Business News

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tech firms gaining global traction

MDT group chairman and CEO Liew Choon Lian

MDT group chairman and CEO Liew Choon Lian

Technology and innovation are growing at the speed never seen before and companies are implementing technology in every aspect of our lives. In Malaysia, we are not left behind, as we see some of our tech global icons emerging as market leaders in their respective niche industry. Under an initiative called the Global Acceleration and Innovation Network (GAIN), the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC ) aims to help develop high-potential Malaysian technology companies into regional and global champions.


MDT Innovations Sdn Bhd

MDT Innovations Sdn Bhd is involved in the design, research and development of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

The company, which already present has client footprints in over 20 countries, expects to further grow its global presence very aggressively. 

Group chairman and CEO Liew Choon Lian foresees greater market demand that would in turn create a more marketable identity in its goal to further tap into top-tier corporate clients around the world.

MDT Innovations’ biggest export markets at the moment are China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia and Australia, and it hopes to expand further in Africa and the US.

“GAIN platform is a great opportunity for companies like us to accelerate into new markets,” Liew told StarBiz.

MDT Innovations is among the region’s fastest growing technology companies, focusing on entire IoT value chains, ranging from intelligent wireless communications to analytics solutions.

It’s innovative solutions are being applied in everyday usage such as in asset tracking in telecommunications, e-payment in financial services, shopper analytics for retail, and crowd movement tracking in education and aviation.

Liew says the company is among the country’s fastest growing companies by revenue, having grown over 40% year on year, as well as its involvement in the technology industry’s current mega-trend, which is the IoT. 

“Besides, our track record in our exports and sales as well as our ambitious growth plans for the future are in line with our globalisation plans,” he noted. 

Among the company’s engineering achievements is the development of the world’s smallest Near Field Communications (NFC) module, the MD770R, and NFC in SIM cards.

The company’s solutions in crowd movement, work in progress automation, and smart retail solutions are based on its intelligent wireless sensor systems. 

These solutions are found in Fortune-500 semiconductor firm as well as retail chains in Malaysia, China and Australia.

MDT Innovations has seen tremendous growth in foreign sales, with over 90% of its total revenue contributed by export sales.

It is a multiple MSC Asia Pacific ICT Award winner, clinching the titles in 2006 and 2007, and also a winner of the Best of the Best and The Prime Minister Award in 2007. 

In 2011, MDT Innovations was ranked 12th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific.

It is also Malaysia’s fastest growing company, growing tremendously by 3130% between 2008 and 2010.

Pradotec Corp Sdn Bhd

For security and authentication player Pradotec Corp, the need to scale up their global presence is essential. In order to expand the global reach, the company’s general manager Brian Lew said the company will need to develop networking and management skills to manage a larger organisation and broaden its market exposure. 

“Pradotec Corp has been very fortunate to establish a close working relationship with the necessary stakeholders in the ecosystems and this has allowed us to leverage on their networking capabilities, particularly the funding assistance in helping us to develop products that better match our global demand,” he said. 

Pradotec Corp was set up in 2007, as a spun-off division from a local technology powerhouse pioneering in electronics for passports and identity cards. 

The group’s core business is in the supply of devices and equipment for application in Trusted Identity and Payment, while its target key vertical markets are government agencies as well as the financial services industry, particularly the banking sector.

Among the projects it is involved in, as an original design manufacturer supplier with its partners, include the KLIA and KLIA2 autogate project, LRT and monorail contactless payment readers, biometric MyKAD readers, and handhelds for the local banks and financial institutions.

Globally it has over 50 customers in Africa, the US, the Middle East, South America and Europe. Lew said there were several challenges that the company faced in its efforts to expand on an international level.

“The end users of our products are usually government offices, agencies, banks, airport authorities and municipalities who usually acquire the solution via their appointed system integrators. 

“Our major challenge is to get our product be evaluated by these system integrators,” he said.

As an SME, Lew said it was a costly investment as they often had to travel to countries across the globe for this but is thankful that their persistence has prevailed.

Moving forward, Lew said they anticipated further growth in the industry against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown. 

“The increased global security threats in recent times has prompted a strong need for countries to better manage their borders and impose stricter controls at border crossings. 

“Apart from this, there is also a growing trend of countries issuing electronic ID cards and driving licence,” he noted.

Aemulus Corp Sdn Bhd

Aemulus Corp aims to grow its presence in the US and in the East Asia region in terms of technology and marketing.

Through its participation in the recent MDEC’s inaugural Silicon Valley Immersion program in 2015, the company said it had an “eye-opening” experience about the importance of cultivating creativity and driving innovation.

“Being a technological company in the smart gadget and IoT test industries, understanding industry trends and needs is important to ensure that the product roadmap is tuned towards the right track,” the company’s CEO, Ng Sang Beng said.

Aemulus’ core expertise is in the design, engineering and development of automated test equipment (ATE), which are used by semiconductor manufacturers and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) companies to test semiconductor wafer and packaged devices, before they are shipped for final assembly into various electronic devices and gadgets.

Ng said Aemulus, which emerged as the sole ATE design house in South East Asia, had an unorthodox approach in conceptualising and marketing products, managing people and servicing customers, which has contributed to its growth and success today.

Aemulus Corp CEO Ng Sang Beng
Aemulus Corp CE O Ng Sang Beng

At its inception, the company was funded both by private and angel investors.

It eventually raised an initial public offering (IPO) of RM24.6mil in 2015 and is currently listed on the Ace Market of the Bursa Malaysia. 

Its IPO received an overwhelming response from the market, with its public portion oversubscribed by 13 times. 

Ng said Aemulus’ next big move will be to set up a new tester research lab and to expand its market reach to China and Taiwan.

“Our presence is a disruption within the industry. It is in our interest to constantly innovate designs with a wide range of functionality, with remarkable speed and cost of test. 

“With our ground-breaking designs, we contribute in widening and advancing wireless communication infrastructures, affordable gadgets for the mass users, and eventually the omnipresent Internet of Things,” he said.

Despite being a young player in the industry, Aemulus has gathered a stellar portfolio of customers which include large global multinational semiconductor manufacturers and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test companies in Malaysia, Singapore, China, the US, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Germany.

ViTrox Corp Bhd

Since its inception in 2000, ViTrox has designed and manufactured innovative and cost effective automated vision inspection equipment and system-on-ship embedded electronics devices for the semiconductor and electronics packaging industries globally.

“We help customers detect and eliminate defects in their production lines through automated advanced vision inspection technologies and solutions,” says CEO and managing director Chu Jenn Weng.

Today, ViTrox is the biggest machine vision inspection company in Malaysia with an annual revenue of RM180mil and profit of over RM80mil. 

It is a leading global player in its field with an extensive customer base in more than 22 countries and 26 cities around the world. 

It has an extensive global sales and support network of offices in China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Europe and the US. 

ViTrox was listed on the Ace Market of Bursa Malaysia in 2005, and moved on to the Main Market in 2009 under the technology sector. 

ViTrox Corp MD and CEO Chu Jenn Weng
ViTrox Corp MD and CE O Chu Jenn Weng

Chu said the company has been working closely with the relevant agencies over the years as many of its business models and research and development (R&D) activities were related to high technology and digital adoption that would help promote its capabilities and technologies globally.

“ViTrox is also moving towards the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data arena, which is in-line with the direction charted by our country,” he added.

In order to expand its presence globally, Chu said the company planned to increase the number of its local sales and support offices in high growth regions, where it will identify sales channel partners to provide better coverage and support to more customers in the regions.

“We are optimistic about the outlook for our business over the next three to five years, with double digit growth, and riding on the new wave of smart manufacturing, where the adoption of smarter machines and solutions is on the rise. 

“Our new products will come with features and capabilities of industrial Internet of Things, helping our customer achieve the highest optimisation in the operations of their new manufacturing lines,” he said.

Moving forward, he said the company was on lookout for merger and acquisition deals as part of its plans to achieve a revenue of RM500mil and its target of 500 employees.

The company also has an ambitious plan to set up a local machine vision ecosystem in its upcoming manufacturing facility to support the high demand of automated vision inspection solution for high growth industries, such as automotive, healthcare and aerospace.

Through its research partner, MDEC has identified and validated over 30 globally competitive Malaysian companies which it calls “global icons”, and wants to boost the annual average export revenue of these companies to over RM100mil each with some as high as RM1bil.

  

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