Digerati50: Enabling others to do good

Digital News Asia (DNA) continues a weekly series that profiles the top 50 influencers, movers and shakers who are helping shape Malaysia’s Digital Economy. These articles are from Digerati50, a special print publication released in January 2014. For information on customised reprints of Digerati50, email [email protected].

  • Entreprenuer with a mission to empower social enterprise and creative makers
  • Best lesson learnt, 'to never outsource your vision'
Digerati50: Enabling others to do good

HAKIM Albasrawy may be only 28 years old, but his current venture, digital marketing solutions agency Tandemic, is his fourth startup.

He got his first taste of entrepreneurship during college, putting together a student- powered advertising agency with some friends.

“Some years later, when I had had
 my fill of doing communications and branding work, I got into developing applications – some worked and some didn’t; that ultimately led me to starting Tandemic,” says the Institute Advertising Communication Training (IACT) graduate.

After graduating with a diploma in communications and advertising, Hakim spent some time as an events manager at Meeting and Exhibition Planners (MEP) and also did a stint as a partner with Internet marketing firm Urekalabs Sdn Bhd.

He was also chief executive officer of Right Ideas Left, another digital marketing agency incorporated in 2008 and later rebranded into Tandemic in 2010, where he holds the post of director.

In a nutshell, Tandemic helps build communities and social movements for brands, non-profit and government organisations.

When asked what his proudest achievement to date is, Hakim points to growing the company from a two-man shop to a 30-man team.

As an agency, Tandemic is very active in the Malaysian digital ecosystem and won the Youth-Friendly Company of the Year award at the 2012 Hope Awards, which was held in conjunction with the Youth Social Business Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

Tandemic was recognised for its work on three major initiatives: Makeweekend, Do Something Good and the Social Innovation Lab.

Makeweekend is a national programme where youth brainstorm and build prototypes of solutions to everyday problems. The programme has reached over 1,000 youth nationwide.

Do Something Good is Malaysia’s volunteering platform, where nearly 3,000 youth find volunteering opportunities and gain virtual points and badges for participating.
Social Innovation Lab is an accelerator for social enterprises, providing software technology to help start up and power technology-based social enterprises.

These days, the bulk of Hakim’s time 
is devoted to growing his latest venture, Makespace, a co-working space in Petaling Jaya. Targeted at creative makers and
entrepreneurs, the space offers various support services from events and workshops, to access to expertise via its community.

A central feature of the space is the availability of a MakerBot Replicator
2, which prints 3D objects at a 100- micron resolution. For a fee, co-working residents and interested creators can use the MakerBot to create anything from jewellery and product samples, to fully functioning mechanical widgets.

Hakim shares that the best advice he’s ever received came from his mother, who told him “action is the best plan,” while the biggest lesson he’s learnt as an entrepreneur is this: “You cannot outsource your vision.”

When asked about his weaknesses, Hakim points to the power of belief, for when running a startup, you have to believe that everything will come together one way or another.

“So I suppose that having too much or too little at any one time is a dangerous thing – my biggest challenge is to keep the belief in check. Also, I have a young- looking face, so usually getting people to look beyond the appearance and into the experience and skills takes some doing,” he adds.

In addition to business as usual, 2014 will also see Hakim and the Tandemic team being involved with several projects aimed at growing the base of makers and innovators in Malaysia.

 
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