Welcome back to an-all new Head’s Up. In collaboration with SATU Creative, we bring you entrepreneurs who are tackling challenges and continuing to rise up to new occasions.
For this issue, we are featuring Moses L. Vinsien, Managing Director, Edaberan Group Sdn Bhd and EB Tech who speaks about reprioritising strategy and purpose amid challenging times. He also shines light on the importance of constant innovations and why it’s a necessity for business sustenance.
EDABERAN is an online marketplace that serves as a platform for craftsmen and budding entrepreneurs to market their brands and products in a global scale
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News & Announcements
Cikguu, an education-tech startup, has emerged victorious from a cohort of 71 teams to receive RM 50,000 in funding. Cikguu is a social network platform for tutors and learners to meet, book, and learn, with focus on autonomy and community. In short, it’s learning made simple and human. They are currently in limited release and are looking for more teachers: https://cikguu.com
Cikguu was part of the Alpha Startups™ Digital Accelerator Cohort 38 was held in collaboration between 1337 Ventures and Amanz. It was supported by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Digital Penang, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Airtable, and iTrain Asia.
If you’d like to know more about the startup ecosystem in Malaysia, check out Muru-ku.com for an up-to-date and curated list of all the startups in Malaysia, VCs, events, and grants available, visit: https://muru-ku.com.
Ready to start investing in Equity Crowdfunding campaigns and startups? Leet Capital Angel Investor Insight Series #3, featuring guest speaker Izwan from Izwan & Partners will be sharing about the legal aspect for investors when they consider investing in a startup/SME.
The following will be discussed:
The importance of understanding the legal aspects of fundraising
Key documents in an ECF campaign
The significance of these documents to an investor and what you should look out for
Potential legal red flags
Join in for a fruitful session on 5th November with Izwan Zakaria, RSVP at https://bit.ly/angelseries3.
Budget 2022 Commentary
The Budget 2022 tabled mainly focuses on the recovery of the economy post pandemic, building the country’s resilience to prepare for an uncertain future and undertakes reforms to achieve long term economic growth and employment.
The people and business-centric Budget shows an increase in spending by a hefty amount to RM332.1bn, the highest compared to all the previous budgets, with 24% consisting of development expenditure and 76% in operating expenditure.
Despite the expansion of country’s fiscal position to 6.5%, it would be good to gain clarity on how the government plans to generate further revenues to cover its fiscal deficit other than through dividends from the state energy firm Petronas, and excise duty on sugar and nicotine products.
Economic growth that generates revenue should not only come from short-term demand side such as stimulus packages, but more importantly, address the long-term structural problems emanating from the supply-side including human capital development, education, infrastructure development, connectivity, technologies and productivity. Debt sustainability can only be achieved when our economic growth is sustained and exceeds the government’s fiscal borrowing.
The government’s commitment to upskilling initiatives especially through technological and digital platform to create further employment in the country is applauded. These efforts will help boost labor demand for skilled workers, however, it is equally important for the government to also address the problems of semi-skilled and low-skilled workers who are vulnerable to retrenchment as technologies and artificial intelligence take over including informal economy workers that have been severely affected due to MCO as staying home means losing their jobs and livelihoods.
With these budget initiatives, it is hoped that not only can we generate short- and long-term economic growth, but more importantly, ensure that we narrow income inequality through more redistributive wage dispersion.
Dr. Nur Ain Shahrier is a Senior Lecturer at Sunway University, Malaysia. She was previously an economist at Central Bank (BNM) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). She was also the Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard Asia Center.
Q&A with Moses L Vinsien
How would you describe 2021 as an enterprise and what were some of your highlights?
2021 has been an interesting year for our startup EdaBeran Group and EB Tech. First and foremost, one major highlight was the lockdown during the pandemic. It made us reprioritise our business strategy and processes. For EB Tech, we did multiple pivoting in terms of our startup development based on market research and the current situation. As for EdaBeran Group, we made a slight adjustment to our business model and focused more on developing a sales team.
How did you pivot in the face of the challenges posed by the pandemic?
Focus more on online sales and developing a strong sales team. Other than that, I also did a lot of changes in my management and networking strategy as everyone is working remotely and virtually. In terms of spending, we became much leaner and eliminated all the unnecessary spending in the company.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs facing similar challenges?
Constantly innovate and be prepared for changes. Be sure to know your business numbers and your target market in order to make good business decisions. Lastly, although it is important to have a long term goal, always focus on doing the best NOW and don’t worry too much about the future. If you focus on doing the best in the present, your future will reap the benefits.
On the digital front, how have you adapted? And what was the outcome like?
When it comes to sales and marketing, we focused heavily on digital marketing, mainly social media and sales team development. Besides that, I participated in a number of programmes and courses on digital marketing. Therefore, we managed to sustain and increase our online sales during the pandemic.
For management, we worked remotely and utilised all the online management tools available such as Trello, Telegram, Slack etc. For the outcome, we manage to work efficiently although the team is working remotely.
In the upcoming Budget 2022, what sort of initiatives/policies should the government undertake to better help Malaysian enterprises?
Focus on providing incentives, micro-loans and grants for micro and uprising businesses. Besides that, provide more funds focusing on operating expenditure and R&D, not only focusing on CAPEX and also decrease the amount of restriction for micro and small enterprises to apply government funds. Other than that, focus on empowering youths in business and also rural entrepreneurship. Lastly, focus on building businesses on meritocracy instead of political and racial background.
How has Satu Creative aided you as an entrepreneur to get through these hard times and what was the outcome like?
Satu Creative has helped us in terms of providing professional advice on the development of our startup and connecting us with important people in the marketplace. They also provide us with valuable training from market experts and personal coaching in order for us to get through only the pandemic but also as early-stage businesses.
Whether it’s a feedback or if you would like us to put your story out there, reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org
*The interview was done before the tabling of the Budget 2022