Digerati50 networking goes metaverse

  • 50 Digerati50 & 10 C-suite leaders will converge in full virtual reality
  • McKinsey report shows US$5 trillion metaverse ecosystem by 2030

The DNA team working on the Digerati50 Omniverse project. Back row (L2R): Karamjit Singh, Harjeet Keitarou Singh, Dhruv Kulkarni. Front row (L2R) Ian Danish Iman, Chan Xu Yun, Chuah Yew Sing, Chan Yi Siang and project manager, Solahuddin Olive Mathew.

“Why so boring, pops,” said my 18 year old this February when he overheard me talking about plans for a face to face networking session in conjunction with the 5th edition of DNA’s Digerati50 bienniel publication coming out in late Oct/Nov.

“What do you mean?” I retorted. With the pent up desire for business leaders to get out there and network, mingle, make new connections, face to face networking is timeless and such an event would be timely as well.

“But you are a tech publication, why not have the networking in virtual reality (VR). It will be more interesting,” he replied. Hmm. Food for thought.

With May being DNA’s 10 anniversary since we started publishing, I thought it was time to do something that pushes the envelope when it comes to technology. Plus the country wants to position itself as the Heartbeat of Digital ASEAN. Why not Malaysia then take the lead in this metaverse space then?

And, Malaysia already had its first career fair in virtual reality, thanks to Accenture Malaysia’s recent Careerverse that went on for one month. And while that was not a fully immersive experience, the desktop and mobile approach was very practical, allowing Accenture to reach as many job seekers in the country as possible.

If you thought this was the first application of VR in Malaysia by a large company, think again. As early as 2019, a large Malaysian company had built a virtual replica of its platform so it could show customers from around the world, how its solutions would work in real world.

So, fast forward four months since that conversation with junior, RM50,000 invested in 24 Oculus Quest 2 headsets and one HP Reverb 2 4K set, three virtual worlds built, one from scratch thanks to partner, Experiential Design Team, a KL based XR agency, four virtual reality majors from Multimedia University onboard as interns, and with Fusionex International as sponsor, DNA is ready to host its inaugural Digerati50 Omniverse Networking event on 5th Aug! Fully immersive!

[Ed: The date of the Digerati50 Omniverse Networking has been moved to 23rd Sept.]

Fifty Digerati50 have been invited, together with 10 corporate C-suite executives as well, including Bernard Sia, CIO of Manulife Malaysia, Amran Hassan, CEO of Etiqa Digital, and, from his new base in Amsterdam, Khairil Abdullah, CEO of VEON Ventures. Joining them will be Teong Teck Lean, CEO of GDEX Bhd, Alex Chi, General Manager, Group ICT & Digital Transformation, SP Setia and Nicole Tan, Country Head, Meta Malaysia.

And while this may well be the first C-level virtual reality networking event in Malaysia by the time it happens (and I’ll be happy if it is not the first) and DNA is quite excited about hosting this, you won’t find me spouting forth about the Metaverse Economy being the next big thing and how corporate Malaysia needs to start exploring how the metaverse can play a role in their business. I’m going to leave that to management consultants McKinsey & Company.

The firm just published the results of an extensive report titled, “Value creation in the metaverse,” which contends that the metaverse may be too big an opportunity to take lightly.

It’s preliminary forecast shows that the metaverse has the potential to be a US$5 trillion (RM22 trillion) in value ecosystem by 2030 – that’s a mere 8 years away!

“The metaverse represents a strategic inflection point for companies, and it presents a significant opportunity to influence the way we live, connect, learn, innovate, and collaborate,” said Eric Hazan, senior partner, McKinsey.

The report is useful for companies of all sizes that may want to explore the metaverse, providing an extensive view of what the metaverse is and is not and what the first movers are doing, what’s fueling investments, and the potential for consumer and B2B companies.

There is certainly a huge amount being invested (bet?) here. Already this year, the report says that venture capital and private equity firms have invested more than US$120 billion in the metaverse—more than double the US$57 billion invested in all of last year. Anyone sensing the beginnings of a bubble already?

However fast or slow the Metaverse Economy develops in Malaysia, with the experience DNA is picking up in planning this inaugural Digerati50 Omniverse networking, we will be more than happy to share our experience with anyone out there who is thinking of hosting their own Metaverse gathering. Do reach out to me at [email protected]. Or, we can meet in the Digerati50 Omniverse House as well!


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