Three startups complete PwC-MDEC immersion programme
By Digital News Asia November 28, 2019
- Two-way mentoring programme to immerse, exchange idea& discover new paradigms
- Similar programmes needed that can impart world-class business acumen to entrepreneurs
PwC Malaysia and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) celebrated the achievements of three startups at the end of a six-month mentoring journey with three partners from PwC’s Assurance, Deals and Tax practice. A graduation ceremony was held to mark the end of the PwC-MDEC Immersion programme, a two-way mentoring programme to immerse, exchange ideas and discover new paradigms for businesses in the digital world.
The startup founders who went through the programme were:
- Mark Koh, CEO and Cofounder, Supahands
- Lennise Ng, CEO and Cofounder, Dropee; Aizat Rahim, COO and Cofounder, Dropee
- Jimmy How, Founder and CEO, Involve Asia
The highlight of the event was a fireside chat themed ‘Start Up with Mentors’ moderated by Freda Liu, Producer and Presenter at BFM 89.9.
Mark and Lennise shared their takeaways from the mentoring programme from the perspective of scaleups and early stage companies respectively. Malek Ali, founder of BFM 89.9 also took part in the discussion, sharing his experience as a business leader and mentor of several entrepreneurship programmes.
The discussion delved into why trust matters in a mentoring relationship, recognising that trust is a key ingredient at every stage of a startup’s journey. The panellists agreed that building trust needs to be intentional, including seeking out mentors to help them develop their capabilities in the eyes of investors, using technology to listen to customer feedback, and engaging consumers on-the-ground.
Sridharan (Sri) Nair, PwC Malaysia Managing Partner said: “We would like to congratulate the startups for completing this mentoring journey. They have demonstrated commitment and tenacity in learning and exchanging knowledge with the PwC partners they were paired with. The insights they brought to our partners in the programme were invaluable to PwC as it deepens our understanding of the investments they have made in digitising their organisations and their approach in disrupting the business.”
Sri pointed out that the mentoring programme was an opportunity for the participants to build trust with each other, a fundamental for any learning experience, be it in the course of making business decisions or through knowledge sharing initiatives. “Since PwC started engaging businesses on the importance of trust in 2015 as part of our Building Trust programme,we have been interacting with various groups, from corporates, to young professionals and students, as well as startups. We plan to continue growing the conversation on trust with the startup community with the support of this inaugural Immersion programme in collaboration with MDEC,” he adds.
Through the immersion programme, the startups had access to PwC’s network through sharing sessions on selected topics like funding and raising an IPO, as well as access to thought leadership. They also attended PwC’s Building Trust Awards 2019, a flagship initiative under PwC’s Building Trust programme.
Commenting on the pilot programme, MDEC's Vice President of Growth Ecosystem Development Norhizam Abdul Kadir said: “We’re excited to have partnered with PwC Malaysia for the opportunity to empower these extremely promising startups and potentially kickoff another initiative that will benefit Malaysian tech innovators. With Malaysian startups now growing into global market players, we feel it’s necessary for there to be more similar programmes that can impart world-class business acumen to our base of upcoming entrepreneurs.”
The event was attended by various players from Malaysia’s entrepreneur ecosystem, including startups, scaleups, small and medium enterprises, and coworking space providers.
- About the startups
Mark Koh is the CEO and cofounder of Supahands, a platform that connects companies to a remote workforce called SupaAgents based around Southeast Asia. SupaAgents specialise in working with large volumes of data, helping businesses scale projects and processes accurately on demand while reducing fixed overheads by up to 75%. Mark was paired up with PwC Malaysia Tax Partner Yap Sau Shiung for the Immersion programme.
Lennise Ng is the CEO and Cofounder of Dropee, a B2B marketplace that brings together suppliers and retailers. Dropee helps small and medium-sized retailers such as convenient stores and F&B outlets source for products directly from qualified wholesalers, manufacturers and brand owners at a faster, cheaper and more reliable way. Lennise and Aizat Rahim, COO and Cofounder of Dropee, were paired up with PwC Malaysia Deals Partner Yennie Tan for the Immersion programme.
Jimmy How is the Founder and CEO of Involve Asia, a performance marketing company delivering affiliate marketing and digital advertising solutions for brands around the Asian region. The company’s ‘Involve’ platform is recognised as a well established network for advertisers and publishers to connect for marketing campaigns, performance and results. Jimmy was paired up with PwC Malaysia Assurance Partner Kelvin Lee for the Immersion programme.