Week in Review: Malaysia keeps delivering, DHL keeps investing

  • Logistics giant confident Malaysia making right moves to meet digital economy ambitions
  • Go-Jek’s Go-Bills to deepen relevance to users, fend off competition from Grab, Alibaba


MALAYSIA’S technology hub, Cyberjaya, which, over its 21 years, has built up a thriving tech ecosystem consisting of a good mix of multinational and local companies, saw one of its pioneer residents deepen its links even more.

DHL IT Services Data Centre Cyberjaya, which has been in Cyberjaya for two decades, announced a US$310 million (RM1.3 billion) investment into its operations over a three year period to 2020. This comes on top of the already invested US$1.2 billion (RM4.7 billion) over the past 2 decades.

From 120 people, the IT operations of DHL has grown from handling local work to regional and now to being one of the two main tech centres that the Deutsche Post DHL Group relies on to ensure its logistics operations keep humming smoothly and 24x7.

A visit to its Cyberjaya operations earlier this week saw a War Room next to its Command Centre which monitors critical mission applications. “Something goes wrong somewhere and you see the War Room filled with people trying to identify and solve the problem right away,” explains a DHL manager.

The centre’s growth from 120 people in 1997 to almost 1,500 in 2017 shows that DHL has had very few problems in terms of infrastructure or talent in keeping up with its growth which means that Malaysia is doing plenty of things right in this area. And true enough a senior DHL exec tells me, “I have to disappoint you here” in response to a question I asked about any major pain points they wished the government could tackle.

Basically, it is all system go for DHL to grow further in Malaysia and it does highlight Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the invaluable role MDEC has played to ensure Malaysia provides DHL with all the support it needs.

The only challenge DHL had at one time was over the quality of fresh grads but it credits MDEC in helping it engage with universities to ensure relevance of what is being taught. And the recent introduction of the Premier Digital Tech University and Preferred Digital Tech Polytechnic to further elevate the importance of technical talent is yet another welcome move by government to support the talent needs of companies like DHL IT Services Data Centre Cyberjaya.

As Yogananthan S, site head of IT Services Cyberjaya, explains, “we have always supported the government’s vision to become a digital economy and actions like the premier digital universities reinforce our confidence over Malaysia’s future as a digital economy.”

Meanwhile in Indonesia, Go-Jek takes steps to deepen its relevance to customers by introducing a bill paying service, Go-Bills, as part of its payment platform, Go-Pay. Founder Nadiem Makarim points out that Go-Bills is the first step in its vision to deliver more cashless transaction channels to users. Expect more services to be rolled out as I am sure GoJek has an eye on the competing payments platforms from Grab and Alibaba which plans to introduce Alipay through Lazada Indonesia.

However, when Nadiem was asked during the press conference about competition from Grab and Alibaba’s payment services, he laughed it off without answering the question. It remains to be seen though who has the last laugh as the dominant digital payment platform in Indonesia.

Speaking of last, we have finished our coverage of What’s Next conference with three more articles highlighted this week. Do watch out for my commentary next week as I share some of my key take-aways.

With that, I wish you a restful weekend and a productive week after.

Editor’s Pick:

2 decades and US$1.2b later, DHL IT commits another US$310 mil into its Cyberjaya ops

Indonesia’s IDN Media secure Series B funding

Indonesia’s Go-Jek launches Go-Bills

What’s Next 2017: Moving SMEs online and abroad

What’s Next 2017: Seizing opportunity

What’s Next 2017: SMEs need to accelerate development to increase digital adoption in Malaysia

Infinitium opens e-payment doors


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