Paul Tan

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Paul Tan
Born (1984-10-27) 27 October 1984 (age 29)
Malaysia Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
Occupation Motoring journalist
Website
Paul Tan's Automotive News

Paul Tan is a motoring journalist based in Malaysia. He is best known for his website, paultan.org or Paul Tan's Automotive News, a popular news portal which covers the Malaysian & ASEAN automotive scenes.[1] Paultan.org is managed by Driven Communications Sdn. Bhd., a company in which Paul Tan assumes the role as Managing Director. The website also offers reviews, previews, test drives and covers various other topics that are automotive-related.

Established in 2004, paultan.org enjoyed a quick rise to fame and has since consistently positioned itself among the Top 100 most frequented websites by Malaysian internet users according to Alexa, comScore and Effective Measure.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Paul Tan's career in automotive journalism has its roots in his childhood. Paul was not born into a privileged family.[3] While Paul was studying at the Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, his father had contracted cancer.[4][3] Paul was forced into adversity at an early age and had to take several jobs to earn extra money for his family, which included his mother, a housewife, and a brother, who was four years younger.[3] Paul worked as an intern in G-LabWorks Sdn Bhd between November and December 2000, where he exercised his HTML and JavaScript skills.[4] For the first six months of 2001, he worked as a web developer at AMP Radio Networks (currently known as Astro Radio). He led a team of 3 other web developers for the Xfresh Teen Community online portal at www.xfresh.com.[4] Paul also designed a bus wrap which promoted the Xfresh website on Intrakota buses. In 2001, Paul graduated with his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) certificate in the Science stream.

After graduating, Paul Tan enrolled in an I.T.-related degree in HELP University, Damansara Heights.[4] However, when Paul was 19, his father passed away, forcing Paul to drop out of college to find a full-time job in an effort to pay the bills and his brother's education.[3] Paul's first attempt at entrepreneurship came in the form of his 2003 employment at Hulk Solutions Sdn. Bhd. as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He was responsible for managing Hulk Solution's information system resources, which included the maintenance of a rack server used for applications hosting in the Telekom Malaysia Internet Data Centre (TMIDC) in Cyberjaya.[4] Paul coded on the LAMP platform and his clients included well-known names such as The Star, The Malay Mail, Monsoon Cup and Peugeot.

It was during Paul's tenure at Hulk Solutions that the idea of paultan.org developed. Initially starting out as a personal WordPress-based blog about the Malaysian automotive industry, Paul quickly recognized the potential of the platform when internet traffic to his blog began to grow over the months.[3] By 2006, paultan.org had become a popular news portal in Malaysia, and with the use of Google AdSense, it was generating an income of between RM5,000 to 6,000 per month.[3] The term 'paultan' was also among the most frequently searched in the 'persons category' by Malaysian Google users according to Google's 2007 Malaysia Year-End Zeitgeist.[5]

With the continued rise of paultan.org, came a demand for a Malaysian motoring television show.[3] During Paul's years in secondary school, he had become close friends with Harvinder Singh Sidhu. In 2008, Paul approached Harvinder, who had then just completed his diploma in UCSI University, Cheras, with the proposition of a television show.[3] After careful consideration, both Paul and Harvinder came together and incorporated Driven Media Sdn. Bhd. (now known as Driven Communications Sdn. Bhd.) in October 2008.[4] Initially, Driven Media was exclusively run and staffed by the two friends, but later grew to five or six staff after the unveil of a motoring television programme called Driven.[3] The show was created for two reasons, according to Paul; the first was simply because there were no credible motoring television shows in Malaysia, at that period in time. The second was that the Driven show would lend significant legitimacy to the paultan.org website, which prior to the show, was often overlooked and underestimated by the mainstream media and automobile companies.[3] They viewed paultan.org as a personal blog, and Paul Tan as a blogger. This image perception issue further catalysed the development of the Driven show, which finally materialized in early 2010, after the shooting process was completed in 2009.[3] Driven Media Sdn. Bhd. found a sponsor, developed a dedicated website and booked airtime on 8TV (a national television channel), during Sunday nights, for broadcasting.[6] On 11 April 2010, the first episode from the first season went live, and the final episode concluded on the 4th of July that same year.[7] Driven was later renewed for a second season, spanning between 19 November 2013 and 17 December 2013 respectively.[8]

As of the 2010s, Paul Tan is a well-known entrepreneur in Malaysia and a prominent figure in the mainstream motoring media and automotive industry. Paul is currently the Managing Director at Driven Communications Sdn. Bhd.[4] He occasionally writes articles on paultan.org, but is no longer the exclusive writer of the website, as the workload is currently being shared among his colleagues Danny Tan, Jonathan James Tan, Jonathan Lee, Anthony Lim, and Hafriz Shah respectively. Paul is also the Director at Driven Technologies Sdn. Bhd. and M Driven Sdn. Bhd.[4] At one point between September 2011 and March 2012, he was also the Technical Lead at Planet Venus Sdn. Bhd., the company behind VenusBuzz.com.

As of the 2010s, Paul has shifted the scope of paultan.org to encompass the entire Southeast Asian or ASEAN region, where the website was formerly focused predominantly on the Malaysian automotive scene.[3] Unlike most Malaysian mainstream motoring media which focus largely on topics relating to Malaysia, the crew of paultan.org actively travel to neighbouring ASEAN countries to cover local developments, motor shows and car reviews among others. Their efforts give paultan.org an edge in the sense that the website serves up original content and news faster than other mainstream motoring media in Malaysia.[3] Paul has also iterated that paultan.org will never compromise on content, independence, objectivity and credibility for additional revenue from advertisers, as the crew values their readers and their comments respectively.[3]

Driven Communications[edit]

Paul Tan is the Managing Director of Driven Communications Sdn. Bhd., a company which was incorporated in October 2008.[4] Driven Communications is based at Jaya One, in the city of Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The company is responsible and best known for running paultan.org. It also manages oto.my, an auto classifieds site and infokereta.com, a Malay language complement to paultan.org, established in 2012 and 2013 respectively.[4] At one point, Driven Communications ran a website called iCars Singapore, but it has since been shut down. Driven Communications also runs other websites that are not automotive-related. These include TechAttack.my, a tech news site and OHBULAN!, a Malaysian entertainment portal.[4]

In 2008, Driven Communications was exclusively staffed by Paul Tan and his close friend, Harvinder Singh Sidhu.[3] After the inception of the Driven programme, the staff grew to a count of 5 or 6. By October 2012, there were a total of 24 staff, which later grew to 35 in February 2014 respectively.[3][9] Driven Communications generated RM6 million in income for 2013, which is a 50% increase over 2012.[9] The company has targeted RM8 million in profits for 2014. In February 2014, the Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) and comScore named paultan.org the 6th most popular website in Malaysia.[10]

Driven (television programme)[edit]

Season 1 (2010)[edit]

The concept of a Malaysian motoring television programme sparked from Paul Tan and his team in 2008. The concept materialized into Driven, which debuted in 11 April 2010 on 8TV.[6] Driven episodes were also hosted on a dedicated website owned by Driven Communications, www.driven.com.my. The show featured new car reviews, challenges, an 'Insider Review' segment, public service announcements and various other content concerning both Malaysian and international motoring topics.[6] Driven was presented by three hosts, namely Sharizan Borhan, Nurul Alis and Harvinder Singh. It was directed by Jon Yap and produced by Nazrudin Rahman.[6] The programme was sponsored by BHPetrol.

Season 1 of Driven aired for 12 consecutive weeks, between 11 April 2010 and 4 July 2010 respectively.[7]

Total Title Features Original air date
1 Season 1, Episode 1 Ford Mondeo • Alternative fuel
BMW 7 Series (F10) • Part 1 of D.I.Y. car servicing
11 April 2010 (2010-04-11)
2 Season 1, Episode 2 Toyota Prius • Part 2 of D.I.Y. car servicing
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) • Insider Review on concept cars
18 April 2010 (2010-04-18)
3 Season 1, Episode 3 Perodua Alza vs. Proton Exora
Part 3 of D.I.Y. car servicing
25 April 2010 (2010-04-25)
4 Season 1, Episode 4 Kia Forte • Does nitrogen gas in tyres save fuel ?
BMW 3 Series (E90) • Insider Review on modern turbo-diesel engines
2 May 2010 (2010-05-02)
5 Season 1, Episode 5 BMW S1000RRVolkswagen Passat CC
Alfa Romeo 159 • Insider Review on latest fuel-saving technologies
9 May 2010 (2010-05-09)
6 Season 1, Episode 6 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport • MIROS crash testing
Ford Fiesta
16 May 2010 (2010-05-16)
7 Season 1, Episode 7 Klang Valley transportation system challenge
Porsche Panamera S
23 May 2010 (2010-05-23)
8 Season 1, Episode 8 BMW 5 Series (F10) • Axle BHP Racing Team
Volvo XC60 • Insider Review on Formula 1 Lotus Racing Team
30 May 2010 (2010-05-30)
9 Season 1, Episode 9 Volkswagen Scirocco • Pre-owned executive car for RM50,000 challenge
Ford Focus TDCi
6 June 2010 (2010-06-06)
10 Season 1, Episode 10 Mitsubishi LancerHenry Ford showcase
Ford Model A • Insider Review on engine lubricant & maintenance
13 June 2010 (2010-06-13)
11 Season 1, Episode 11 BMW X1Volvo P1800S
Nissan GT-R
20 June 2010 (2010-06-20)
12 Season 1, Episode 12 Proton Persona Elegance • Behind the scenes on Empire Motorsports
Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk6
27 June 2010 (2010-06-27)
13 Season 1, Episode 13 Finale Drift lessons in a Nissan 350Z • Driven Track Day showcase
Ferrari California
4 July 2010 (2010-07-04)

Season 2 (2013)[edit]

Driven was rebooted for Season 2.[8] The show was not aired on national television and was exclusively published on YouTube as a web series instead. Unlike Season 1, Season 2 was presented by the paultan.org crew, including Paul Tan himself. The structure and format of the programme has also changed significantly. Instead of various features and showcases, Season 2 only focused on reviews, in which a set of cars were chosen, and of them, a winner was crowned at the end of each episode. The programme was sponsored by Petronas Primax.

Season 2 of Driven aired for 4 consecutive weeks, between 19 November 2013 and 17 December 2013 respectively.

Total Title Contenders Extras Original air date
14 Season 2, Episode 1[11] Proton Suprima S Toyota Vios Honda Jazz N/A 19 November 2013 (2013-11-19)
15 Season 2, Episode 2[12] Honda CR-V Mazda CX-5 Ford Kuga N/A Subaru Forester 26 November 2013 (2013-11-26)
16 Season 2, Episode 3[13] BMW 125i Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk7 Volvo V40 T5 Mercedes-Benz A 250 N/A 3 December 2013 (2013-12-03)
17 Season 2, Episode 4[14] Ford Focus Kia Cerato Honda Civic N/A Mini One
Peugeot 208 GTi
10 December 2013 (2013-12-10)
18 Season 2, Episode 5[15] Mazda6 Honda Accord Hyundai i40 Tourer Toyota Camry BMW 3 Series
Lexus ES 250
17 December 2013 (2013-12-17)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Paul Tan's Automotive News - About The Website". paultan.org. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Paultan.org Site Info". Alexa. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Asohan Aryaduray (8 October 2012). "Paul Tan: From personal adversity to professional triumph". digitalnewsasia.com. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Paul Tan - LinkedIn". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Hit list". The Star (Malaysia). 17 January 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  6. ^ a b c d "About Driven". driven.com.my. 25 October 2010. Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Driven Episodes". driven.com.my. 25 October 2010. Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Harvinder Sidhu (13 November 2013). "Driven – a new automotive web series coming Nov 19!". paultan.org. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  9. ^ a b (Malay) Johardy Ibrahim (4 February 2014). "Paul Tan kembangkan empat teras niaga". Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Malaysia's Favourite Websites Revealed". marketingmagazine.com.my. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Driven Web Series Episode 1: The RM90k shootout – Toyota Vios vs Proton Suprima vs Honda Jazz Hybrid". paultan.org. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Driven Web Series Episode 2: The family SUV battle – Honda CR-V 2.0 vs Mazda CX-5 2.0 vs Ford Kuga 1.6T". paultan.org. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Driven Web Series Episode 3: Hot-hatch shootout – VW Golf GTI vs Merc A 250 vs BMW 125i vs Volvo V40". paultan.org. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Driven Web Series Episode 4: C-segment round-up – Honda Civic 2.0 vs Kia Cerato 2.0 vs Ford Focus 2.0". paultan.org. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Driven Web Series Episode 5: Company car dilemma – Toyota Camry 2.5 vs Honda Accord 2.4 vs Mazda6 2.5". paultan.org. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 

External links[edit]