Advocating Malaysia’s technology and innovation progress - Dzuleira Abu Bakar

January 27, 2021

In conjunction with our sister publication’s 2021 annual issue, BusinessToday will be featuring content that was published in the issue. We have compiled a list Local Personalities of The Year to highlight their achievement and milestones in the tech and startup field through their role.

Featured here is Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC)

Nothing says a Malaysian born and bred compatriot like Dzuleira Abu Bakar: a Malaysian grown professional woman, decorated with degrees in law and management from prestigious Malaysian universities. Being a strong woman who values her time, she spends it with her family, reading and enjoys being active by running.

With 17 years of experience across various industries with positions both in the private sector and GLIC/GLCs, Dzuleira started her career in the early 2000s and now carries with her the vast expertise on private equity and venture capitalism to work on the next big thing: Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

In her years of venture capital career, she has evaluated countless deals and invested in many Malaysian and regional companies. In her current role, Dzuleira weaves these pieces of knowledge through MaGIC’s entrepreneurial programmes such as ASEAN Centre of Entrepreneurship (ACE), MyStartup Hub, and the recently completed award-winning Global Accelerator Programme (GAP).

Dzuleira brings a sense of leadership on the startup and social innovation front at MaGIC to enhance Malaysia’s position on the global ecosystem stage, all strategize from her top-level position experiences working with the likes of  Cradle Seed Ventures, Usaha Tegas. Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad,

Being one of few prominent female CEOs in this country, Dzuleira sets a distinguished goal for all women and girls in Malaysia to pursue and evolve the standard definition of being a leader along with other great female role models in the region. She believes that this cycle of inspirational figures should continue on as how she is inspired by exemplary female leaders such as Michele Obama and Margaret Thatcher. As an advocate for women’s empowerment and equal gender opportunities in the workplace, she believes it is not an impossible feat for women to dominate in the workforce across any industries.

She is a strong advocate of technology and innovation and a strong believer that Science, Technology Innovation and Economy (STIE) is what Malaysia needs to turn the country into a high-income and high-tech society. With DSTIN 2021-2030 and the 10-10 MySTIE Framework announced by the Ministry, Malaysia will move to become a country that is creating technology or a technology maker and not only a producer of technology or technology. Dzuleira believes that this agenda provides an ecosystem for Malaysians to make full use of their innovation skills and allow our nation to move closer to being a knowledge-intensive economy by 2030.

This year, Dzuleira strives to impact more startups and social enterprises through the government’s PENJANA initiatives that includes the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) and Social Innovation Matching Grant (SIM Grant), both being led by MaGIC, with aims of making Malaysia an inclusive, high income and tech-driven nation.

Dzuleira also focuses on the mindset of being socially responsible and conscious for both business owners and consumers through a campaign called #BuyForImpact. The campaign aims to promote a socially conscious buying behaviour among the general public while encouraging more Malaysians to establish deeper connections with the social innovation ecosystem. The campaign, recently partnered with prominent giants such as Lazada, hopes to drive awareness and demand for goods and services offered by social enterprises. Dzuleira believes that everyone has an individualistic responsibility to be socially conscious about where their monies go and how it is being used in the supply and value chain. As she would put it: making an impact with every ringgit.

MaGIC has created impactful benefits in the entrepreneurial ecosystem under her stewardship. The government agency was able to secure 5 international partnerships with 11 startups that participated for market access to bring together the entrepreneurial ecosystem players in unison for long term national impact. In 2019, MaGIC had a total value creation of RM 409 million which includes RM 200,000 investment by Standard Chartered through the SEtia programme, and RM23 million value creation through the GAP programme.

100% of Social Enterprise from MaGIC’s Pemangkin Usahawan Sosial Hebat (PUSH) programme have completed Phase 1 and proceeded to Phase 2 while 22 social enterprises were accredited in realising an inclusive economy through the advancement and development of the social enterprise sector. RM150,000 in pilot project valuation was achieved under the MaGIC Activate programme, aiming to have more capital flow and develop new forms of funds channelled into startups.

Under her methodological leadership, she inspires MaGICians with her favourite quote by Steve Jobs, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” reminding those under her care to always stay true to oneself.

#Dzuleira, Dzuleira Abu Bakar