Digital Talent Series Powered by MDEC #MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

By Karamjit Singh

  • Take advantage of many govt incentives to take various digital skills courses
  • LinkedIn describes hiring demand as “very high” in Malaysia vs Indon and Phil

As so many employment trends have shown, for instance the 2020 LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Malaysia, the digital economy is already upon us and employers increasingly expect that the talent they hire, can use digital tools to augment their non-digital skills, be it in finance, supply chain, journalism, customer experience or manufacturing.

This was the impetus for the launch of a key new initiative by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the #MyDigitalWorkforce movement, which catalyses action from public and private sectors with the goal of re-skilling the Malaysian workforce for the rising number of roles being created in the country’s fast expanding digital economy.

#MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

“The MyDigitalWorkforce Movement is yet another initiative catalysed by MDEC in line with our focus on ensuring Malaysians are digitally-skilled for the rising number of job opportunities that require digital tech skills” says MDEC CEO, Surina Shukri (pic).

The urgency of this movement is magnified by the rising belief that the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will likely be K shaped. And you guessed it, the upper half of the K represents step opportunities for all those with the right skills sets to keep moving up in their careers.

These skill sets are increasingly represented by knowledge of and familiarity with applying various digital skills such as analytics, coding, digital marketing, content creation, AI, cybersecurity and cloud, to the existing foundation of skills.

Digital has become a critical subset of new skills that need to be combined with long existing traditional white and blue collar skills.

And, when the likes of Accenture, IBM and Amazon have publicly announced they are reskilling/upskilling significant portions of their workforce, then you know this is real and this is serious.

Being at the heart of Malaysia’s Digital Economy drive, MDEC is well aware of how important these new skills set need to be merged with long established blue and white collar careers. 

Recognising also that no one programme or initiative will meet the needs of all, a plethora of initiatives have been announced recently as part of the grand, and mostly virtual, #MyDigitalWorkforce Week, held during the Aug 24 to Aug 28 period.

With more than 60 webinars and training sessions on topics ranging from games, animation, software, cybersecurity and Global Business Services careers garnering close to 60,000 views, and more than 10,000 job applications submitted, the #MyDigitalworkforce Week was the largest and most comprehensive event organized around the rising importance for any talent, be they fresh graduates, current work force, the unemployed and even those looking to start their higher education, to also equip themselves with some manner of digital related skills to burnish their employability credentials – or to even help them rewrite their career story. This is especially relevant for those still in the early phase of their careers.

This was a point that came up during the kick-off panel session for #MyDigitalWorkforce Week when panelists advised participants to take advantage of the many government incentives to take various digital skills courses that reflect their interest and desire to be digitally savvy and in the process, redirect their career trajectory.#MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

But just don’t run off and sign yourself up for as many courses as you can handle in the hope that the more digital courses you have under your belt, the more attractive you will look to an employer. Derek Toh (pic, right), founder and CEO of job portal, WOBB, advices against that.

“Taking digital courses is a good place to start but the next step is to build a portfolio around the programmes you have taken. You need to show that you are genuinely interested in whatever digital courses you have taken.”

According to Toh, at interviews, employers are trying to figure out if the job seeker is really interested and has the right mindset for a digital role.

For Munirah Looi, CEO of Brandt International, a fast growing Global Business Services company, having the right problem solving mindset in her customer experience business is the topping on the cake but that cake has to come with all the right ingredients such as communications and English proficiency; digital interactions; tech literacy and savviness.

But CX or customer experience, which is what Munirah delivers to clients also demands critical thinking, she says. “You must be able take a structured approach to solving specific complex customer issues which do not have ready-made solutions.”

It may sound daunting but all these skills can be acquired, more so when one has the right mindset. The courses are already available, through various incentives offered by the government. And if you do not know where to look, one invaluable resource is the Digital Skills Training Directory, which serves as a reference point for industry-endorsed training programmes and mapped to in-demand career opportunities. For selected courses, Perkeso will fund up to RM4,000 per person per course for unemployed Malaysians who are subscribed to the Employment Insurance System as well as for new employees under the PENJANA Hiring Incentive and Training Programme.

Let’s Learn Digital campaign and the sweetener from Perkeso

One of the key programmes offered specially to unemployed Malaysians is MDEC’s Let’s Learn Digital campaign in partnership with Coursera. Launched in April, it offers free training and is valid until the end of 2020. Adding to the incentive here is that Perkeso will provide learning allowances for every 4 hours of training completed. This however is for qualifying members who subscribe to the Employment Insurance Scheme.

#MyDigitalWorkforce movement, catalyst for talent to get on the K shaped economic recovery

Darshini Natarajah (pic)

a former HR executive who has rejoined the job hunt since January, coming off a five year break to be a full time home maker, has relished the opportunity to take relevant online courses from the MDEC-Coursera partnership. The four courses she took, two on data science including one from Duke University, has helped her present a more current picture in her job hunt besides increasing her self confidence.

She is also practicing what Toh is talking about in building a portfolio, signing up for relevant digital courses next month, one of which is R programming.

She may not have landed a job yet but she is setting herself up for success by augmenting her HR skills with a digital overlay.

You will be mistaken for assuming that jobs are tough to come by in the current tough economic climate but guess what? Tech roles are still aplenty.  And remember that not all vacancies in tech roles demand technical knowledge.

A search of jobs on some leading recruitment sites in Malaysia for July reveals 21,700 vacancies with IT roles forming around 30% of the vacancies. To get a finger on the pulse of the current digital talent pool in Malaysia, LinkedIn data reveals there are almost 184,000 professionals in the digital sector (this includes a variety of non-tech sectors with digital roles such as telco, media, digital content) , with software engineers forming the largest category.

For a sense of the picture in Southeast Asia, LinkedIn reveals that there are 1.22 million professionals in the digital sector with Malaysian ranking behind Indonesia and the Philippines. What’s really interesting here though is that hiring demand is listed as “very high” in Malaysia compared to Indonesia and Philippines.

That’s good news for the likes of Darshini and for Aaron Raj, a fresh computer science graduate who despite his tech education still signed up for some Coursera classes.

Describing the experience as “amazing” with knowledge he didn’t learn at his time in university, Raj says, “I built myself up to prepare for the real world.” Taking some professional certificates from Google, SAS and IBM have been worth their weight in gold for his resume and not surprisingly he is happily employed and enjoying the start of his career.

The highly successful #MyDigitalWorkforceWeek was held last month to encourage and create awareness among the talent pool in Malaysia of the rich opportunities available in digital jobs.
The highly successful #MyDigitalWorkforceWeek was held last month to encourage and create awareness among the talent pool in Malaysia of the rich opportunities available in digital jobs.

The benefit of creating a 30-sec video cover letter

Clearly there are jobs and there is strong interest to hire digital oriented talent. But right now, employers are still trying to find ideal candidates who have digital experience, not just the skills set. According to Wobb’s Toh, the reality is that the talent pool in the market is not there yet in terms of its digital experience and quantity and this is where he advices employers, “to find candidates who are very interested in digital and seem to have a mind for it.”

Hire them, he advices, and then put them through courses the employer wants them to learn.
 “The advantage of the employer paying for the courses is that you get to pick who they learn from and this could be some top expert somewhere in the world and this allows your new recruits to access cutting edge skills,” says Toh.

With Wobb collaborating with MDEC in promoting the newly launched  #MyDigitalWorkforce Jobs Platform, which aggregates digital jobs to make it easier for job seekers to find those jobs, Toh offers two key pieces of advice.

For those looking to change their career story, “rewrite your CV to focus on the new thing you want to do and don’t get caught up in your previous  career.” This repositioning is important so that an employer does not question why an engineer or HR exec is applying for a data job. Instead, they will see a person very interested in a data job who happens to come with an engineering or HR background. “It becomes a completely different picture, even though you are the same person,” he says.

The second piece of advice is on making a video cover letter. “If you feel your story does not come across well in your resume, then drop a 30 second intro on who you are,” he says. “It can make a difference.”

Indeed, there are enough tools, programmes and support structures in the Malaysian digital ecosystem for any job seeker, no matter at what stage of their career, to take advantage of to give themselves that edge in the marketplace.

But as we have been hearing from webinar after webinar and from the various agencies promoting the digital economy, job seekers must have that can-do attitude and mindset to want to make a difference in their careers. No support programme can inject that into you. That has to come from within you.

Originally published on Digital News Asia, 28 September, 2020


HAUZ Enterprise Sdn. Bhd kini meneroka peluang untuk bekerjasama dengan pelabur global menerusi program #GrindstoneFounder anjuran MDEC.

Dua syarikat pemula (start up) tempatan yang terpilih mengikuti program Grindstone Founders anjuran Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) yakin ianya akan membuka peluang untuk ‘memikat’ para pelabur teknologi digital global dari seluruh dunia sekaligus meluaskan lagi jaringan perniagaan.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif HAUZ Enterprise Sdn. Bhd. , Ho Di Yan berkata, salah satu pengisian yang terkandung dalam program berkenaan ialah kerjasama dengan University Draper yang terletak di Lembah Silikon, California, Amerika Syarikat.

Universiti berkenaan mempunyai reputasi hebat dalam bidang keusahawanan dan teknologi digital apabila berjaya menarik lebih 2,300 usahawan  dari 85 negara serta mengumpulkan dana pelaburan bernilai lebih AS $350 juta.

Di Yan berkata, sebagai syarikat pemula yang ditubuhkan pada 2018, beliau sangat teruja kerana terpilih mengikuti program bersama universiti berkenaan.

“ Ini akan yang menawarkan akses ke rangkaian pelabur Lembah Silikon dan program Mentor “.

“ Kami juga berpeluang untuk berhubung secara terus dengan Tim Draper yang merupakan pelabur terkenal untuk Tesla, SpaceX, Skype dan Twitter,” katanya ketika ditemubual wakil MDEC di sini baru – baru ini.

Menurut Di Yan, beliau akan menggunakan peluang itu untuk memahami bagaimana syarikat – syarikat pemula di Lembah Silikon beroperasi di pasaran Amerika Syarikat.

“ Syarikat pemula di sana (Lembah Silikon) bukan sekadar beroperasi di pasaran domestik negara mereka sahaja sebaliknya melebarkan operasi ke seluruh dunia. Ini yang ingin kami pelajari, saya percaya pendedahan berkenaan kelak akan membantu HAUZ Entreprise Sdn. Bhd.  ,” katanya.

Di Yan berkata, syarikatnya berteraskan teknologi yang memberi penyelesaian tentang pengurusan tenaga kerja dengan menawarkan satu platform digitalis dalam sektor perkhidmatan dan perusahaan.

Di Yan yang mengasaskan syarikat berkenaan bersama dua rakan kongsi iaitu Shah Fariq Aizal Shah Ghazni dan Woo Cheng Kit berkata, pada mulanya mereka hanya menawarkan perkhidmatan teknologi kepada syarikat – syarikat keselamatan.

“ Namun pada 2019, kami menyedari wujudnya masalah besar dalam pengurusan tenaga kerja. Pemilik perniagaan berdepan masalah seperti mempunyai pekerja yang ramai di pelbagai lokasi namun pengurusan operasi masih dilaksanakan secara manual,” katanya.

Jelas beliau, ketika ini syarikat berkenaan mempunyai 10 kakitangan dengan memberi perkhidmatan kepada syarikat -syarikat yang memerlukan sistem digital dalam mengawasi pekerja dengan lebih mudah, efisein dan mengurangkan kos operasi.

Ditanya mengenai perancangan masa depan syarikat itu, Di Yan yang juga pemegang Ijazah Sarjana Muda Pengurusan, Pembinaan dan Bangunan dari Univeriti Sheffield, United Kingdom berkata, HAUZ meletakkan matlamat untuk memasuki pasaran ASEAN yang mempunyai potensi cukup besar.

“ Sebelum itu, kami harus menguasai pasaran tempatan terlebih dahulu dengan menawarkan teknologi dalam menguruskan operasi syarikat dan pengurusan tenaga kerja.

“ Kami memahami banyak syarikat di rantau ASEAN ingin beralih kepada pendigitalan dan dengan pengalaman kami yang telah mendigitalkan pelbagai industri di Malaysia, kepakaran ini boleh dikongsi dengan negara – negara jiran,” katanya.

Sebelum ini katanya, mereka dipilih sebagai ahli dalam Jawatankuasa Asian Professional Security Association (APSA) yang memberi kelebihan kepada HAUZ untuk mempromosikan pendigitalan operasi kepada syarikat -syarikat keselamatan.

Mengenai kerjasama dengan MDEC, Di Yan berkata, beliau menyarankan syarikat pemula untuk berhubung dengan agensi berkenaan bagi mendapatkan pandangan tentang pendigitalan yang seterusnya mampu merangsang sektor ekonomi digital negara.

“Bagi kami , inisiatif MDEC ini membantu pengumpulan dana di samping boleh mendapatkan pandangan mengenai pembiayaan modal,” katanya.

Sementara itu , bagi  Manu Menon yang mengasaskan Youthopia bersama Nathalia Lim berkata, beliau turut teruja untuk mengikuti kursus secara maya bersama Universiti Draper.

Manu, 45, berkata, peluang untuk belajar bersama pakar di Lembah Silikon merupakan kesempatan terbaik dan mampu memberi nilai tambah dalam usaha melonjakkan syarikatnya ke pasaran global.

“ Sebelum ini, aplikasi pembelajaran yang kami bangunkan turut menarik minat dua sekolah swasta di Vietnam yang sedang menguji keberkesanan untuk pelajar mereka.

“ Kami turut menjalinkan kerjasama dengan Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) untuk mengembangkan kerangka pedagogi yang mantap bagi menghasilkan lebih banyak kandungan untuk membantu pelajar menguasai teori dan amali dalam bidang teknologi kejuruteraan,” katanya.

Berhubung program Grindstone Founders, Mano berkata, syarikatnya memohon untuk menyertai program berkenaan selepas melihat pengumuman melalui Facebook MDEC.

Ditanya mengenai perancangan Youthopia selepas ini, Manu berkata,  mereka telah melancarkan versi beta platform yang kini mempunyai lebih dari 100 pengguna.

Kami melancarkan platform berasaskan web yang direka untuk keberkesanan dengan menawarkan pembelajaran bersaiz kecil yang dikhususkan untuk kanak -kanak membina kemahiran masing – masing.

“ Youthopia  merupakan platform yang melengkapkan kanak-kanak dengan kemahiran abad ke-21 seperti pemikiran kritis, penyelesaian masalah, komunikasi dan kerjasama,” katanya.

Sebelum ini, Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia (KKMM) menyatakan komitmen untuk memperkenalkan dasar baharu bagi menyokong pertumbuhan ekosistem syarikat pemula niaga atau ‘startup’ di Malaysia.

Menurut KKMM, syarikat pemula niaga merupakan industri yang penting kepada negara pada masa hadapan dan bakal menyokong kemaraan era Revolusi Industri Keempat (RI4).

Sementara itu, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MDEC, Surina Shukri berkata, Founders Grindstone merupakan program selama enam bulan yang merangkumi bengkel intensif yang dilaksanakan oleh rakan global dan pengendali ekuiti pendanaan awam (crowdfunding).

“ Ini  bertujuan untuk menawarkan kesempatan bagi memanfaatkan platform kerjasama yang memberikan akses kepada pengusaha di Malaysia kepada jaringan pendanaan global,” katanya.

Setakat ini, sebanyak 10 syarikat pemula telah dipilih dan mendapat akses kepada rangkaian pelabur Draper Venture Network. Program Founders Grindstone ini  akan membuka pendaftaran untuk siri kedua tidak lama lagi. Nantikan maklumat lanjut di laman

oleh Mohd Firdaus Ismail

Father’s Passion To Teach His Kids Future Skills, Sparks Educational Startup, Gets Noticed By VCs

“I have always felt that students shouldn’t be gauged by their academic results alone.”, asserted Manu Menon, parent of two primary school-goers and founder of edtech startup, Youthopia.

“It was worrying to see that my kids, though doing well academically, lacked skills like communication and critical thinking. These and many more foundational skills are not taught explicitly in public schools in Malaysia. Unfortunately, these are the exact skills that are needed in the future”, he said.

Bent upon finding frameworks that highlighted the power of 21st-Century (C21) Skills, his research triggered a desire to then teach these skills in a fun and interactive way. Thus, Youthopia was born with the founder’s vision to equip as many students as possible with C21 Skills so that they become lifelong learners and can adapt to the fast-changing world.

The startup has built an online platform to equip students aged 10-16 with foundational skills like critical thinking and creativity in order to produce the next generation workforce who can adapt to an ever-changing future.

“I saw the announcement [of Founders Grindstone initiative] on MDEC’s Facebook page and the application process was easy to follow”, said Menon, who received an acceptance email to Batch 1 within a few days of submitting his application.

MDEC’s Founders Grindstone programme gives Youthopia a boost in achieving its vision to develop the next-gen workforce.

MDEC’s initiative – Founders Grindstone in July 2020

The Founders Grindstone is a six-month programme, launched by MDEC in July 2020. It consists of three blocks of intensive workshops conducted by global partners from venture capital firms, equity crowdfunding operators, startup-centric media and the legal practice.

It also aims to offer the opportunity to leverage funding platforms of the partners on-board, granting Malaysian entrepreneurs access to investment offerings by the global funding network.

Youthopia was one of the top 10 winning startups of Founders Grindstone’s Pitching Competition that has been onboarded to join Draper Venture Network & get connected to 23 potential VCs. The other 9 are AVANA, HelloFinance, Vechnology, Mobi, Hauz, Senang Insurance,, PanOpthalmics and Homecrowd.

Hauz, Senang Insurance and Youthopia were successfully chosen by the judges as three startups, to be awarded scholarships to participate in the virtual Draper University entrepreneurship programme.

Manu Menon, found MDEC’s Founders Grindstone programme useful as it helped him prepare the company for pitching to investors. Youthopia is at that stage where it is looking for strategic investors to help it scale.

“The ideas shared by the Draper Startup House and Izwan & Partners helped us focus our pitch deck and understand the legal requirements to look out for when pitching to and negotiating with potential investors. We feel this will serve as a boost in helping us raise our seed round,” said Menon.

Commenting on the success of the 10 top performers of the initiative, Surina Shukri, MDEC’s CEO said, “MDEC’s strategic priorities surrounding digitally skilled Malaysians, digitally powered businesses and digital investments, serve to accelerate local companies to become global champions. Through initiatives like the Founders Grindstone, MDEC is well-positioned to help startups like Youthopia, Hauz, Senang Insudance and the other 7 toppers, to become global champions that, together, can propel Malaysia towards being a digital nation and place Malaysia as the heart of Digital ASEAN, as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution to achieve shared prosperity.”

Heads-up to all startups!

Founders Grindstone is an MDEC initiative that empowers tech entrepreneurs to maximise their potential of gaining funding from renowned global investors. Through this programme, entrepreneurs will receive first-hand coaching and tips from the investors themselves before submitting their pitch decks. 

MDEC will open the second batch of Founders Grindstone soon. For more information, stay informed here

by Shobha Janardanan

Opportunities in Times of Crisis: Why Malaysia is Still the Best Location for Digital Services

As governments across the globe rally to flatten the curve for the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses are forced to rethink and re-strategise the way they operate. In response, companies in Malaysia have quickly adopted new operational strategies once the Movement Control Order (MCO) was introduced on March 18.

This is largely due to our high-speed broadband infrastructure and mobile broadband capabilities that are in place, various robust digital services that are still operating, and the resilience of the local workforce.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently praised Malaysia for its preparedness and response in managing the COVID-19 crisis. It even selected Malaysia as one of the countries to test the effectiveness of drugs used to treat afflicted patients, a testament to the country’s ability to conduct lab work and research.

Speed Of Response

The speed and scale of how the global pandemic spread caused significant disruptions to organisations across all sectors, forcing an engagement with various digital and technology solutions to streamline their operations and re-evaluate their business priorities.

Nations and corporates are advocating and implementing various measures to stop the spread of the deadly pandemic and keep their citizens and employees safe. This includes imposing unprecedented lockdowns on businesses, schools, and other non-essential services; restricting both domestic and international travels; and forcing millions to practice home quarantine.

As companies activate their remote working capabilities and prepare to streamline it further, employees’ health and safety take vital precedence over balance sheets. What is clear is the global economy is bearing the brunt of COVID-19 and the Global Business Services (GBS)/Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is not spared.

Many service providers are already struggling to continue operations due to logistical and technical limitations. Countries that are heavily reliant on BPO are now negatively impacted as they face significant challenges to arrange and manage remote working for its entire workforce. Beyond developing processes that can be deployed at scale, these businesses need to also consider the quality of infrastructure for broadband connectivity.

Malaysia – renowned for its offshoring capabilities, placing within the Top 3 for AT Kearney’s Best Offshoring Locations, and being first choice as the preferred business continuity hub for the world – has now emerged as a more attractive alternative for these hard-hit economies.

Competitive Digital Infrastructure

“Reliable and affordable high-speed broadband connectivity is a key catalyst to bringing in direct investments into Malaysia’s digital economy. The government is committed to ensure the implementation of the National Fiberization and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) to improve the country’s digital connectivity, with plans to roll out 5G in Q3 2020 still firmly in place. This is despite the economic uncertainties that the global pandemic brought about. One of the direct beneficiaries of this connectivity initiative is the GBS industry in Malaysia. This has undoubtedly empowered their employees to work-from-home and allowed the industry to continue to operate,” assures Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister, YB Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Under the People-centric Economic Stimulus Package that the Malaysian government recently announced in the wake of COVID-19, RM600 million was allocated to provide free internet data usage to all Malaysians throughout the MCO period. An additional RM400 million was also invested in improving network coverage and capacity to provide high availability and quality telecommunications networks.

Other aspects of the stimulus will also help companies reduce operating costs. This includes tiered discount for electricity rates – ranging from 15% to 50% for April until September 2020, reduced rate of employer contribution to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and wage subsidy programmes.

Malaysia, home to over 600 Global Business Services (GBS) companies, has proven its mettle in rising to the challenge of transitioning organisations into remote working arrangements. For example, contact centres – one of the main components of the nation’s GBS industry, have moved from business as usual to work-from-home mode within a short span of time.

“The key here is our high-quality digital connectivity in Malaysia.  With the internet user penetration in Malaysia now at over 85% and having already deployed the fibre network across urban and sub-urban areas, the contact centre industry has been able to quickly integrate work and home domains,” Raymond Devadass, President, Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM), remarks.

This, in many ways, reinforced the notion that the availability of high-quality digital connectivity to homes is very crucial. For Raymond, that enabled the global customer support industry to start and expand its current transformative evolution with the use of automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), has also stepped up its efforts to drive these capabilities forward for businesses. Its ongoing endeavours focus on providing leadership and critical support to various companies and industry ecosystems, enabling them to continue operations during the MCO.

“Besides ensuring communication channels are open between industry players and the government during MCO, MDEC is also rallying local and foreign tech players in Malaysia to extend their digital solutions and services to both businesses and citizens. All these come under our recently launched #DigitalVsCovid Movement – a digital platform that is wholly dedicated to mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19,” shares Surina Shukri, CEO, MDEC.

The movement already garnered support from hundreds of tech companies. This includes global tech giants that have offered free video conferencing tools to help business owners and management to maximise their work-from-home capabilities.

Readying Future Workforce Talent

For organisations that want to activate their remote working capability, it requires quality digital infrastructure and a prevalent culture of working from home at both micro (companies) and macro (country) levels.

Malaysia is ahead in Southeast Asia as one of the early adopters for remote working arrangements.  A 2013 research report from Regus found that 53% of the country’s workforce were already on flexible working arrangement, well ahead of the global average of 48%.

Malaysia’s young, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and digitally savvy talent pool is no stranger to gig economy. Over the last few years, MDEC has been running an initiative called Global Online Workforce (GLOW). Designed to create a community of full-time high-quality freelance workers among Malaysians, it generally helps these talents generate income through digital work via crowdsourcing.

Targeting university students and young professionals, as well as latent talent such as retirees, persons with disabilities and housewives, the programme provides training on in-demand digital skills, mentoring and coaching. This also includes providing tips and tricks to compete with other global freelancers.

Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON), in its 2019 State of Shared Services Market Report for Malaysia, revealed how more than half of the GBS centres in the country are working with various global Centres of Excellence. The arrangement was to focus on continuous improvement, engaging data analytics and understanding robotic process and intelligent automation to deliver higher value processes for its clients.

All these point to Malaysian digital talent’s agility and readiness for the future of work, all of which is shaped with digitalisation and the willingness to adapt to remote working capabilities.

Best Destination for Work-Life Balance

Strategically located at the heart of Southeast Asian region, Malaysia is renowned for being a top location for digital global services. Among its accolades is being ranked first in INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020 in the upper middle-income group and second in ASEAN for ease of doing business by the World Bank.

It’s quality of healthcare is also first-class, as evidenced by its first ranking globally in 2019 International Living Annual Global Retirement Index.

Cheah Kok Hoong, Chairman of OM, a chapter of the National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) that focuses on GBS, sums it well: “Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia is still considered as an ideal and strategic location for investments. It is indeed a strong choice for companies looking at business continuity and resilient plans, ease of doing business, talent development, high availability for fibre bandwidth connectivity. OM members who support functional capabilities are weathering though this current MCO period, working from home and serving their clients seamlessly with the availability of efficient technology infrastructure and uninterrupted bandwidth connectivity.”

Malaysia, Heart of Digital ASEAN

“As Malaysia aspires to become the Heart of Digital ASEAN, MDEC – in playing the role of specialised investment promotion agency for digital economy, invites companies to consider this country as a prime investment destination for digital services, including global business services,” says Hew Wee Choong, Vice President, Investment Development of MDEC.

MDEC has long been working closely with industry stakeholders such as OM and CCAM, along with various GBS companies to put Malaysia on the map as a top destination for this industry. “As we continue to support the world’s GBS industry, we also will face the global crisis together. Having the support from our business-friendly government, combined with our strong digital infrastructure and talent ecosystem, we welcome you to make Malaysia your digital home,” he concludes.  

© 2020 Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (389346-D). All rights reserved.