Kevin Liou is a mild-mannered man, to say the least. Although he’s the CEO, Chairman and Founder of Securimax, one of Taiwan and Mainland China’s most well-regarded security service companies, he doesn’t appear to be too embroiled in grandiose topics like domestic terrorism or violent crime.
He prefers instead to view his work providing manned and technological security throughout Asia in narrower and more personal terms. “Everyone needs to feel safe,” he tells The CEO Magazine, “and everybody deserves a safe place to work and a safe place to live. That’s why I think that what we do at Securimax is so important.”
Softly spoken and modest, Kevin chooses to skim over his history of accomplishments when asked; having originally studied law at the Chinese Culture University, he later attained an MBA from the University of Dallas, Texas. Upon returning to Taiwan, he joined multinational G4S, where he eventually became the security services company’s youngest and longest-serving Managing Director.
In 2000, he established his own company, Carewell, an HR outsourcing company, before expanding across the Taiwan Strait and establishing Securimax. “When my career began to peak,” he says, “I felt obliged to help those that were starting out. I began Securimax so that I could help other people begin their careers, too.”
Kevin’s emphatic on that point. He explains that he started Securimax because he “liked being in a people business”. “I saw that security companies not only had an opportunity for growth, both nationally and internationally, but also the chance to make an impact on people.”
Under Kevin’s leadership, the company has emphasised its employees as its vital strength, with Kevin’s mantra being that “developing others is achieving oneself”. While that includes generous remuneration, it extends to him treating employees as partners of the company’s success, seeking their guidance and input when he feels it’s necessary.
- “Developing others is achieving oneself”-
It’s a strategy that has cleared the way for Securimax to grow at a “steady pace”, while becoming one of the leading brands on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Securimax hasn’t been without its challenges. In 2010, a slew of regulatory policies implemented by the Chinese government meant that the company began to face significant roadblocks to providing its services. “Suddenly, we needed a security business licence – and to follow new regulations – and as an international company, that was incredibly difficult to obtain.”
Eventually, Securimax was awarded proper licensing, and Kevin boasts that the company is now “the only Taiwanese security company with the appropriate license to act in China”.
Besides those challenges, Kevin says that Securimax hasn’t faced many other difficulties. “We have a respected name in the industry, our branding is good, and the Chinese market is familiar with us. They want a good service compared to their local supplier, and that’s our strength. That’s why businesses are happy to use our services.”
As Securimax expands its international scope to encompass more countries in Asia, Kevin has worked to differentiate the company’s approach in individual markets. “As everybody knows, China is developing, and the market is huge. The Taiwanese market, though, is mature and needs a premium service. It’s more detailed and demands more of its services.”
Kevin has made sure to cater to higher expectations in those markets, while ensuring services remain affordable throughout China. “That’s where we apply our strengths,” he says, “and we’re satisfied we have the right strategy.”
With an eye towards the future, Kevin says that ongoing international expansion will be integral to the company’s success. Meetings with international investors to begin work on new, as-yet-unannounced projects have already been scheduled.
Along with strategic partners in Taiwan, these relationships are integral to Securimax’s continuing growth. “Having those partnerships means we have that benefit of doing business internationally, and that’s why they are so important to us.”
Regardless, Kevin admits that he’s not concerned with “ceaselessly chasing opportunities”. If he is doing his job right, he says that society should be a safer place. “We have a solid reputation in Asia. We comply with all regulations, and the value of integrity is ingrained in our culture.
We set the best practice in the market and can say that we are improving the standard in the market.” Asked to sum up his business in just one sentence, Kevin is clear: “Simple is easy, and easy is keeping things simple. That’s how we run this business.”
This article was originally featured in The CEO Magazine Asia March 2019 issue. For the published version, please go to https://www.theceomagazine.com/executive-interviews/services-consulting/kevin-liou/