Recently The Star featured a story about a very interesting company, a USB Drive company, based in Taiwan. That company name is Phison Electronics Corp and it is a public listed company in Taiwan that is valued at Rm 4.3 Billion. This company was started by Pua Khein Seng who hails from Selangor. This 35 year old graduate from National Chiao Tung University worked part time support himself while he was still a student.
There is a new reign in Malaysia. Najib is now the new Prime Minister and he has his own ideas how to shape Malaysia.
So when it came to his new cabinet, Najib decided that the Kementerian Pembangunan Ushawan dan Koperasi otherwise known MeCD is no longer relevant as a stand alone ministry.
Najib moved most of the responsibilities and its agencies directly under the Prime Minister department.
Its former minister Noh bin Haji Omar has taken over as the Minister Of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries and GEW Malaysia patron and former MeCD deputy miniter, Saifuddin bin Abdullah is now the new deputy Minister of Higher Education.
On a recent launch of the Cambridge Advance Diploma in Entrepreneurship. Dato Saifuddin said that his current role in shaping the higher education system in Malaysia is perfect to cultivate an entrepreneurial culture among students in Universities and Colleges. Even with his new portfolio, his aim is still the same.
He also joked he was instrumental for the closing of MeCD as it was the same as the Ministry of IT in India. The Ministry of IT India was established after India is strong in IT as was the same case Malaysian is strong in entrepreneurship.
Joke aside, I do believe that as a whole, Malaysians have the entrepreneurial spirit and regardless what new incarnation of the ministry, we will still be pushing forward. We can only hope, that the new ministers truly believe in the development of entrepreneurs and not just give good lip service.
< continued from " The Importance of Branding In A Crisis ..part 1”
For entrepreneurs, its time to invest into branding your products during the downturn.
Firstly, it would protect your brand image and your company. Brand recall will make you stand out from your competitors while they are slashing budgets, giving you an edge over the rest of the pack.
Build innovation and creativity in your delivery of products. Increase market share by reminding your customers that you are still present in the marketplace and that your products are highly demanded and not so much affected by the slowdown. Expand to new market niches by identifying new market demand. Wake up from moaning and groaning with other fellow entrepreneurs about how the government is not doing enough to help SMEs to survive this current economic turmoil.
As a versatile entrepreneur, it’s time to address the key issues that has been plaguing your company. If you are in the service sector, build branding by investing more into employee’s training and development. Groom them to provide better customer service, which in turns enhance customer experience when they walk into your store. Be proactive and look for innovative ways to create individuality and treat your customer like a KING when they walk into your store or buy your product.
Malaysian’s retail buying experience is hardly a pleasure with constant staff turn over rate being a norm in the industry. By branding your store with good customer service you would create repeat customer who don’t mind spending a bit, to make themselves feel good for the brief moment.
Organizational behaviour and company culture also plays a part in branding. Brand building by a SME is successful only when the company’s founders have a strong clarity in their purpose statement and cultivate a clear set of value system. The founder’s passion for the business is mirrored deeply through their staff and stakeholders. Positive energy is infectious and would determine the motivation level of the employees.
Strong brands are normally built over the long term and through consistent message conveyed to the public. The importance of branding has not faded in view of the global economic crisis. If anything, it has increased. With the recent bad publicity given to once upon blue chip companies such as AIG and Citigroup, competitors need to seize this opportunity to instil a sense of confidence and value in the products and services they offer.
Research has showed that trust can’t be instilled overnight, but takes a long period of time. If your company or founders has been awarded brand recognition or industry standard awards, now is the best time to advertise that fact to the public.
Be it from a local or global perspective, branding has many positive attributes to it. What’s essential now is for you as an entrepreneur to recnognize this fact and invest a minimal percentage of your sales into branding and promotions. Warren Buffett once said ” Be greedy when everyone is afraid…..Be afraid when everyone else is greedy”.
If you are into event organizing the online world has make it really easy to market your events.
It allows you to zero in on your target at their popular hangout locations.
For those entrepreneurs have been to the first BarCamp Malaysia, Start-up camp, BarCamp JB and more? Here are some techniques we used to create a whole buzz about our community events.
1. Facebook Events Invite.
Facebook events page a great tools to get people to sign up or at least take notice of your events.
Just Invite your friends and this allows your friends to share with their friends over their Facebook Feed.
People with similar interest will take notice of the event and find out more themselves.
2. Twitter Hashtags.
Twitter is a really simple messaging tool that has become a whole lot more for its users. Adding the character “#” to the front of the keyword. For example to track the whole BarCampKL, we are gonna use #barcampkl when we are referring anything barcampkl related tweets.
3. Embedded Badges
It is also very effective to allow attendees or supporters of your events to post up badges at their own site to promote the event.
Make it easy from them to cute an paste some codes from your site without needing them to upload the pictures themselves. Below are some of the BarCampKL examples.
4. Blogger’s Kit
You might have heard of press kit for Media and a blogger’s kit is essentially the same idea. You have a write up of the events, images, stats and how would you like to be linked back.
A good example would be write up we set up for BarCampKL and this will be sent to bloggers.
Remember bloggers would no need to follow everything word by word but it helps to provide something they can cut and paste.
We hope you learn something about marketing your events online and if you want to practice, help the community spread the word out of BarCampKL on this 4th and 5th April 2009 in Inti Subang and remember to register yourself.
For web2.0 marketing tips we will do a session in BarCampKL.
SMIDEC and Brand Association Malaysia will be organizing a conference for SMI/SME in Malaysia about Branding.
Speakers such as the founder of Lim Kok Wing University and Steven Sim of Secret Recipes fame will be among the noteable speakers.
Priced ar RM 500, it will be held inPalace of the Golden Horses.
Date : 2nd March 2009
Venue : Palace of the Golden Horses, Kuala Lumpur
Time : 7.30am – 5.00pm
Admission Fee : Full Registration Fee
RM500 per pax
Special Group Discount
(for 5 pax and above)
RM400 per pax
Fill in the form below to sign up
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 15 Feb 09
SEACEM, ChangeFusion and Freevoice are accepting applications for “ASEAN E-Media Startups Competition”
The goal is to identify e-media startups in ASEAN that innovatively bring independent news & views with financial sustainability in order to significantly enhance freedom of expression, openness and political & economic liberty in the region. The finalists will be invited to the capacity building workshop to sharpen their business plans, the output of the workshop will be rated and the winners will receive incubation supports as well as USD 10,000 equity-like loan for seed/startup fund per venture.
● Internet-based independent media startups in ASEAN focusing with mininum 6 months of existence.
● Demonstrating measurable and scalable social social impact.
● Example; News site, bloggers network, video podcasting and other innovative models using new media tools such as twitter and feeds.
Key Selection Criteria
● Social impact
● Financial sustainability
Please submit your short online application form no later than 15 Feb 2009 by clicking here , successful applications will be asked to submit more information at the later stage.
KUALA LUMPUR: The next year will see the development of a new MSC flagship application, the Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) announced.
The custodian of the MSC-Malaysia initiative has been tasked to develop a flagship application dedicated to developing the agriculture industry next year.
Although the project is still under wraps, MDeC chief executive officer, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the Agriculture Minister is expected to announce the purpose and development of the new flagship application next month.
“It’s going to be simple but it’s going to take a lot of work,” he said at a media luncheon here recently.
Badlisham added that the new flagship application will have a national benefit instead of being just another computer project.
“The Government is pushing agriculture not only from an employment perspective but also from a food security perspective,” Badlisham explained. He also said that MDeC will be working with applied research body, Mimos Bhd to develop the project.
Earlier this year, Mimos announced an agricultural grid solution using precision agriculture technology to help farmers monitor their crops.
MDeC is expected to work on the new flagship application between next year and 2010.
MDeC will also put more emphasis on creative content development next year.
Badlisham said the explosion of content delivery devices such as mobile devices and the Internet has driven the demand for content, Badlisham said.
“MDeC sees this as an opportunity to develop the local creative content industry,” he added.
Badlisham also said that MDeC plans to collaborate with foreign broadcasters in a bid to open new markets for local creative content.
“The local market is small so we need to export these content to a wider audience,” he said, adding that MDeC will not only have approaches to introduce local content developers to potential markets but also open new markets for them.
One soon-to-be-announced approach is a collaboration between MDeC and a province in China to allow selected Malaysian content to be aired in there.
Badlisham said the revenue sharing model will also be tweaked to favour local content developers over broadcasters.
“The developer will receive a huge chunk of the profit instead of the broadcaster, and I believe this will help encourage the development of local content,” he explained.
The cautiously optimistic Badlisham also said the gloomy economic outlook will not hamper MDeC’s plans for creative content development next year.
“It isn’t the end of the world. People will still surf the Internet and watch TV,” he said.
MYE: From the report, it seem there will be more grants and softloans in terms of agriculture based technology.
It has been a long time coming but there is finally a book that protrays the local heroes in the technology scenes. It took over 10 months for Oon Yeoh and the folks at Technopreneurs Association Malaysia (TeAM) to come out with the book “Go For Broke”
What with the title you might ask? According to TeAM President Stephen Chia and also one of the technopreneur featured in the book. “That you have find out from reading the book.”
Apparently it was mention by one of the technopreneurs that they don’t really have any safety net and basically they were going for broke. The name just stuck since then.
Oon mention in his speech, that one of the reason why he is so attracted to this project is the chance to promote local hereos as that really will inspire the next generations to take the chance.
“Local heroes are crucial as it inspire people around.”
The book covers a wide variety of technopreneurs such as Chris Chan of TMS, William Du, Ganesh of M.O.L. Access Portal and the always vocal Harres Tan. One thing which is noted, most of these “technopreneurs” are not from the tech background. (Eg. Chris Chan has a degree in Music. ) They all believed in the vision of thhe MSC and thus decided to leave their comfort zone and venture into what was back then the total unknown.