DNA on BFM: Not quite your usual R&D path

  • Rakuten and Sumitomo suffer hits to e-commerce ambitions
  • Startups learning dark side of bringing on board corporate investor

DNA on BFM: Not quite your usual R&D pathTHE Feb 18 Tech Talk show on BFM Radio was special because we had a guest. And it was interesting because the guest was not from the tech industry.
 
Dr M Rajen is the chief executive officer of Holista Colltech Pte Ltd, a biotech company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
 
The reason I had Rajen come on the show was to drive home the point that research and development (R&D) and innovation need not involve a high-tech lab or researchers with masters or PhDs – not in the beginning anyway.
 
Have a listen to the podcast and I am sure you will be amazed by the path Rajen took to commercialise his discovery.
 
His out-of-the-box thinking, refusal to give in, and deep-seated drive to make life more healthy for all of us is even more impressive than the six-year path he took, and the A$4 million to A$5 million (US$2.9 million to US$3.6 million) that he ultimately invested to bring his unique solution to our shelves.
 
We then spoke about a project I am super proud of, DNA’s second biennial Digerati50 list, where we highlight the 50 people we feel will help shape Malaysia digital economy over the next two years.
 
There are no awards for the individuals we pick, or any rankings. Nor are they titans of the ecosystem – that title will come after a decade of powering ahead!
 
I spoke a little bit about the reason why we created the Digerati50 and I shared that while no-one knew they were going to be featured, an exception was made for one Digerati50. Have a listen to the podcast to learn why!
 
With time running out, I managed to sneak in a quick discussion about my article on the possible hangover Japanese investors in South-East Asia’s e-commerce space may be facing. The trigger for this article was not only Rakuten’s recent move to close down its portals in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, but also Sumitomo Corp selling off its e-commerce site in Malaysia last month.
 
But, even more significant, I looked at the impact this could have for startups that may be seduced by the sweet promises of a corporate investor.
 
All in, it was a fast moving show with only three talking points this week. I will see you again two weeks from now.
 
To listen to the podcast, click below:
 

 
Previous Instalments:
 
Spectrum refarming roils telcos

In Malaysia, women are rocking IT

Three telcos, a bank and you, the customer
 
4G bragging rights and Maslow

Why no Asian interest in iProperty?

 
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