In this article

[This is a sponsored article with MDEC.]

As the country surges forward to tackle the effects of COVID-19, the government outlined a Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) to transform the nation into one that is digitally capable and inclusive, to be a regional leader in digital economy.

The blueprint also calls for industry players to innovate and adopt new business models which will build a digital ecosystem, allowing society to embrace the digital economy. But to do so, companies need to understand the importance of big data.

Being data-driven is not just a technological buzzword. It is based on empirical analysis and evidence, leading to tangible results. From decreasing labour required by 75 percent to achieve the same output, to increasing customer engagement, the data-driven route has helped some of the biggest corporations in Malaysia to optimise their operations.

With the assistance of the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), these corporations have successfully integrated data technology into their operations.

Improving manufacturing output through data

Hartalega is one of the world’s largest nitrile glove manufacturers. But, to get where they are today, they had to strategically invest in digital technologies.

Kuan Mun Leong, the CEO of Hartalega Holdings Bhd said that when they first started, they needed 10 employees to produce 1 million gloves a month. But with the investment they’ve made in digital capabilities, they now only need 2.5 workers to produce 1 million gloves a month.

Kuan Mun Leong, the CEO of Hartalega Holdings Bhd / Image Credit: MDEC

To reach their current output, the company had to adopt tech in the workplace but he noted that it can be an exhausting and expensive process. Firstly, to improve their manufacturing capabilities, the company took a detailed look at the pain points of their employees on the production floor.

Once they understood the challenges the employees face daily, they hired a team of data analysts and developers who created an algorithm capable of detecting quality issues or production losses even before they happen. This helped the production floor to be more productive and effective.

Through that understanding of data on their processes, it allowed the company to build a manufacturing plant that is fully digital and automated. Especially with the demand for gloves tripling due to the pandemic, Hartalega can tweak their glove output to match the needs of their customers.

Build a data-driven work culture

If you’ve been property searching in Malaysia, one of the names you’d encounter is Mah Sing. The company has been in property development since 1994 and has over 52 projects under their belt across the nation.

But with ever-changing customer expectations, Mah Sing knew they had to improve themselves technologically and digitally to keep up with the demand of customers and be a mainstay in the industry.

It proved to be an uphill battle—the property industry is averse to changes as they are heavily reliant on legacy services. This was when Mah Sing understood that they have to transform their culture first before they could even focus on their customers.

The company embraced a high-performance work culture through a top-down approach, where every result and outcome is measurable. The company utilised tech to give them key metrics such as how fast tickets are resolved, how quick employees respond to customers, and even the effectiveness of their digital marketing.

Through the data they’ve collected, the company could then tweak their processes, and in doing so, provide their customers with better offerings. In an interview with MDEC, Mah Sing revealed that customer engagement has been increasing year on year, with a 75% increase in customer engagement last year

Their understanding of their customers also led to effective marketing strategies, with 50% of their in-house sales brought in through digital marketing channels alone.

Providing customers with more value-added services

A better understanding of data can also provide a better experience for the customers. Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) has over 14 million unit holder accounts under their belt, and 12.6 million of them are actively investing with PNB.

Like Mah Sing, PNB wanted to give their customers a better experience and with customer expectations evolving to demand faster, better and more digital offerings, the company underwent a data-driven change.

Through the data PNB obtained, they knew that 30% of their customers are iOS users and 70% of them are using Android devices. Their data also reveals what devices the customers use too. And this helps their in-house app developers to create an app that’ll work for the devices that their customers are using.

Muzaffar Othman, the CTO of PNB on what PNB needs to do to support their customers / Image Credit: MDEC

In terms of improving their offerings, data also allowed the company to understand and predict the customers’ actions. With data, they can provide advice to different customers at different points in life. For example, if you’re a young adult who has never invested, they’ll advise investing in fixed price products, whereas a retired investor might get a different investment approach.

They now have over 1.6 million users (12%) of their unit holders engaging digitally through their mobile app.

Helping Malaysian businesses to understand data

With all the talk on data, if you don’t have the capability or the trained personnel, you’ll be working at a loss. To help businesses understand the benefits of data, MDEC brought the Data Driven Enterprise (DDE) programme to life.

MDEC’s DDE programme aims to provide a structured and accelerated approach in assisting business enterprises to gain value from their digital transformation efforts and rapidly shift towards becoming more productive, innovative and resilient.

Recently, MDEC has launched a complimentary Data, Analytics and AI readiness assessment that will enable organisations to understand their data, analytics and AI readiness. Once the assessment is completed, the organisations will receive a personalised report that will assist them in their journey towards being 4IR ready.

Here’s what MDEC’s DDE programme offers:

  1. A complimentary data assessment to gauge your business’ data-driven readiness,
  2. 2 hours of complimentary consultation sessions with MDEC’s data & analytics experts,
  3. Data knowledge workshops/webinars with more than 50 data technology partners in the industry,
  4. Access to training, upskilling and talent facilitation,
  5. Access to case studies, solution-sharing and references from industry experts,
  6. Business facilitation, matching your business needs with MDEC’s Data Technology Partners.

The DDE programme is in line with MDEC’s vision of Malaysia 5.0, enabling a nation that is deeply integrated with tech, to provide equitable digital opportunities to the people and businesses.

  • Find out more about MDEC’s DDE programme here.
  • Take the complimentary data assessment here.
  • Read up on what we’ve written about MDEC in the past here.

Featured Image Credit: MDEC

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay updated with Vulcan Post weekly curated news and updates.


Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)