MALAYSIAN companies can now leverage America’s Silicon Valley en route to going global, with a little helping hand from the Multimedia Development Corporation’s (MDeC) US office.
According to CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, the agency’s US office is there to help Malaysian IT companies connect to who they need to be connected to in order to grow and become global players.
“Locally, we have a strong startup environment with some 88% of companies having an average yearly revenue of RM1.4mil. However, top-tier companies with average revenue of RM267mil comprise only about 2%.
“This shows that the majority of Malaysian IT companies have not been able to break the startup ceiling,” she points out.
Yasmin says MDeC is implementing its Global Acceleration and Innovation Network (GAIN) programme with its Immerse, Connect and Excel-erate (ICE) intervention strategy to help spur global growth.
The programme’s three-stage strategy involves immersing Malaysian companies in the right environment, connecting them with the right people and accelerating their growth with targeted assistance.
At the end of last year, a group of select company founders and CEOs were given a first-hand experience of this programme — with almost immediate results.
Sedania Innovator Bhd managing director Datuk Azrin Mohd Noor and iPay88 executive director Chan Kok Long were among those who went on the trip, which has been described as eye-opening.
“I was only too eager to return to Silicon Valley after I came home. And I went, at the first opportunity I could at the start of this year. I have already appointed my key person there and we will launch our business in America,” Azrin says.
He explains he is eager to expand there because just being in the Silicon Valley felt like he had been given the stamp of approval, and this may help his business gain traction faster. Moreover, the venture will open up access to a ready market of 350 million Americans.
In addition, the thriving IT environment there will help set new benchmarks for his company to develop better talents.
Chan meanwhile says the experience has shown him that Malaysian tech companies are really more innovative than they realise. Malaysians, he adds, could stand on an equal — if not better — footing with their international peers, in terms of creativity.
According to Yasmin, Silicon Valley constitutes merely one component in MDeC’s continuous effort to encourage world-class companies to use Malaysia as a regional hub and to catalyse a highly competitive cluster of Malaysian multimedia or IT companies that can become world-class over time. — by MEK ZHIN
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