MDEC CEO receives feedback from tech ecosystem
By Kiran Kaur Sidhu March 11, 2019
- Malaysia should be aware of neighbours’ progress but focus on own benchmark
- Still in transition stage of getting input from industry players
THE first session on the agenda for Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre’s (MaGIC) Innovation Week was an open conversation between entrepreneurs and the new chief executive officer of Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Surina Shukri (pic).
This marks Surina’s first public engagement with entrepreneurs since her appointment on Jan 15. After listening to concerns voiced by the audience largely on local regulation and policy, Surina shared that, “It is good to be aware of what our neighbours, America, Europe and others are doing but at the end of the day, we need to focus on us.”
Surina touched on the qualities of a successful founder. “It all starts with vision. Being an entrepreneur is hard. To me, the best founders are the ones that have a really strong ‘why’ to work on.”
However, as for her own vision and plans for MDEC, Surina remained tight-lipped. “That is a secret for now,” she quipped. Almost two months after her appointment, she admits that MDEC is still in the transition stage. “It’s really about clarifying the narrative. We are still in the process of getting input and feedback from everybody.”
Being a big believer of listening to ecosystem needs, she explains, “I have my vision but that comes from 20 years of living overseas. Any idea or product needs to be customised to fit into an environment.” Surina was previously a banker with stints in Chase Commercial Bank and JP Morgan Chase & Co and even founded her own venture last year called SheNovation Ventures.
Surina acknowledges the government’s role to facilitate the tech ecosystem and expressed her commitment to making things easier for people. “There is a shift that is happening and, at least one of the things that I want to continue to drive, is all about delivering a good experience and solving problems.”