About US

Our History, My Story

By Dominic Roche – Founder and MD of Time Out Solutions Sdn. Bhd. 

In the late 1980s, I started to develop an interest in participating in Treasure Hunts. In those days, hunts were few and far between; in a year, only a handful of them took place. They were for either a public charity event or a corporate in-house activity. I vividly recall my first hunt: my team won! Encouraged, I took part in a couple more and did well, too. A friend of mine, who was a keen hunter, told me, “you’ve got a mind for this.” I was, at this point, unsuspecting that I was on the brink of a new career.
  • The Career Begins
  • The Groundbreaking Events
  • TOS 2020
In the early 1990s, friends of mine in the events business sought me out, knowing I took part in treasure hunts and asked if I thought I could organise them. I relished changing sides from participant to course-setter. So, I took the challenge, and, to my pleasant surprise, the feedback from their clients was very positive.

Then came the big break. Thanks to my friend, Alan Pereira of Comedy Court fame, who was one of the directors there, a production company, planning a game show on a TV station with a treasure hunt element, called me in. They asked me to help conceptualize the game show, set tons of trivia clues and run a treasure hunt for viewers. Hence, Goldquest 1995 rolled out, and with that project, Time Out Solutions was established. It was well-received and only spurred me on to make a career of it and bring the sport to as many corporates as I could.

I started with simple flyers those days and many phone calls. And the jobs began to come in. At that time, one month was good enough for me. Recces took time, and since those days were well before digital photography and Excel programs, the turnaround for one job was longer. Shooting answers on slide photo cameras and presenting answers on carousels was tedious. Then, we started to use digital cameras, so we had to invest in a projector (with low lumens) that cost RM15K. But they made the production a lot easier. Our first office was in the attic of my 1 ½ story house in USJ. In 1996, the moment we started to grow, we took a room in the MAPTB building off Jalan Syed Putra. Then in 1999, we moved to USJ 1. Today, we have our own premises in USJ13.

By 2010, my team grew from 1 to 3 to a dozen. Today, there are 9 of us. First to join me was Jagdev, then Ravind. Then turned up my most senior team member and super sleuth clue writer and trainer, Lim Soo Khian. What an asset he has been to this day! Lee Si Si is our full-time, part-timer you can still engage for piano lessons, but she wears many hats in the team, everything from accountant to production to chef. A hotelier, named Honey Khoo, and an aptly named young man, Hung Teng, joined us for a time, too. Next, we were blessed with Tan Wei Shean. She wanted a part-time job while passing through but could never leave. With multifaceted talents and capabilities, she has become one of the backbones of my team. Nina came along from Astro, and what energy she brought. Today, she is a successful entrepreneur. Catherine Ng was my next find; she is a hardcore hunter who came in and discovered her many talents and passions for not just hunts but as a trainer, emcee and a marketing genius, too. Then came Sam Chen, a well-rounded talent, be it on stage, in production or sales. A driver of people and an inspiration.

Then came TOS 2.0 – the Next Generation of our team. Our part-time marshals who joined us full time. Alan Fung was the accounting world’s loss but our gain, a pillar in my team and much loved by clients and colleagues – a leader by example, an ideas man, emcee and trainer, all in one. Then came Jason, who joined us and followed in Alan’s footsteps and revealed a depth of character and leadership of his own that till today holds our production team together. Then, there are our latest two. Nasha – what a wealth of talent, ideas, energy and dependability. And finally Cyrus, the quiet accomplisher of many tasks, big or small.

My first drive hunt was for Bank of Commerce from KL to Kuantan in 1993. I was then a freelancer, working for my friend in the events business. It was on that race that I found our iconic sounds-like clue signboard, “Tuck Oon Tong,” in Bentong. The rest is history, they say, but allow me to mention here some of our landmark events.
The prize was an RM100k gold bar. It was an individual event. Thousands followed phone clues and TV clues that revealed a secret code for a secret destination. After a walk-about in the heart of KL, the 50 finalists were shortlisted and the finale took place. And in the playgrounds of The Mines Wonderland Theme Park, the gold was buried.
Hotels saw the value of drive hunts bringing hunt enthusiasts to their properties. These hunts covered all the properties of the Pan Pacific group from KL to JB to Pangkor Island.
Hotels saw the value of drive hunts bringing hunt enthusiasts to their properties. These hunts covered all the properties of the Pan Pacific group from KL to JB to Pangkor Island.
There were 3 hunts held over a few months whereby a points system for one’s position earned in each hunt were added up to determine the winners. We covered every possible landmark of repute in Selangor to bring out the history, tourism places and beauty of the state.
What a mammoth task this was! The mandate was to organize a local hunt in every state in the country in 6 weeks. We rose to the challenge, completed all the recces and rolled out 13 quality drive hunts to the client’s approval.
2001 Onwards
With the success of that TM job came this hunt, which started from KL Tower and ended at the Alor Setar Tower. It has since been held many times through the years, even until recently, with the client’s continued trust in us handling it all these years as testimony.
This hunt was a joint effort by The Star Online and us to present a virtual treasure hunt in Malaysia to promote both the move to virtual press and the uniqueness of a virtual drive hunt experience.
Over the life of our mascot, the VW Beetle called Tobie (Time Out Bug that is), we created treasure hunts that involved finding Tobie along routes to unravel clues. Tobie was also the main star in our virtual hunt with The Star Online.
It was a unique request from Philips. Being a leader in electronic and household appliances, Phillips’ mandate was to create challenges and activities with their range of products. Challenge received and delivered with flying colours.
This hunt, which was mooted by the management team of The Sun and us, was to champion and promote the sport of treasure hunting and to bring together the best hunters in our country to lock horns and win the honour of being the best treasure hunt team in the country. Two categories were created - the Masters and the Open. The hunt also boasted the most number of prize winners, as up to 120 positions won prizes.
This was one of the most unique and pleasant hunt series we ever organized. It was a joint venture with Prime Travel Malaysia. We brought treasure hunters and holidaymakers to the enchanting island of Hokkaido for 4 years consecutively, showcasing many different cities, landmarks and sceneries… and appreciating their culture, too. Each year, different members of my team went so that all could enjoy this special privilege.
Events Time Out Solutions were involved in / organized treasure hunts that are entered in the MALAYSIAN BOOK OF RECORDS:

A) THE LARGEST DRIVE TREASURE HUNT - The Proton Gen 2 Hunt to Genting Highlands.
B) BIGGEST PRIZE MONEY – Land Rover Hunt with a winner’s purse of RM150K.
C) THE LARGEST MIXED HUNT – The Tone Group Hunt, which had 3 different modes of hunting - by train, by road and, as a finale, by foot.

The hunt started in KL and ended in Alor Setar, and my team also efficiently handled the mammoth tasks involving logistics and accommodation in various hotels for the 1,200 participants.
Yes, we have come a long way. From our beginnings in the field of treasure hunts, we are now a dynamic team with experience in organizing a wide range of events, thanks to the trust of our many clients, who have helped make us who we are today.

Over the years, clients have challenged our creative, organizational and logistical skills with mammoth and intricate events to execute. That’s why we are now a well-honed and skillful team, still churning out extraordinary and memorable events – week in and week out.

So this year, 2020, we celebrate more than the memories but the coming together of great individuals and great lives that continue to uphold the brand Time Out Solutions as a household name, not just in the sport of treasure hunting but as a well-oiled and professional all-round events outfit.

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upcoming event?

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