With the new spike of COVID cases, local businesses will be going through yet another round of uncertainty.
If you’re looking for ways to improve yourself as an entrepreneur or a business owner, or to see how other businesses are innovating themselves, MaGIC (The Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre) is running this year’s E-Nation starting from October 20 to 23.
Update 23/10: If you’ve missed out on attending the sessions, you can still access them all after registering here. Do note that you’ll have to register for the event, and also for Whova to watch the sessions.
This year’s E-Nation will be held virtually and it is completely free to join.
E-Nation is a platform for startups, thought leaders, social enterprises, policymakers and leading corporates to share their learnings and skills on how businesses can operate sustainably during the COVID-19 period.
“This year’s theme, Propelling a Resilient Economy with three pillars—Embracing Change, Enabling Technology and Empowering Societies—apt given the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only impacted public health but induced a global recession.
COVID-19 has accelerated the need for innovation and created game-changing opportunities for the nation to bounce back and establish economic resilience via innovation and creativity.”
Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of MaGIC on this year’s E-Nation theme
The speakers this year range from ex-ministers to founders and directors, and they’ll be sharing some of their discoveries or thoughts on building a sustainable business.
Here’s a quick lowdown on some of the talks that you can attend in this 4-day event.
The pandemic has left many businesses struggling to find customers, especially for physical businesses.
One of the speakers, Wai Hong Fong, the chieftain and co-founder of StoreHub built an innovative solution to help F&B businesses continue servicing its customers.
After the announcement of the first MCO back in March, his team worked to create a solution for F&B businesses to go online, called Beep Delivery. This enables local offline businesses like hawker stalls and mum-and-pop businesses to reach out to new customers.
By doing so, StoreHub managed to reach new customers as well and added to the number of F&B businesses under their care.
Along with Wai Hong, Lennise Ng, the co-founder of Dropee and Ang Xing Xian, the co-founder of CapBay will also be sharing their thoughts on how to speed up innovation.
Dzuleira Abu Bakar, the CEO of MaGIC gave her input on agility. “Capitalise on problems—therein lies opportunities. A problem worth solving is literally worth a million dollars of investment.”
There will also be a panel on how a few startups managed to toughen up and survive from the challenges imposed upon them.
They’re also looking to share how other startups can prepare themselves better for the next uncertain period.
One of the panellists, Wong Whei Meng, the founder and CEO of Speedhome had to overcome a challenge that threatened his entire business.
Speedhome’s original business model contravened Malaysia Act 242, which meant that only licensed property agents could collect fees from property transactions. The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA) ended up sending a cease and desist letter to Speedhome.
Because of that, they had to pivot and change their business model, all within a month.
“At that time, we were devastated and we didn’t know what to do. But in understanding the act, it allows us to know what are the technicalities in regulation and be better prepared for it,” said Whei Meng.
He said that a lot of the acts in Malaysia are outdated as they don’t reflect the current business environment where technology plays a big part in our lives. With their quick innovation, the business was able to stay operational.
He’ll also be joined by Yuet Kim Lim, the CEO and co-founder of PichaEats, Ashwin Jeyapalasingam, the co-founder and COO of CatchThatBus.com, and the panel will be moderated by Aaron Sama, a General Partner of Scaleup Malaysia.
One of the more star-studded talks, MaGIC also gathered ministers from all over the world to share how other nations are utilising tech to thrive.
Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation will be sharing his thoughts along with Fleur Pellerin, the founder of Korelya Capital and the former minister for SMEs, Innovation and Digital Economy of France.
They’re also joined by two other ministers, Nadiem Anwar Makarim, the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia and Ed Vaizey, the former Minister of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries of the United Kingdom.
So if you’re interested to see a more big picture approach to how other countries are strategising to build thriving nations, this is a talk you’ll have to tune in to.
There will also be talks on how tech innovation can be used to better society, along with panels on how impact-driven businesses are more in the limelight now that the investment spectrum has evolved.
The speakers will also be sharing how a business can utilise the capital to create value beyond just a shareholder’s return, but one that can benefit the society and future generations.
Hazwan Najib, the co-founder and Director of DoctorOnCall will be speaking on the importance of a business to be innovative and creative in problem-solving.
“It is not just crucial, but a MUST for a business to be creative in problem-solving. Small businesses and startups are working with limited funding and resources. They can’t afford to find the easy way out to solve problems,” said Hazwan.
He’ll be joined by Lily Denqishen, the founder and CEO of TrashWarrior, along with Ganesh Muren, the co-founder and CEO of Saora Industries.
Their panel will also be moderated by Dr Melissa Foo, the Vice President of Malaysian Business Angel Network.
Because MaGIC understands that a business needs to be innovative now, they wish that E-Nation will help and inspire everyone to embrace change to ensure that a business will grow sustainably.
Dzuleira said: “There are lessons to be learnt from the global health crisis. It is important that we look at it in positive ways, to learn, adapt and pivot.”
So if you’re interested in learning more on how you can utilise innovation to keep your business alive during this critical period or you just want to learn from the entrepreneurs in the same industry, sign up for E-Nation now.