Category Archives: Malaysia Company

Malaysia Company

ConcreteJungle #37 : Evolve Skateboards Asia

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All he wanted was a simple mode of transport to move around his housing area, what he ended up with was a distributorship for Evolve electronic skateboards in Asia. Brian Wong shares his story from being the finance specialist for Catcha; to his passion for electronic skateboards.
Continue reading ConcreteJungle #37 : Evolve Skateboards Asia

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Series! Part 1!

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Series Interview Campaign! Part 1


(A) Getting to know The Start-Up Entrepreneur

Choong KarFai1. Tell us more about yourself – Who are you, what do you do, what are your qualifications (If any) and what have made you into the successful entrepreneur that you are today?

My name is Choong Kar Fai. I obtained my Bachelor of Mathematics (Information Systems) from University of Waterloo and MBA(Entrepreneurship) from University of Louisville. I wouldn’t say I am a successful entrepreneur(just yet) but I hope to be one in the very near future. I would attribute my success to positive thinking and passion. I am running 2 related companies, one of which is a MSC awarded company.

2. Why did you get started on this path towards building your own business?

I have always been techy and I have always taken pride in the solutions I provide, especially system related solutions. My passion to use technology to enhance or change lives the way Apple does it. This has been one of the reasons I started my own business.

3. Was there any inspiration or anyone who inspired you to pursue your dream to become an entrepreneur today?

As cliché as it may sound, Steve Jobs certainly was an inspiration. My father is also my inspiration, he built his business by sheer hardwork.

4. In your experience, what are the 3 Winning Traits that Entrepreneurs should possess when they start their business?

Passion, Hardwork and Persistence


(B) Getting to know about The Start-Up

Omniphics1. Tell us more about Your Company – What have you built? What is your product or service to your customers? What is your track-record so far?

We have a few solutions namely OunchKiosk (interactive info kiosk with swipe gestures), OunchKIT (platform that keeps relevant information together), OunchScreen (Screens that play video and slide show concurrently), OunchTag (QRcodes and nfc enabled tag) and OunchScan (QR code reader on iOS). All these Ounch Solutions may seem isolated but they are inter-connected and there is a purpose of it when the time comes. I have tractions for all the solutions mentioned, some of my clients are from Singapore.

2. Why did you decide to go into this business? Is it because it is a lucrative market? Is it a Blue Ocean which your talents and expertise through your business can provide?

I saw a need and I endeavoured to meet the need, that’s how I decided to go into this business. It is definitely more of the blue ocean where there is a gap in that our talents and expertise can meet the need.

3. Please share with us, when you established your organization during its early days – How did you fund it? Any tips on raising the funds? Any tips on convincing investors?

It was from my savings and I was fortunate to have some financial backing from my family. There are many avenues to obtain funding such as MDeC’s grant and Cradle Funds, etc.

4. Where do you see your business growing into, for the next 5 to 10 years?

I hope that my solutions will be widely adopted by businesses and end-users, not just in Malaysia but globally. Maybe Google will take notice and we get acquired… ;)

5. What is your vision for the industry that you are in? Do you see a trend coming up that your business can capitalize?

Smartphones penetration is increasing at an alarming rate. Mobile internet is touted to overtake desktop internet in the coming years. These are all in line with my business solutions.

To be continued… The Start-up Entrepreneur Part 2


The story of how “Burger Bakar Abang Burn restaurant” became one of the Malaysia’s Fastest Growing Food Chain Business!

“We are in the business of selling happiness” that is one of the mantra of the Abang Burn team. Creating a tasty meat product is their forte but to sell it is successfully to the consumers is the most challenging. In short, it’s about how to ensure your consumers love your brand in the long run. Burger Bakar Abang Burn (BBAB), one of the Malaysia’s fastest growing food chain, had always strive towards this goal. Starting with only three employees, the brand today have successfully generated 200++ jobs in just a single year.

Everyone knows that Labour Day is a public holiday but not for Abang Burn’s team as that was the day the team pulled together their might to start the business.

In this interview, at Taman Melawati Kuala Lumpur, Nurul Izwanie Hashim, PR Executive for “ Burger Bakar Abang Burn ” (BBAB) shared the experience gained from the very beginning and how the idea of licensing / franchising started.

Abang Burn

How did Abang Burn’s became one of the Malaysia’s fastest growing food chain?

Michael Teoh: How did Abang Burn begin?

Nurul Izwanie : Abang Burn learnt the art of creating burgers from Australia. During his time in Australia, he got to be familiar with many kinds of meat processing techniques and butchery. Abang Burn created a meat shop in Malaysia but it was unsuccessful and eventually closed its doors. Meat shop was not successful as many ordinary Malaysians at that time preferred to purchase meat at the wet market and hypermarkets. He later applied his knowledge in the Burger Bakar industry and the brand gained prominence.


Michael Teoh: Where is the first outlet of Abang Burn situated and how Abang Burn find this place attractive?

Nurul Izwanie : Abang Burn’s first outlet is at Dagang Avenue Food court, Ampang. Why foodcourt? A food court has a stable amount of visitors. For a new brand like Abang Burn, this is actually an excellent market positioning to attract existing food court visitors to try the burgers. At this time we do not have a high marketing budget and we had to rely on existing market to achieve positive cashflow. And why Abang does not start with a restaurant? The reason is that majority Malaysians would most likely purchase a grilled burger from a kiosk because it is deemed unique to our youth market segment. You can get grilled burgers at TGI Fridays, Tony Romas, etc.

 burn crew

Michael Teoh: What are the core factors that help Abang Burn to have 14 outlets in a year?

Nurul Izwanie: “Cepat, Sedap & Servis Terbaik”. That is our operational core principles for our frontliners in our kiosks and restaurants. All our methods are integrated to achieve speed. We calculated every single second along our assembly lines and segregated into 3 main tasks; “just do, think and do, analyze, think and do”. If our crew could only “just do” without thinking and analyzing then our burgers would be processed faster by the crew. We also believe in crew ownership and “efficiency wage” advocated by Henry Ford. Our crew is given cash incentive for teamwork performed based on daily sales. If the kiosk manages to earn RM 5,000 sales a day, the staff would get RM 20 each. Calculate this into 26 working days and they would earn an extra RM 520 not including overtime and meals. Our crew in a performing outlet could earn as much as RM 2k and our supervisors could earn as much as RM 3k.

In terms of the management system, we are proudly built by cloud computing. We utilize cloud computing applications for our accounting, Enterprise Resource Planning, project management, quality control forms email and document management system. For example, we are able to cut down the processing time for quality audit at our kiosks from 2 days to instant report with the help of cloud computing. It has greatly accelerated our decision making and hence our infrastructure in terms of outlet expansion.

We are also strict on our licensees. We have received tremendous amount of application for license or franchise. However, we only select based on a licensee’s character, leadership abilities, multi-tasking skills and commitment to engage in the business on a full time basis. We have managed to assist 5 of our licensees to achieve full return on investment after a period of only 3-6 months. While all businesses need at least 3 years for return on investment, we are proud of our achievement but it always goes back to the character of our licensee and their attitude in terms of our Standard Operating Procedure compliance. Our products requisition is also performed centrally at Shah Alam and this ensures consistency for all the burgers sold at our outlets.

Abang Burn

Michael Teoh: What inspires Abang Burn to be better than other food franchising business?

Nurul Izwanie: We always put blessings in our mind and it will be adapted to all business dealings. Despite the licensees sharing the risk by allocating their capital to run the business, we always believe that it is our main responsibility as a licensor to ensure that all our licensees achieve the Return On Investment (ROI). No one would be happy when a business is not profitable and that is the reason why we are extremely strict on who is our licensee. People measure profit in its entirely, we measure happiness as our blessings for our both of customers and licensees / franchisees.


Michael Teoh: What are some goals that Abang Burn still trying to accomplish?

Nurul Izwanie: We want to be a brand loved by Malaysians. It’s not about Burger Bakar but about selling happiness through abang burn. So, in order to accomplish this goal, we have to always bear in mind that we must be aware with the customers’happiness. We believe our work is an ibadah. There is a saying that a smile is considered sadaqa and for ourselves we consider giving happiness to customers as more than sadaqa. We are always in constant pursuit of blessings for our afterlife. We do are not looking for profit maximization, we are looking to accomplish blessings maximization.

The article is contributed by Nurul Izwanie, the representative from Abang Burn Marketing Department. 

10 Cool & Enterprising Companies to Work in Malaysia

This list of 10 cool & enterprising companies to work in Malaysia comes from Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employer survey. The survey barometer is conducted by Trendence institute from Germany. It is one of Europe’s leading consultancies on employer branding and recruitment research. It specializes in impartial empirical research into the career perspectives and expectations of students looking at their first career steps.

Looking for benefits to work in Malaysia

The survey conducted in 2012 secured the participation of over 12,000 Malaysian students and fresh graduates.

This comprised mostly of students studying locally and also students studying abroad that want to work in Malaysia. The survey took about 20 minutes to half an hour to complete.

Sections covered in this survey included work expectations, working environment, remuneration and benefits, in order to gauge what the current generation of young employees seek. By understanding this, employers are able to develop methods to attract young talents to work in Malaysia and decrease the high turnover rate among employees. And the arguments of the top 10 cool & enterprising companies are:

Price Waterhouse Coopers
1. Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

PwC has proven its worth by bagging this title as well as being the winner for the accounting and professional services sector of this survey for the fourth time. PwC attributes its win to the fact that it understands Gen Y employees. Effort is also made on the social media platform to tap the fullest of the Gen Y. As a fresh recruit at PwC, you are in for an ocean of knowledge and experience and this organisation, which hires between 200 and 300 fresh graduates a year, offers valuable lessons on career development and you get the fantastic opportunity to experience an array of PwC network from the start. PwC leaders take the time to actively mentor Gen Y student groups and collaborate with them on various activities. Having been an integral part in the growth and progress of Malaysia since 1900, PwC Malaysia works with global companies and grows businesses, public sector entities and local companies, providing industry-focused assurance, and tax and advisory services with the aim to be consistent in its services.  What made PwC won this ranking, is truly owed to the small things like understanding employees difficulties to work in Malaysia and generously provide the much needed guidance.

Ernst & Young
2. Ernst & Young (E&Y)

Ernst & Young is an organisation that takes pride in its leading people culture which celebrates integrity, embraces diversity and rewards quality. It upholds its people values of integrity, respect and collaboration, and ensures that its employees are provided opportunities to achieve their full potential on the professional and personal fronts. Ernst & Young attributes its success at the M100 awards to the fact that it encourages its people to be themselves and helps them tap their full potential, both professionally and personally. It does not just recruit the best talent, but also facilitates continuous learning and development opportunities that enable its employees to widen their horizons and grow in their careers. Ernst & Young believes in engaging with young, aspiring professionals, sharing with them how it functions as well as providing them the knowledge and skills to succeed in this profession. Fresh graduates who wants to work in Malaysia by starting a career at Ernst & Young can expect to move into a senior role within two years, if their performance record meets with the high expectations of the firm. All these provide valuable opportunities for young professionals to shoulder key responsibilities in the early stages of their career, and offer them the chance to enhance their skills in communication, people management and project management. Ernst & Young leaders also play an active role in mentoring and coaching its people towards taking ownership of their own career development. Ernst & Young hires more than 400 graduates annually and offers internships to undergraduates, with the emphasis on quality rather than quantity.

3. Maybank

Maybank grew from time to time, expanding not just it’s business but also in size of recruitment. It’s growth definitely highlights their overhauled reward system, which has undergone a significant change in the way it handles its businesses, staff and engagements with the various stakeholders. This involved executing initiatives in its mission to humanizing financial services by, amongst others, improving efficiency in customer service, a refresh on the corporate brand supported by branch transformation and an enhancement in people initiatives to drive towards a high performance culture. These approaches have resulted in stronger successes in its financial performance. It has also created higher levels of employee engagement and a respectful yet performance–oriented workplace climate which nurtures its employees for growth, embracing diversity and encouraging inclusiveness. Maybank has also taken on a revolutionary approach in recruitment where talents with diversified skills aside from academic excellence were employed. Very different indeed from their banking competitors. The bank has its own Global Maybank Apprentice Programme which is an on-the-job programme that runs for two years for young graduates. It gives newcomers the opportunity to explore and experience the different functions within an area of their choice through a structured on-the-job rotation that is inclusive of a three-month international assignment to encourage cross-border exposure and network among young talents. Maybank believes in work-life balance, thus offers many interesting chances for employees to have fun at work and foster unity amongst each other. A sure winner in the making over the years.

In a world where high performing professionals have a choice of where to grow their careers, KPMG stands out because the opportunities are limitless, even to work in Malaysia. A growing firm that provides professional development, challenging work, and meaningful relationships – your experience at KPMG will have an impact on your career success like no other. Perhaps the winner for KPMG is the buddy system, where experienced auditors will allow juniors to shadow them at client’s location and then perform a back-end analysis of their reports. Such experience will definitely provide immediate insights to great work delivered at top notch quality.  As part of a global network of more than 152,000 employees in 156 countries/territories around the world, KPMG’s international influence provides a world of opportunities for you to gain valuable skills and grow ones’ career.

air asia
5. AirAsia

Uniquely as a low-cost airline, this company certainly shows great courage in empowering employees to love them. Even justifying the reasons to work for AirAsia is simply an interesting one. Humbly saying that they are not famous, but world-famous, means getting international exposure for your career and that secret lust for recognition and being able to say “I work in AirAsia” anywhere in the world is quite liberating itself. With an open concept in almost everything, AirAsia staffs has the freedom to develop their own ideas and take charge. Everyone also shares the same open space, all bosses and departments eat and hang out together. Much of AirAsia’s success stems from the work culture, which stresses innovation underpined by a culture of openness and a never-say-die attitude. Nevermind the benefits that an airline company can offer, cabin crews are pushed to develop their own personality, instead of conforming to preconceived notions about their role, resulting in a relaxed onboard environment. Some other interesting facts about AirAsia work philosophies found here. For one that wants to work in Malaysia, this can really be an interesting company to start with.

6. Apple

An international brand company that has clinched a strong position amongst places to work in Malaysia because of it’s American counterpart influence. Apple is very quickly seen as a free-will and innovative company that will create ripples for designer-seeking employees. It oozes the need to show off that latest trend or in-thing as employees flock to try their luck even at the lowest of positions. Internationally, Apple offers quite simple but handsome reward as seen here. The passing of Steve Jobs, doesn’t stop the company from moving forward with its global plans as Tim Cook unveiled new employee benefits which includes US$500 discounts on purchases of new Macs and US$250 discounts on purchases of a new iPad. Not too sure if that would work in Malaysia but at least one has that bragging rights of working in Apple.

7. CIMB Group

CIMB is the one of largest investment banks in Southeast Asia and the second largest financial services group in Malaysia. With operations in 13 countries and over 40,000 staff regionally, CIMB offers a regional work experience. CIMB’s compensation programme revolve around ensuring rewarding and recognizing employees through competitive rewards package that is well balanced between fixed and variable compensation elements. C.I.M.B. Plan or [email protected],also known as Choice In My Benefit, is a flexible benefit scheme which allows employees to tailor benefits provided by the Company to suit their personal needs. The employees can vary their benefits ranging from healthcare to insurance.Management views this flexi-plan as a step forward to attract the right talents and to retain its current employees. CIMB Group won the “Graduate Employers Award – Banking & Financial Services sector” presented by the Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers 2009 publication. The bank was named“Malaysia’s Most Caring Employer”by the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resource in 2011.

8. Petronas

Petronas or Petroliam Nasional Berhad is the only Malaysian company that is ranked among Fortune 500’s largest corporations in the world. Founded in 1974, Petronas has a presence in 31 countries with a work force of more than 40,000. Petronas is considered one of the best managed companies that one could work for in Malaysia. Petronas employees are provided ample opportunities to showcase their talents and skills. Their total reward package is competitive with the other industry players. The company is known to provide for the well-being of employees and their families, in the form of comprehensive health care coverage, including maternity benefits,life insurance, staff care services and recreational programmes.

9. Deloitte

There are many benefits that come with working in Deloitte Malaysia. The organization offers benefit programs aimed at helping you to better manage your lifestyle needs and to reward you for being part of a world-class team. Deloitte understands that your personal life and your professional life deserve an equal amount of attention. That’s why they consider every aspect of your life and provide a comprehensive array of benefits that can help to provide balance and flexibility. According to certain arguments among the Big 4 consulting firms, Deloitte looks to be paying the right dollar but looses out on the promotional factor. Perhaps a better approach to this is to start working in Malaysia for Deloitte and later re-align your focus in other consulting firms.

public bank
10. Public Bank

As one of the biggest and stable bank in Malaysia, no doubt it manages to climb up the ranks quickly. Public Bank believes that once you work for them, you are not just part of a leading financial institution but have entered a corporate zone where “the care for their employees” gets serious and active attention from the Senior Management. Its promotion is strictly performance-based, and has preference for home-grown talent (Malaysians), where statistically speaking, above 90% of middle-level and senior management staff hail from within the ranks. To live-up to the Bank’s reputation as a “Caring Employer of Choice”,  it has drawn up a wide spectrum of holistic programmes to value-add to staff’s quality of life and well-being such as a conducive and comfortable working environment to facilitate optimum productivity, staff and their immediate family are also provided with a comprehensive medical benefit scheme, structured in-house classroom training, external courses/seminars, outdoor character/team building as well as interactive training, sponsorship for staff to pursue various relevant certification programmes and awarding incentives upon staff’s attainment of work-related qualifications, and not forgetting the remunerations that are competitive among its competitors and rewards for long service staffs.

Interestingly, 4 consulting firms dominate the Top 10 Cool & Enterprising Companies to work in Malaysia. They have all demonstrated thorough studies on what the new generations are looking for in a company. You can read more on the rankings for other companies in Malaysia here.

Job boards are a graveyard

I’m at a university. It’s career day. Student after student are telling me they hear nothing from hirers after applying on job boards. It’s like a Bermudas Triangle for resumes. I start to understand their apathy is with finding work, and not the work itself.

Sometimes when you’re looking to hire talent, it might help to know the problems potential employees face with the hiring process, and fix that.

Job boards
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Can you stand out as a hirer from Job Boards?

I wonder if you want to stand out as a hirer, why not reply to each candidate personally… I understand your problem with that suggestion. Job boards have made it incredibly easy for the click generation to click their resumes over to you. So easy, you’re unsure if the applicant actually read the job description, and it’s all becoming a bit spammy.

However, from our surveys only 1 in 5 hirers receive so many applicants that it’s difficult for them to respond to each personally. Meaning most talent paused long enough to express their intention to join a company, and thought they had the skills for it.

I see this phase of the hiring process as an opportunity for hirers to build brand awareness with potential employees, and as a possible stepping stone to their social network.

Direct them to a video of your company’s culture and make it easy for them to share it on Facebook, get them to answer an out the box question on Quora created by your employee, let them know if they didn’t make it to the candidate list or invite them to a Hackathon event where they get to meet your employees.

Give them a call to action after applying. At least they know you’re alive even if job boards’ are a graveyard.

job boards
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Devan Singaram is hacking the hiring code with his team at, and will be sharing his insights here, at nextupasia.

14 Successful Malay Entrepreneurs in Malaysia

Malaysia holds a strong Malay population of 70% and that certainly contributes a large pool of malay entrepreneurs throughout the years even before she gained independence. With the destitute of entrepreneurial references or lessons, the Malay entrepreneurs very quickly studied and learnt trading from various global traders that landed on the shores of Malaya. The list below is non-bias and not in any particular order.

Continue reading 14 Successful Malay Entrepreneurs in Malaysia

World’s Biggest Hackathon Competition comes to Kuala Lumpur this 8th of June

Hackathon Competition – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  — 1337 Ventures, VLT and Founder Institute


Malaysia are excited to bring AngelHack, the world’s biggest hackathon competition, to Kuala Lumpur. The two-day competition will take place on the 8th of June 2013 at 1337 Accelerator in MSC Malaysia’s Knowledge Workers Development Centre in Cyberjaya. Sponsors include Google, PayPal, Amazon, Blackberry, Facebook, 1337 Ventures and VLT, all looking to support and develop KL’s growing startup community.

Photo Credit:
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World’s Biggest Hackathon Competition

AngelHack’s winning team will join the AngelHack Accelerator program; winning flights, lodging and mentorship to turn their hack into an investment-grade startup. As part of the program, the team will receive mentoring post-hackathon, and two members of the team will be flown into Silicon Valley on the 1st of September for a 10-day stay. During their stay, they will get to demo their product, raise investment, and attend TechCrunch Disrupt. Teams also stand the chance to win other prizes, including the latest Android devices, hotel stays, AWS credits, API prizes and more.

Previous AngelHack winners have gone on to attend famous incubators, including YCombinator, TechStars, AngelPad, MassChallenge and 500 Startups, and have also received attention from big players in the industry. For instance, last year’s AngelHack Toronto winner, received an US$80,000 investment from Microsoft. To learn more about AngelHack KL, to signup as a hacker, volunteer, or sponsor go to:


About AngelHack
AngelHack organizes hackathon competitions for web developers and entrepreneurs, called AngelHacks. At an AngelHack event developers can learn developer tools, meet new friends, and receive funding and mentorship for their startup ideas. In 2013, AngelHack will organize 100 hackathons, bringing together 10,000+ developers in 50+ cities. Winners from every city are put through the AngelHack Accelerator Program, where they receive 12 weeks of mentorship then flown to the SiliconValley to raise investment and meet Silicon Valley elite. Previous winners have gone on to attend YCombinator, AngelPad, TechStars, 500 Startups, and incubators around the world.

If you’d like more information about this topic, please contact Jessica Smith at [email protected] or take a look at these articles:

Thriving Business in Malaysia

Doing Business in Malaysia is neither an easy feat nor a difficult ordeal as it is rich in natural resources, bi-lateral ties with neighboring countries and great business leaders. Malaysia ranks 18th in the upper-income economy from a survey in 2012 and World Economic Forum competitiveness ranking of 21st. Thanks to plenty of business resources that could help ensure that entrepreneurs are on the right track to starting and making it a big business in Malaysia. Is Malaysia gearing on being an industrious challenger or does she depend solely on her natural resources? Let’s look at the businesses in Malaysia that helped her build a reputation as the Asian Tiger once upon a time. Continue reading Thriving Business in Malaysia