Week in Review: MDeC’s unfinished business

  • Bold and risky move by MDeC CEO Yasmin Mahmood
  • Success will depend on hunger, drive of entrepreneurs

Week in Review: MDeC’s unfinished businessTHIS year marks the 20th year of Malaysia’s national ICT custodian Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), and the agency has set its sights on Silicon Valley to help it achieve one of the goals of its mission – to propel Malaysian tech companies into going global.
No two ways about it, Malaysia and MDeC have failed to leverage on the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) vision, unveiled in 1996.
The idea was not to create tech companies to rival Microsoft, Oracle or IBM, the then dominant names in tech, but to spur Malaysian companies to export their product and services globally.
Even that was a bold statement of intent, considering Malaysia was very much a commodities- and manufacturing-based economy then. But no-one ever accused the MSC vision of lacking gumption and verve.
And credit here to MDeC chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood, who has chosen to go back and tackle some unfinished business. It is a risky move and Yasmin is not known to be a risk-taker.
Choosing Silicon Valley, the innovation heartbeat of the United States, is logical from the point that if you cut a business deal there, the sheen on your brand is enhanced immeasurably.
It is risky too as the Valley is also a merciless place that has snuffed out the dreams and ambitions of many overseas entrepreneurs who, bolstered by local and regional success, thought they had the chops to compete in the US market.
MDeC has established its office in Silicon Valley and placed its articulate senior vice president Dan Khoo there to act as the connector between Malaysian tech companies and investors, partners, customers.
But Yasmin also promises, “While we will do everything we can to help them, we will not spoonfeed them.”
In other words, MDeC and Yasmin are betting on the hunger, desire and ambitions of its leading MSC companies to want to be global players. The question is: Are they hungry and confident enough to seize this opportunity?
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