CEO Series

3 Technology Services We Use In Our Everyday Lives That Originated From Malaysia

In today’s world, we put a lot of faith in technology to guide our lives and our daily routines will involve using at least one technology service.

Whether it’s to arrange for our transportation, send money to our loved ones, or even getting food delivered to our doorstep, all of these have been made easier with just a few taps. We don’t even think twice about the many service providers we have on hand, all helping behind the scenes.

Something that’s often overlooked is that many of the companies we rely on daily are Malaysian-made.

We’ve listed 3 key players that have built their brands to both an international level while remaining  ingrained into our local scene (perhaps without you even realising it).

1. GHL: Helping you with payment solutions since 1994.

The name GHL might not be very familiar to mass consumers, but chances are, you probably use their service at least once a day.

Whether you’re paying for your next shopping spree or even simply swiping your card for your dinner, GHL is one of the brands responsible for making sure these transactions go through smoothly.

Some examples of the payment schemes that GHL provides include Credit Cards (like Visa, Mastercard, UPI), Local Debit (like MyDebit), Cross Border e-Wallet (like Alipay), and Local e-Wallets (like Boost, TnG Digital, VCash, TrueMoney, LinePay and GCash) to all types of merchants, from large retailers to small sole proprietors as well as mobile and Internet merchants.

Starting from way back in 1994, GHL moved the focus to merchant acquiring in 2014 so that they could enable merchants with electronic payment acceptance, with their Transaction Payment Acquisition business.

In fact, GHL’s initial reason for being was because in their earlier days, small merchants were not served by the traditional bank acquirers—as it was not economical for them to do so.  

“Hence, we believe that “Going Cashless” is a critical component for small merchants to grow their business. As such, we set on a mission to enable these small merchants to accept all types of payment schemes,” said Danny Leong, Group CEO of GHL Systems Berhad.

Their service is now available in Thailand and the Philippines (with plans to expand to Cambodia and Indonesia in 2019).

When discussing the birth of their business in Malaysia, Danny said he believes it was critical that more local players were able to create technology-based services for the local community.

“Working closely with Malaysian-bred technology providers will enable us to move faster and become more relevant in the ASEAN market. This is due to the proximity with our fellow Malaysians as well as their understanding of the local requirements.”

Danny

2. EasyParcel: Building up the e-commerce scene since 2014.

Thanks to the boom of e-commerce, we’re now blessed to be in an era where technology makes it possible to receive and deliver parcels all over the world, and have these arrive in a matter of days instead of months.

But this wasn’t always the case.

When EasyParcel first started 5 years ago, the e-commerce scene in Malaysia was in its infancy, a time when the available facilities were mainly to cater for B2B services instead of B2C.

“Now, our brand offers e-commerce friendly last mile solutions with a hassle-free registration process, an online ordering process that’s available 24/7, and full transparency with pricing among other perks and benefits,” said Clarence Leong, CEO of EasyParcel Sdn Bhd.

One of the main factors that contributed to Malaysians using their service derives from the convenience of their services.

“Humans love the luxury of being lazy and our main focus is to make their life easy by giving them the flexibility to connect to any courier service at anytime,” added Clarence.

Image Credit: Digital News Asia

However, as with any brand, progression is key.

The next step in growing their technology-based services is by building a data team, led by a data scientist, to better analyse the data collected, thanks to the 50,000 deliveries going through its platform (either via EasyParcel or its partners) daily.

This is so they can offer more to their customers beyond just the concierge scope. The team is looking to bring value to their customers by getting them more sales via their marketing tools.

More sales means more shipments, and with Clarence setting a goal of improving the Malaysian ecosystem by growing home-grown brands, you can expect EasyParcel to be releasing more handy services in the near future.

3. 123RF: Supplying you with a variety of images since 2000.

Hands up if you’ve always been one to rely on Google when it comes to finding the best kind of images to fit whatever you’re looking for.

If you said yes, then there is an extremely high chance you have come across some images that are hosted by this Malaysian team called Inmagine Group.

Inmagine Group was kickstarted 19 years ago, back when the term “startup” was still somewhat new around the world.

Today, the group owns and operates a number of companies under a creative ecosystem, which is derived from content and data, using Machine Learning technology powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to cater to a variety of clientele.

“Our business units are 123RF, Pixlr, StockUnlimited, CraftBundles, Designs.net, EasyDesign, LoveSVG, TheHungryJPEG, SoundBounce, Story & Heart, and Vectr,” said Liza Anna James, a representative from 123RF.

Image Credit: 123RF

What makes their services so appealing to not only Malaysians but customers globally is the fact that each business unit is designed to be user-friendly as it provides world-class content paired with easy-to-use tools.

“Whether you are a creative professional or an amateur, anyone and everyone can design effortlessly. On a bigger scale, we are a truly local partner who understands the demand and needs within our target audience in this region,” explained Liza.

Back when they first started out in Malaysia, Inmagine Group took the time and effort to reach out to tier one photographers who were well-known in the local photography scene.

“Through this, we became an enabler in widening the market reach by encouraging and empowering local creatives to sell their creative work globally via our marketplace platform.”

– Liza

By using data, machine learning and AI, 123RF is able to offer a more complete solution specifically catered to our customers’ needs aside from possessing a wide array of stock photos.

“Consequently, with the use of the above technologies, we are able to identify the current market trends through demand and data collected by our users from across the globe to enhance a designer’s creative journey,” said Liza

With their roots originating from Malaysia, Inmagine Group feels lucky that they were able to leverage off technology to build successful businesses across the globe.

“Malaysia has a large volume of talent pool with great business minds. As a proponent in the creative industry, we should support aspiring entrepreneurs so that together, we are able to boost our nation to convert consumers into producers at an international arena,” added Liza.

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Our country is blessed to house a number of homegrown brands that have gone to greater lengths in building their services that not only answer the problems of our local community but to an international stage as well.

Hence why you have programs like MDEC GAIN, created by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to scale up local companies to an international level and propel their businesses to greater heights.

What we can hope to see in the future is more continuous effort being put into producing a bigger range of local businesses till we can comfortably be in a position where all the tech we rely on on a daily basis is homegrown.

  • For more information on MDEC GAIN, you can check out their official website here.

This article was written in collaboration with MDEC GAIN.

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