SEPANG: Petronas Dagangan Bhd will invest RM50mil in five universities by building petrol stations within the campuses.
The aim behind this, said managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, was to develop entrepreneurial skills among university students and to foster start-up businesses among youths.
“I have seen time and again Malaysians with entrepreneurial skills but lack the (right) platform.
“So, we (are here to) provide that connectivity and university students are creative.
“By creating this ecosystem, it will enhance their capacity to unlock their value,” he said,
Syed Zainal Abidin was speaking to reporters after signing a memorandum of understanding with the five universities.
They are Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Universiti Teknologi Petronas.
Syed Zainal Abidin said each varsity would have one petrol station in its campus, costing between RM5mil and RM10mil each.
If fast tracked, the petrol stations will be completed within a year, and at most, up to 18 months.
The stations will be managed by the universities and they can utilise the space by running their own businesses.
“It will basically be run and managed by the students.
“Nothing beats going to a hands-on classroom, and when the vicinity is close, you can see the interaction (and results) quickly,” he added.
When asked whether there was chance for students from these universities to work with Petronas, Syed Zainal Abidin said when “there’s good talent, there is nothing to stop the company from hiring them. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Calling it a smart partnership, he said the opportunity was open to other varsities to join the collaboration.
As a CSR, he said they felt compelled to answer the government’s call to create an entrepreneurial society.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik who witnessed the signing ceremony said the initiative to build start-ups was in line with the government’s plan to advance the country’s digital economy.
“The importance of having entrepreneurial minds will be realised through this initiative.
“The student entrepreneurship programme and internship that will be conducted will increase their marketability as it exposes students to real working environment,” he said.