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Establishing digital and drone economies in Malaysia

One of the main biggest challenges start-ups across the globe are faced with is reportedly convincing convince businesses to give them jobs that they can do better, applying digital technology. However, as organizations have not scoped out such work before, there is frequently no ‘tender’ issued that innovative start-ups can then deliver on.

In addition, in the more open B2C space where consumers are totally open to trying new digital services, companies may come up against regulations, created for the Brick & Mortar world that gets in the way and may even kill their market. Its common challenges like this that make running digital-based start-ups so difficult.

Thus, in an attempting to come up with a solution to this common yet vexing challenge of the Digital Economy, a leading Malaysian firm has developed a “kitchen” concept, according to the firm’s acting CEO.

The various food and spice ingredients and utensils that can be found in a kitchen represent the different players who make up an ecosystem, from funders to academics, from government and regulations to innovators and businesses.

As a key driver for Cyberjaya’s development, not just its physical element but its heartbeat as well, the firm is seen by Cyberview as a platform that can bring the various ecosystem players together to ideate, to co-create and introduce win-win scenarios into the Malaysian market.

Established in 2018, the firm aims to help push out innovative digital services and products into the marketplace; Old Economy regulations pose a significant obstacle to speed at which innovators need to move.

Without regulations comprehensively lay out the market, ambiguity and illegal behaviour start to sprout; a common occurrence in any environment that stifles innovation. And while it may seem more appealing to discard Silico-Valley-popularized style of doing away with outdated policies and focusing on fast growth and market acceptance so that regulations have no choice but to adapt, this does not always pan out as such. Moreover, investors are also increasingly seeking clarity on regulations before investing in any disruptive idea or entrepreneur.

Hence, the Malaysian firm’s National Regulatory Sandbox was created in February 2018 to bring relevant ecosystem players together, including regulators to identify hurdles in the market place that prevent innovators from solving consumer and business pain points.

Bringing various stakeholders together under the National Regulatory Sandbox thus allow innovators to engage with regulators while focusing their energy and resources on finding a market fit for their product and validating business models.

The goal of the sandbox is to create a safe environment where a pre-determined set of rules as agreed together with regulators will allow entrepreneurs to build, test their products and business models in a live environment with new regulations being tried out as well. These experiments will benefit both regulators and innovators.

The firm’s acting CEO (who is also a member of the Malaysian Innovation and Policy Council) noted that being able to help facilitate and accelerate the creation of new products, services and business models into the market goes hand in hand with job creation as well.

The firm is also looking at regional ones based out of Malaysia as well. Southeast Asia presents a thriving market whose capabilities are constantly being sought after by local and players alike, Malaysia is particularly attractive because of its clear embrace of the Digital Economy.

The need for clarity in regulations here is urgent as Malaysia’s current regulations are inadequate to support the fast-developing Drone Economy in Malaysia which already is ranked 24th in the world by a specialist drone research outfit.

The firm’s acting CEO expects a positive outcome from the regulatory sandbox to strongly propel Malaysia further up the rankings and create a more dynamic drone ecosystem.

To this end, the firm and MDEC will collaborate with Cyberview and MAGIC to host the inaugural MyDroneX. The event comprised a conference, exhibition and showcase. A market analyst stated that MyDroneX made a loud statement about the thriving state of Malaysia’s drone ecosystem.

This provides further encouragement for the efforts being made by the firm to facilitate collaboration between the stakeholders in the drone ecosystem. This will unlock huge value and set the template for how they facilitate similar collaborations moving forward.


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