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In the last two decades, Malaysia has witnessed a proliferation of local technopreneurs who have emerged to take advantage of the new technologies in the ICT, internet and mobile industries. This newbreed of savvy tech entrepreneurs have spurred innovation withtheir homegrown products and at the same time played a critical role in transforming Malaysia into a vibrant knowledge-based economy. In this issue, Top 10 of Malaysia takes a look atthe 10 most inspiring Malaysian technopreneurs who have been resilient enough to with stand the challenges of a fast changing landscape and at the same time have been successful in introducing and sustaining their tech businesses in the country.
Mark Chang
Mark Chang is the driving force behind –Malaysia’s largest online recruitment company. Chang initially wanted to form a company only to earn a living but the popularity of Jobstreet among employers and job seekers revolutionised the recruitment market in Malaysia. Jobstreet has continued to be profitable from the time of its formation.Chang ensured that during the tumultuous dot-com era, he did not fall forthe allure of funds which led to the failure of many tech companies. Today, has dealings with over 20,000 companies with almost three million job seekers registered under Jobstreet. With Mark Chang as its CEO, has won several accolades including Internet Company of theYear, Malaysia Internet Awards by Jaring and The Star, E-Business site of theyear at PIKOM-Computimes ICT Awards.
Ganesh Kumar Bangah
Originally from Johor Bahru, Ganesh Kumar Bangah, is one Malaysia’s most successful technopreneurs. He is the cofounder and Group Chief Executive Officer of global online payment service provider, MOL Access Portal Sdn Bhd. Today MOL is one of the biggest online payment service providers in Asia with annual revenue of RM460mn while handling over 600,000 physical payment channels across 75 countries worldwide.In June 2000, Ganesh was certified by the Malaysia Book of Records as the Youngest Chief Executive Officer of a Public Listed Company in Malaysia when he listed MOL Access Portal Sdn Bhd on the MESDAQ Market of Bursa Malaysia at the age of 21. In 2009 he acquired Friendster Inc. a pioneer social network. Ganesh was also a top nominee for the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year - Malaysia 2004, 2007 and Pua Khein Seng 2012 Awards.
Pua Khein Seng
Datuk Pua Khein Seng a native to Sekinchan, Selangor founded Phison Electronics in Hsinchu, Taiwan over a decade ago.Along with four other partners, he produced USB flash drive with system-on-chip technology in 2001, which is regarded as the first in the world. During that time Phisontech was the market leader in universal serial bus flash drives and its assembly processes for the finished products were outsourced to local small and medium enterprises.In 2010, the company shipped over 500 million controllers worldwide and topped RM3.06bn in sales revenue. As of 2012, Phison, which means five persons, boasts a market capitalization of RM4.43bn. Pua’s success has brought him many accolades. He received the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award Top 10 Outstanding General Managers’Award in Taiwan and In Malaysia, he received an Outstanding Youth Award, as well as the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur ofthe Year Award.
Puan Chan Cheong
Puan Chan Cheong grew up in Kuantan, Pahang and used to dream about the wonders of wireless technology and the endless potential offered by the internet. After graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, he put his dreams into practice when he founded Green Packet Inc at the Silicon Valley in the United States more than ten years ago. However with the onslaught of the dotcom crash he decided to headback to Malaysia and established Green Packet Bhd.Today Green Packet is listed on the Main Board of the Bursa Malaysia and is the country’s fourth largest broadband provider, with 388,000 paying subscribers. Green Packet takes pride in being the leading developer of Next Generation mobile broadband and networking solutions and recently introduced 4G WiMAX. Puan was named as Technopreneur ofthe year 2004 by PIKOM and Green Packet was ranked among Top 10 Tech Brands for 2009 by
Richard Tan
Richard Tan is the co-founder of Interbase Resources Sdn Bhd, one of the oldest e-commerce stores in Malaysia back in 1998.It operates the online auction portal and, an online premium fixed price e-commerce mall. He also co-founded which wasa pioneer in the automotive portal until it was divested to the Hong Leong Group. Originally an accountant from Kuching,Sarawak, Tan believed the Internet would revolutionise and transform the way business and social life was conducted.Lelong, the auction portal that he co-founded, was fashioned after E-bay. But its main attraction was having local flavour and the ability to provide a secure avenue for lowcost trading in Malaysia. Tan played a crucial role in helping the company to weather the global dotcom crisis in 2000 andwent on to make his site the number one online auction site in Malaysia. Today, more than three million people visit over 2,000 online stores with half a million items listed.
Christopher Chan Hooi Guan
In 1996 Christopher Chan along with two partners set upthe software solutions company: The Media Shoppe (TMS).TMS started out producing web-based solutions for small and medium sized industries. Today, it has grown into one of Malaysia’s leading companies in developing world-class homegrown internet and mobile based applications andsolutions for more than 180 clients in 10 countries.TMS received the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status in 1999 and was also listed on the MESDAQ market of BursaMalaysia. As a visionary CEO, Chris Chan is involved in theoverall management and the development of strategic directions of TMS Group. He was awarded the PIKOM Computimes ICT Award for ICT Entrepreneur of the Year in2001. He was also the finalist at the 2004 Ernst & Young ICT Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Wei Chuan Beng
Dato’ Wei Chuan Beng began his career with Hewlett Packard Sales Malaysia Sdn Bhd in 1989 as a Systems Engineer. In 1996, along with two other partners he established REDtone International Berhad, a leading telecommunications company in Malaysia. Redtone hasbdiversified from being the largest provider of discounted call services in Malaysia to offering high speed Internet services, data solutions and discounted voice over IP services. It has also expanded regionally with operations inChina, Singapore and Pakistan.REDtone was the first company in its industry to be listed on the MESDAQ market (now known as ACE Market).Dato’ Wei has played a leading role shaping the Group’sbusiness relations and policies, and in expanding the business to become a leading broadband service provider in Malaysia. He was appointed as a member ofthe National IT Council which is chaired by the Malaysian Prime Minister and held the position of chairman of PIKOMfor 2010/2011.
Chan Kee Siak
When Chan Kee Siak started the web-hosting company Exabytes Network Sdn Bhd, he proved that such a bold move was not in vain. He managed to break even within the first year of establishment. Today, Exabytes Network is the largest web-hosting company in Malaysia with its own servers and 34,000 clients in over 120 countries. One of the interesting strategies Chan initiated was to ensure that all sales were done over the Internet. This helped the company reduce cost and pass the savings back to its customers.While most web-hosting providers have more sales people than support personnel, three out of five Exabytes employees are in customer service and support teams providing round-the-clock technical assistance. Under Chan’s leadership and vision, Exabytes became an MSC Status company and was awarded the Best Reseller Performance 2011 By MYNIC (The Malaysia Network Information Centre) and The 2011 Golden Bull Award.
Tengku Farith Rithauddeen
Technopreneur Tengku Farith Rithauddeen is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of SKALI, a pioneer in e-business and e-government services. SKALI burst onto the scene in the mid nineties when it successfully launched the Asian-based mirror website for the search engine Alta Vista, the world’s most popular search engine before the emergence of Yahoo and Google. SKALI was among the first nine companies to be awarded MSC Status and today has a workforce of more than 400.Guided by Tengku Farith, SKALI successfully negotiated the challenges posed by the dotcom bubble and managed to overcome it by sheer resilience and persistence. In 2002,Tengku Farith was selected as one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum. He became the first recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award by theMalay Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and was awarded Most Outstanding Entrepreneur for2008 by the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurs Award (APEA) Organisation.
Harres Tan
With more than 37 years experience in the ICT industry, veteran Harres Tan is a well respected figure in Malaysia’s technopreneurial world. He established the HT Consulting Group in 1989 providing ICT consulting and systems development services mainly in the areas of self-service banking as well as business process automation for the banking and finance industry. Under Tan’s stewardship, the group has expanded regionally with offices in more than seven countries. Its outsourcing services to industry sectors include that of government, healthcare, energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and banking and finance.In recognition of his long service in the ICT industry, Tan was awarded a fellowship by the Malaysian National Computer Confederation in 1997, elected PIKOM Chairman in 2004 and appointed to the Board of Multimedia Development Corporation by the Prime Minister of Malaysia…...

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