The technology scene in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, has brought many millenials to fame after delivering incredible performances from their innovations. By making the most of the growing digital community, these Malaysians are currently at the top of their game from their tech businesses.
Trailing the success of major tech companies from the United States, Malaysia is home to several local apps and online commerce sites that are gaining momentum in the region. Here, we list some of the entrepreneurs whose ideals have brought them great success!
5 Inspiring Malaysian Tech-Entrepreneurs That You Should Know About
1. Patrick Grove
Recently listed under Malaysia’s 50 Richest by Forbes, Patrick Grove is the co-founder and CEO of Catcha Group – his latest venture being iFlix, a strong competitor to video streaming service provider, Netflix.
With a networth of USD587 million, Patrick has managed to bring a total of five companies to success; stemming from their startup phases right into their IPO stages. His ventures include iProperty, Catcha Digital and iCar Asia, and he is now determined to propel iFlix to grander heights by capturing the Asian market share. iFlix currently has more than one million users.
As reported by Asian Financial Review, Patrick started his stock trading venture at a young age of 16 and is a believer of Warren Buffet’s philosophies
2. Anthony Tan
The youngest of three brothers in the Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd family, Anthony Tan took up his own business idea and delivered well with Grab, a car-hailing app that has taken over the transportation industry.
Grab is currently available in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines with over 139 million downloads and 710,000 drivers. As of March, Grab has raised a total of USD7.5 billion in funding over their journey.
To Anthony, the idea came about from a need of safety in the transportation industry. He has stated that a number of “bad eggs” amongst taxi drivers had given the entire industry a bad rep, and that Grab was his response to addressing this social issue.
Since its inception almost 7 years ago, Grab has become the leading ride-hailing service in the Asian market.
3. Chan Kee Siak
With humble hawker beginnings from Penang, Chan Kee Siak set out at the age of 19 to start his own online business. Today, Exabytes Network Sdn Bhd is an internationally renowned web hosting and e-commerce solutions provider.
At 19 years old, his business named hostkaki.com started taking of while Chan was still in college. According to him, the responses were so overwhelming that he decided to drop out of college to focus on the business.
Exabytes currently enjoys annual revenue of USD 9 to 10 million, with its operations in Singapore and Indonesia. Chan was recently awarded ‘The Star Business Awards (SOBA) in January – an award that pays tribute to SMEs that stand out amongst competitors.
While little has been disclosed about the networth of Exabytes or Chan, his story remains an inspiring one for young entrepreneurs.
4. Vivy Yusof
A blogger, wife and mother of two – Datin Vivi Yusof is pushing the boundaries for women with her online shopping platform, Fashion Valet.
With a starting capital of just RM100,000, Vivy and her husband managed to secure USD 320,000 of first-round funding from e-government services company, MyEG Services Bhd and second round of undisclosed funding from Elixir Capital, a Silicon Valley-based private equity firm.
Following the success of her first venture, Vivy went on to launch dUCK scarves to convey the message that wearing scarves should be a celebrated act amongst women, whether Muslim or not.
Vivy has also gone on to win several awards including Bella Business Award 2013, Ikon Wanita Puteri UMNO 2014, Prestige Magazine’s 2015 List of Top 40 Under 40 and many others. In April 2017, Vivy was listed on Forbes as one of Asia’s Top 30 under 30.
5. Karl Loo
Karl Loo founded ServisHero, a mobile application that serves to link consumers with local service providers like electricians, cleaners and plumbers. Karl graduated with an MBA from University of Oxford Business School in 2014.
Karl has stated that it all started when he needed an air-cond repairman but could not find anyone on the net. Seeing this as an opportunity, he set forth to rope in CTO and co-founder, Paul Copperstone. Together, from a small coffee shop in Pavillion KL, they developed ServisHero .
In 2016, it was reported that ServisHero had raised USD 2.7 million in an initial funding round led by Singapore headquartered Golden Gate Ventures, with participation from Cradle Seed Ventures (CSV) under the leadership of Karl.
The opportunities that ServisHero has provided for others has been notable. According to Karl, one of the most inspirational figures was a woman who used to clean his apartment. Today, the woman leads a 28-person cleaning company that operates in Singapore and Malaysia, thanks to the platform.
The technology entrepreneurs of the past may have been confined to only the most inventive and privileged. Names like Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison and Alan Turing will forever be in the history books.
Today, with the emergence of the internet and computers, anyone with the right attitude, drive and motivation can push the boundaries to be successful in the technological industry. The people mentioned in this article have proved just that!
Actionable Takeaway: Remember that many of these tech-entrepreneurs came from humble beginnings . It all starts with one idea, and the rest is up to you to make it happen! Go out there, make the most of your ideas, and never stop striving to achieve the best you can for your vision!