Week in Review: We’re all going to be watching Matt Chandran
By Karamjit Singh February 1, 2013
- iGene Sdn Bhd’s CEO raises RM70mil but plan to raise more in future
- Funding to fuel dream of being a global company, will settle for nothing less
HOW can this week’s highlight be anything other than the RM70 million (US$22.7 million) investment made into iGene Sdn Bhd by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM)?
It is arguably the largest venture capital investment made into a Malaysian company.
But iGene chief executive officer Matt Chandran does not plan to stop now. He is aiming for iGene, which he describes as “an advanced medical informatics” company, to expand into Europe and the United States at some point and will need more money. “A lot more than RM70 million,” he smiles.
He is already in talks with major venture capital and private equity funds. But what I find most interesting about Chandran is how he has been focused on building a global business from day one, and not settling for less than that.
Chandran began his entrepreneurial journey 13 years ago and is seasoned and hardened and is even an angel investor. Despite being an entrepreneur since 2000, not many would have heard of him because he plays in the biotech space in Malaysia, an area not well covered by the media.
I first featured him in 2004 when I was with The Edge’s Netv@lue pullout and put him on my cover as I thought what he was doing was very bold.
That was when he was first pushing his Virtual Autopsy system. At that time it was a standalone system versus the services based business model he has now adopted and plans to roll out in the United Kingdom this year.
I was impressed by the boldness of his dream and that he had built the software and system in-house. It was rare then, and still rare today, for Malaysian entrepreneurs to be technology creators.
He credits his global mindset to the training he got when working for multinational companies. He says he learnt the importance of juggling multiple balls in the air and learnt from his bosses to never even think about dropping any ball to lessen his burden.
“Just thinking about dropping a ball is a sign of weakness, that you are willing to settle for less,” he says.
In a country which has so many phrases in various languages that tend to reinforce our culture of not giving 100%, Chandran stands out even more. I ended that first article on him with the line, “Watch this man.” Now we all will.
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