Any founder will tell you that the most important part about maintaining a startup is to constantly learn from industry experts, business trends and consumer behaviour.
If we were to be totally honest though—it’s not every day we’re motivated to pick up and read a book. Or digest a full-length article amidst our jam packed schedule.
Given this, the rise of podcasts has made learning on-the-go something totally achievable.
A simple look-see on Spotify or Apple iTunes would show you bite sized episodes less than an hour-long that are rich in value and discussed by top-tier, brilliant minds.
So, we scoured the world of podcasts to find the 9 best Malaysian-based channels for you to listen to.
Whether it’s to grow your own startup or to just to keep up with the local startup ecosystem this year, this list is for you.
1. Go Digital
Go Digital is an interview based podcast hosted by Jason Low.
In an effort to educate more Malaysian startups on the know-hows of tech and digital trends to boost their business, Jason started the Go Digital podcast to get his message across.
Go Digital interviews industry experts—such as the minds behind GHL Berhad, Getha Bedding, and Social Grooves—on their real-life challenges with starting a business in Malaysia, introducing digital solutions and reaching out to the modern, tech-savvy crowd.
Go Digital’s first episode was launched in November 2019 and is frequently updated almost every week.
Jason himself is a partner and director of Cap360 Ventures, an integrated digital consultancy that provides innovative online and on-ground business solutions throughout the ASEAN region.
2. BFM’s Podcasts
My, oh my, does BFM have a chunk of podcasts.
BFM started off as Malaysia’s first independent radio station and has subsequently taken advantage of the podcasting explosion by introducing a great big list of channels covering a wide range of current news.
They have way too many to be listed here, so we handpicked a few that would be relevant to the startup and small business ecosystem:
- Enterprise BizBytes
Short, to the point episodes (usually within the 10-minute mark) that break down SME-related news, trending topics and the occasional economic debate.
- Raise Your Game
Focused on personal development, leadership skills, and management abilities.
- Open For Business
An interview-based podcast that interviews both local budding entrepreneurs all the way to billionaire founders to find out their secret sauce to success and the tips that helped them.
- Market Watch, and Ringgit and Sense
Both of these podcasts feature analysts and provide valuable insight into the financial landscape of Malaysia, along with the local and international economic trends that would affect businesses and consumer trends.
3. The HUSTLR Podcast
The HUSTLR Podcast follows host Jeremy Ong; a self-made entrepreneur that has founded and scaled several online businesses to success.
Jeremy’s most profitable e-commerce business is VapeClubMY, which brought in US$60k revenue/month in 2019.
To help other Malaysians grow their craft, Jeremy along with his business partner Sim Li started HUSTLR—an initiative to help big or small businesses move forward with the modern digital tide.
The HUSTLR Podcast is constantly updated with episodes featuring other notable self-made entrepreneurs as they discuss everything from personal financing, dropshipping, digital marketing and other ways to start generating passive income.
You can listen to The HUSTLR Podcast on Spotify.
4. Cultivating The Masses
Cultivating The Masses is a podcasting platform meant to inspire personal achievement for the leaders and forward-thinkers of tomorrow.
As an effort to bring Malaysians closer to local everyday heroes, Cultivating The Masses tells the story of hardships, failure, inspiration, and all the lessons to learn from in between.
Cultivating The Masses follows individual artists, athletes, fashion designers, filmmakers and those that have defeated all odds to be where they are today—which prove to be powerful insight for startup founders.
5. Table Talk
The Takeaway Table is hosted by YouTube sensations Ming Han and Ming Yue, commonly known as the Ming brothers.
The Takeaway Table gets real with current social issues (think influencer lifestyles, starting out with YouTube, social media woes, building a modern entertainment business, and more) that are geared towards Malaysian young adults.
Most episodes are on the longer side and are usually well above half an hour.
The Takeaway Table engages in a more casual and lightweight approach to discussing their topics.
For founders and entrepreneurs in the entertainment or social industry (especially if your target crowd is the younger Gen Z and millennials), The Takeaway Table is an interesting channel to stay tuned to so you’re constantly updated on what’s trending, who’s who, and other issues that might be a fresh inspiration for marketing.
You can listen to The Takeaway Table on Spotify.
6. eFM Podcast
Getting a business up and running in Malaysia involves the capability to network like a pro—so why not start with brushing up a little on your BM whilst learning local startup practices?
eFM provides a unique blend of both Bahasa Melayu and English spoken podcasts. They have a huge range of existing episodes already published, with updates a couple of times a week.
eFM’s topics are very focused on Malaysian-centric discussions on the startup sphere. This includes talking to small-time entrepreneurs, reviewing business events around the country, specific processes of starting a business in Malaysia, etc.
They even released a mini-series last year in accordance with Malaysia Halal Expo 2019, aimed at educating food startups on the proper steps to gain official Halal certification.
You can listen to eFM on Spotify.
7. Hello, Hello, Kopi Ke Milo?
This cheekily named podcast is somewhat similar to Cultivating The Masses—where topics discussed are aimed at exploring Malaysian individuals and what makes them special.
Hello, Hello, Kopi Ke Milo? allows their listeners to feel like a fly on the wall during their podcasts, engaging them with lighthearted banter coupled with emotional backstories about talented, hardworking Malaysians.
The entire podcast is a fun way of lifting up one’s spirits, whilst also having the ability to teach listeners about the ups and downs of working a 9-5 job, taking leaps of faith with a different career, and more.
Why does it work for founders? Even if it’s not hard business advice, Hello, Hello, Kopi Ke Milo? has a way of nudging you in the right direction when you might be at the biggest crossroads of your life.
You can listen to Hello, Hello, Kopi Ke Milo? on Spotify.
8. Leaders of Learning
Leaders of Learning wants you to ‘explore learning in the 21st century’ with host Ling Ling Tai.
Ling Ling is a seasoned learning professional and a strong believer in the art of human development. Equipped with a strong desire for personal growth, Ling Ling hosts Leaders of Learning to train leaders about the best ways to inspire change and positivity in their own workplace.
Her popular podcast topics include ‘Taking A Stand For Inclusive Growth’ and ‘Becoming An Entrepreneur’, the latter in which she interviews LinkedIn superstar Gary Vaynerchuck!
Ling Ling rotates around Singapore and Malaysia—but covers modern issues surrounding diversity, equality, motivation and human talent around Southeast Asia.
You can listen to Leaders of Learning on Spotify.
9. The Right Perspective with Shankar Santhiram
Hosted by the renowned Shankar Santhiram, The Right Perspective is a series by LiteFM Radio.
Shankar Santhiram is an established Executive Leadership Coach and Managing Consultant of EQTD Malaysia, who believes that #TheRightPerspective is gained from walking the fine balance between entrepreneurship skills, discipline, time management and support from family and friends.
In The Right Perspective, Shankar provides insight on how to manage difficult employees, how to cultivate better relationships as an entrepreneur, and the sacrifices that you have to make as you work your way up the ladder.
Shankar gets down into the nitty-gritty (and sometimes controversial) topics meant to nurture entrepreneurs and founders on every level, which is not just learning hard skills.
- You can read more about other podcast recommendations we have here.
Featured Image Credit: BFM