Dear shareholders,

FY2020 has been a milestone year in our strategic transformation, and we have been relentlessly working to develop our capabilities to pave the foundation for our success in the last 12 months.

While the team gained momentum and continued to build on its efforts as outlined in the previous year, we were cognisant of the opportunities and challenges that await us with the coming of the 4th industrial revolution. With that in mind, we have devoted 100% of our effort and energy in delivering on our digital transformation process that has been put in place since 2016.

Our goal has always been to create a long-term sustainable business which creates value for our community, team members and shareholders. Riding on the rise of digitalisation and technology, we launched VI, our FinEduTech platform in January 2020, marking a significant paradigm shift in the way we conduct our business. We are no longer an offline education provider but an integrated FinEduTech platform for investors seeking knowledge through a variety of recurring subscription products. We work to retain our customers as long-term VI Community members who can tap into our products for lifelong, repeat learning opportunities.

With FinTech as a key driver of growth and customer experience while staying true to our principles in value investing, we are committed to build on customer experiences within the VI Community through our acquisition and retention efforts, invest in continuous technology development to build on and create new features which will not only establish a recurring revenue stream but also continue to pave the way forward for our business. At the same time, we made the difficult decision to wind down certain subsidiaries that could be better served by using technology rather than a physical presence, allowing us to further reduce our costs and increase productivity.

Our financial technology tool, formerly known as WealthPark, was rebranded as “VI App” and was unveiled at our 9th Value Investing Summit in January 2020. Together with VI College, VI App supports our VI Community and rounds off our FinEduTech ecosystem which is set to drive the future of value investing around the region and the world. This is an extremely positive turn in the corner for us, as we move towards a business platform which will lead us towards greater profitability and scalability.

During the year, the world faced an extraordinary challenge with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in multi-country lockdowns and disruptions to the majority of businesses and the economy. Given the situation, we were able to successfully execute a rapid transition plan in both Malaysia and Singapore to continue serving the needs of our new and existing customers and users across the region by shifting our efforts and operations online. Whilst our strategy had always been to transition our offerings to an online platform gradually, we took steps to accelerate and expand our online programmes to accommodate offsite training curriculum amidst the evolving COVID-19 landscape. Anchored on technology, we can now reach out to even more customers and touch more lives, while scaling our business exponentially without an actual physical presence, and transcending geographical borders.

We have also adapted successfully to new operational practices as we move to digitalise our company by changing existing working processes and to embrace the new norm – such as holding our Annual General Meeting virtually this year, for instance. Meanwhile, we have also refocused our growth efforts to further cement our position in core markets, particularly in markets that are predominantly English, Chinese and Malay speaking.

With these developments, we are pleased to report that we have returned to a healthy financial baseline and profitability as a result of this paradigm shift. In FY2020, we achieved healthy increases to our net profit, operating profit margin and free cash flow. We also saw a significant increase in our cash flow from operations despite a dip in revenue. We attribute our financial turnaround this year to the positive impact of transforming our business model, continued prudent cost management, further improvement in streamlining our marketing efforts and managing our general overheads.

This year, I am pleased to welcome Mr Charles Mac as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 23 May 2019. Charles takes over from Mr Zane Lewis as part of our ongoing effort to ensure regular Board renewals, and I am confident that he will bring fresh new perspectives given his extensive IT corporate experience and time spent in the IT industry. Meanwhile, on behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Zane for his contributions to the company and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

As we continue to push ahead in this ‘new normal’ situation, we will concentrate on delivering our value proposition to better serve a community of value investors through technology-empowered investment analysis and education. With the tireless, collective effort of our team, I have confidence that we will be able to raise the bar even higher and achieve results beyond the ordinary by constantly moving towards individual and group mastery.

Clive Tan