards being a "slow sunset industry" in 2017, Tan said that his team had banked on the growing trend of digitalisation and predicted the need for more powerful computers, especially in a business-to-business (B2B) space.

"We did still see a healthy amount of business back then, but we were betting on digitalisation and foresaw the rise of more content creators, illustrators, streamers and animators. These were people who cannot use normal, small laptops that are underpowered," he said.

"We also took a bet on machine-learning and artificial intelligence and today, the sector is growing at an unprecedented pace," he added.

After Dreamcore's launch 4 years ago, the demand for the company's services and products grew at a rapid pace. Within the space of just 1 year, the company managed to break even.

Tan attributes the exposure of the company to the various IT fairs at the time which he used as a key marketing platform for the company and its products and services.

Even today, Dreamcore is still seeing increasing demand for their offerings, especially since the pandemic struck in early 2020 and working from home became a part of the new normal.

"We see an uptick in custom PC needs and it has grown because of the current situation," Tan said.

Bolstered by this unforeseen pandemic-induced demand, Tan also revealed that the company saw its revenues double in 2020 compared to the previous year, while headcount grew by 50 per cent.

With a strong focus on the enterprise market, Dreamcore managed to penetrate the B2B market and Tan noted that about 40 per cent of the company's revenue is generated from B2B sales.

However, despite the swift growth and expansion of the company, he said it had not always been smooth-sailing.

The company initially faced 2 big challenges, and the first was trying to change the mindset of consumers, he said.

"Our customers did know much about PCs, and thought of customised PCs as extremely complex, bulky, and something they did not want to deal with," Tan said.

In 2017, Dreamcore launched one of the smallest custom PCs in the market to challenge that notion, and the PC was "so small it could fit into a backpack", he said.

The second challenge Dreamcore faced was earning the trust of consumers, especially when the company was in its infancy.

Amid other giants in the industry, Tan highlighted what set the company apart was the customisability of PCs based on the specific needs of the user, and the brand's strong emphasis on customer service.

Future growth plans

With the boom in the gaming market, e-sports and content creation industry, Tan is confident that the company will ride an upward trajectory for at least the next 4 to 5 years.

The company has also recently launched a new showroom called Dream Centre on Nov 25, which Tan claimed is a first of its kind in the local custom PC space.

The 10,000 square foot showroom houses the expanded operations of the company, and also features a PC assembly and testing facility designed to provide a guided customer experience of the company's custom craft builds.

The venue also houses a dedicated e-sports training facility, an integrated gaming experience centre, and a media production studio.

"It is part-showroom, part-experience centre, almost like an e-sports gaming facility," Tan said. "It is a unifying space for everyone to come down and enjoy our products, test out PCs, play games and speak to people," he added.

Aside from the showroom, he said the team is working on more customer touchpoints and a revamped website to further improve customers' experiences.

The company also has plans to expand internationally in the coming years, with markets such Malaysia, Thailand and Australia on its radar.

"As a market, Singapore is too small for a business to grow. Once everyone has a PC here, the growth is going to be stagnant, and that is why we need to look overseas," Tan said.

But even with the impressive growth and strong potential of the company, he stressed that what mattered the most to him and his team was that customers continue to regard the company as a reliable service provider.

"Being recognised and validated is very heartwarming, but ultimately for us, the biggest win is when people rely on Dreamcore products to create their dreams. That is most important to us," he said.


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