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Growing Malaysia’s digital economy inclusively

According to a recent report, the first forum under the Digital Native Agenda 23 (DNA23) initiative is aimed at both growing Malaysia’s digital economy and doing so in an inclusive manner.

Held on 17 April 2019 at Sunway University, the Digital Dialogue Series forum was attended by nearly 300 participants.

The participants heard from the CEO if a Malaysian academic start-up, an entrepreneur and investor, a bitcoin start-up CEO and the CEO of a 3D animation studio in Malaysia.

One speaker shared lessons and anecdotes about digital entrepreneurship. The CEO’s company produces a popular children’s animated series, encouraged Malaysian entrepreneurs to not only embrace technology but to do so in a way that adds value to people’s lives.

Despite facing rejection during his initial foray into animated content when marketing it to traditional broadcasters, the show became a massive hit after he noticed a gap in the online market.

Upon discovering the demand for children’s songs in Malaysia, the show’s creator developed the characters to meet the demand. The show now has 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube. It’s creator stated that the educational nature of the videos is his way of giving value to children, parents and teachers’ lives.

Participants also had a chance to learn from and network another entrepreneur whose venture capital company, invests in inclusive companies that aim to create a more equal society. The talks gave entrepreneurs something to really think about.

The executive director of another start-up noted that the session great because the audience received tips on how to get funding as well as about the need for a company to have a strong identity.

Audience members and participants expressed interest in further similar discussions being held.

A fellow participant stated that the Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, who gave the opening address, had given her new ideas on how digitalisation could positively impact her construction company.

He stated that while his company is still working on growing it’s digital capabilities, listening to the Minister gave him a better understanding and idea of the plethora of opportunities available in Malaysia currently.

The forum, which was organised by a management consulting firm in partnership with a major Malaysian media group, and a leading strategy and leadership institute which aims to inspire Malaysians from all walks of life to think about digital entrepreneurship, according to its co-founder.

The co-founder noted that he was extremely pleased with how the forum turned out. It is hoped that the event will spark a dialogue that will eventually connect the rakyat with the digital challenges that all Malaysians need to work together to address.

The Digital Dialogue Series is a key component in the DNA23 initiative, which he launched last month as part of his efforts to bridge the “digital gap” while calling for the “digital have-nots” to be included in the nation’s digital economy agenda.

The focus, while we continue to engineer this Fourth Industrial Revolution, is steering our economy towards meritocracy. The plight of our urban and rural poor cannot be ignored, he noted. Adequate opportunities must be shared with every citizen of the nation.

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