Week in Review: Exciting times for the ecosystem
By Karamjit Singh March 1, 2013
- CS Goh bets RM6m to come up with a set-top box that gives the market a great TV viewer experience
- Veteran business journalist P. Gunasegaram, almost 60, puts own money into his online adventure KiniBiz
THERE were just so many interesting stories from this sizzling week in Malaysia's tech ecosystem for me to choose from in penning my Week in Review column.
While I still have a lot to say about my bitter disappointment with the three-year plan industry development plan revealed by Outsourcing Malaysia and it president David Wong, to stress that here would be doing a disservice to some of the amazing stories from this week.
Besides, that would be my low point of the week as I ponder the future of our home-grown outsourcing players and question if any of them can truly become world class without a strong industry game plan.
But I want to highlight the disruption that some Malaysian entrepreneurs are aiming to create and how bold moves such as these serve to inspire even bolder dreams from others.
First there is the move by MalaysiaKini to take on the well-established traditional business media with its launch of KiniBiz. I believe that is the first time in South-East Asia that an online media outlet is taking on the business media. But even more exciting is that the person MalaysiaKini wanted to hire, P. Gunasegaram, has instead become a partner in the venture, putting down his own money.
Guna, in his late 50s, has enough confidence in the potential of KiniBiz that he is plunking down his own money. Is that amazing or has Guna simply decided to take heed of all the signs we see around us? Digital is slowly but surely playing a bigger role in our lives. But beyond that, in the online world, credibility and reputation are everything.
Guna just figured that his credibility, deep domain knowledge and undiminished passion as a journalist, combined with MalaysiaKini's stronger branding and online expertise, was a marriage made in heaven.
Now, do any of you have similar expertise in your own space? Do you have the drive? Can you transfer your expertise digitally and find a market for it?
Then we have the RM6 million (internally funded) bet by CS Goh, CEO of leading IPTV player Select-TV Solutions Sdn Bhd, who launched a set-top box that he hopes will take advantage of a current trend that is already happening – that of people watching online video on their mobile devices – by offering the market a great user experience that will eventually lead them to want to pay for premium content.
It has been done before by Apple, twice – first with music, and then in the mobile world.
With the launch of his Emagine set-top, Goh is betting that the RM6 million in R&D that he has invested will offer the market a box that allows them to discover, to watch and to share great video content online -- via their high definition TV sets.
Where skeptics like me shrug our shoulders and think, “That's a crazy thing to do when you already have smart TVs from Sony, Sharp, Samsung rapidly gaining popularity,” the dreamer in Goh sees the need to offer the market a much better user experience. Goh saw this three years ago, and this week saw the fruition of that dream.
Has Goh made the right bet? Has Guna made the right bet? Such exciting times these are! Who needs the general election?
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