Victor Phang, country manager of digital Human Resources business services company, iTalent Management Sdn Bhd laments the challenges of a local company trying to expand beyond local borders.
“When we first tried to find the right partner to expand outside of Malaysia, it took almost a year,” he said.
According to a study commissioned by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the Asean ICT Market is estimated to be worth US$48bil (about RM198.7bil) by 2019.
However, getting your foot in the door in a country where you’re unproven as a company and where language is often a barrier can be challenging, said Phang.
Phang’s story is one of the many faced by local MSC companies that are looking to capitalise on the immense potential of the Asean market, but have found it a tough nut to crack because of these issues.
In view of this, MDEC launched its Global Acceleration and Network (GAIN) initiative in Jan 2016.
The initiative aims to help local MSC-status companies become regional and global players by connecting them with appropriate partners in various countries to help expand their business into those countries.
Norhizam Abdul Kadir, vice president of MDEC’s Infotech Industry Development division, likens MDEC’s role in the GAIN initiative as a wedding planner whose task it is to plan everything, but ultimately, it’s still up to the two parties to seal the deal.
Under the programme, MDEC and IDC work together to identify partners in six of the countries in the region, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Apart from connecting local MSC companies with partners in these countries, MDEC will also provide insights and recommended strategies to expedite the process of market entry and operations set-up in these new markets.
With the help of the GAIN initiative, iTalent managed to find a partner to expand into Indonesia in less than six months, said Phang, whose company offers end-to-end digital HR solutions for companies.
The top verticals identified by the study which are in demand for all the six countries includes banking and financial services, communications and media and retail and manufacturing.
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