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MDEC exclusive: Looking for the X factor behind Malaysia's Digital Hub strategy

AvantiKumar | June 2, 2017
Norhizam Abdul Kadir, MDEC's ecosystem Vice President, participates in a Computerworld Malaysia 'deep dive' interview.

Looking for the x factor (GraphicStock)

Credit: GraphicStock


  Following his recent keynote at this year's CIO Conference in Kuala Lumpur, (see - The Digital keys to successful Disruption: CIO Conference 2017 in KL) Computerworld Malaysia asked national agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation's (MDEC's) vice-president (growth development ecosystem) Norhizam Abdul Kadir for an exclusive 'deep dive' interview into the whys and wherefores of Malaysia's new Digital Hub strategy and how disruption forms the X factor behind the grand plan.

The Hub programme has been seen as a master cog (see - MDEC adds another master cog to Malaysia's Digital Economy), an initiative that also has a global aspect as it is open to both local and foreign startups and entrepreneurs.

Norhizam first emphasised that - with strong partnerships from industry - the MDEC-initiated Digital Hub programme will be able to speed up startup growth as an important aspect of Malaysia's Digital Economy.

The scope of disruption is wide with MDEC itself engaging the use of relevant technology trends in sectors such as agriculture, transportation and manufacturing to bring about improvements in productivity and quality.

"Start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises are changing the landscape of technology. The essence of disruption is the transition of influence from traditional technology companies to hyper-growth internet companies, which are doubling their revenue every few years," said Norhizam. "The new technology platform is giving new companies the ability to expand quickly."

"Digital Hubs are essentially spaces where startup ecosystems co-exist. Apart from certifying these spaces, MDEC's goal is to help to enrich the ecosystems of these Digital Hubs," he said, while referencing Computerworld Malaysia's recent coverage on Digital Hubs.

[In exclusive deep dive interviews recently, MDEC CEO Dato' Yasmin Mahmood describes more of the Digital Malaysia framework and MDEC's ramping up of national catalytic initiatives. See - Deep Dive into Malaysia's Digital Economy with MDEC CEO Dato' Yasmin Mahmood - Part 1> and Part 2]

Norhizam noted that MDEC provides startups in the Digital Hubs with several advantages.

Norhizam bin Abdul Kadir - MDEC

Photo - MDEC Vice President (Growth Development Ecosystem) Norhizam Abdul Kadir

"We've made the MSC Malaysia Bill of Guarantees applicable to startups within Digital Hubs," he said. "We're also working with Microsoft and with Alibaba to provide technology support."

"In addition, we're working with NEXT Academy and Y Academy to provide talent development, which is really about reskilling and upskilling graduates and startup founders themselves. We want to ensure that when they grow their companies, they will able to grow themselves and have similar competencies."

Disruption the name of the game

Recently, MDEC's chief executive officer Dato' Yasmin Mahmood talked with Computerworld Malaysia about some of the government's proactive strategies to meet digital disruption across different sectors including corporate and civilian sectors.

She said that despite the current fragile global operating environment, many industry leaders have already pointed to disruption as a major driver that is feeding the growth of the local ICT industry.

"All sectors of business and civil life in Malaysia must act on the challenge to either - disrupt or be disrupted," Yasmin said in the preamble. "Disruption is inevitable and unstoppable, and should be embraced rather than feared if the Digital Economy is to move forward."


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