Powering Alibaba’s eWTP with big data analytics, AI and machine learning

KUALA LUMPUR: It has been more than a year since the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative was launched in Malaysia and although public attention was only revived a week ago during the launch of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s first regional office here, several local companies have already been hard at work making the ambitious project a reality.

Big data analytics firm Fusionex International Plc is one of them, having led a consortium which secured a contract to provide the e-Services platform for the DFTZ from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.

The awarding of the contract was announced in November last year and according to Fusionex, has since been up and running with more than 3,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on board currently.

“More and more of [these companies] are starting to appreciate that it is important to level up and capitalise on the robust growth in e-commerce and the export market,” said Datuk Seri Ivan Teh, Fusionex founder and chief executive officer of Fusionex.

He added that many local SMEs that Fusionex has spoken to are receptive, open-minded and cognisant of the global language.

“They are open and want to embrace technology as long as it’s easier, faster, better, and more cost-effective than the status quo. In short, they are constructive but might be facing challenges in areas such as market access, funds, modern skills and technology. This is where DFTZ’s e-Services can assist them,” Teh told The Edge Financial Daily in an email exchange.

The platform is key to realising the e-World Trade Platform (eWTP) that has been one of Alibaba’s key initiatives under the DFTZ banner and aims to provide Malaysian SMEs access to global consumers via e-commerce.

https://twitter.com/fusionexint

“The e-Services platform functions as a one-stop digital trade facilitation platform, that is integrated with a multitude of business service platforms, e-marketplaces, government agencies, logistics providers, freight forwarders, agents, SMEs and other service providers,” said Teh.

The platform aims to “bridge the gap in terms of know-how, reduce costs, as well as avoid or minimise unnecessary delays and encumbrances associated with the old way of manually doing things,” he said, adding that it is meant to be highly scaleable and inclusive.\

According to Teh, the platform is powered by big data technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and is “designed to help merchants — regardless of shape and size — to level the playing ground, and do so without incurring exorbitant costs”.

Fusionex is also riding on the strength of Alibaba Cloud, what with being the latter’s official strategic partner in this region.

“They are a great, committed partner,” Teh said of Alibaba Cloud, noting that the collaboration is synergistic as the latter “has a great cloud offering, whereas Fusionex is a leader in big data technology, AI and machine learning with a strong international reputation.”

While Fusionex may not be a household name to most Malaysians, it has certainly made waves overseas. The company had, until July last year, been listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

However, Teh had decided to take the company private after five years on the market due to what he reportedly said was a persistently undervalued stock.

Without disclosing any figures, Teh shares that Fusionex has “invested significantly” and will continue to invest as it is fully committed to ensuring the success of the e-Services platform.

He did not reveal the names of the group’s partners in its consortium, but that they are local players with the relevant expertise and experience.

Teh pointed out that like the DFTZ itself, the e-Services platform is not constrained to physical hubs such as the KL Aeropolis logistics hub being developed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (Hong Kong) Ltd.

“e-Services will be an open platform that welcomes multiple business service providers, be it forwarding agents, logistics players, and of course very importantly, good local SMEs with great Malaysian products.”

“The cost benefits and efficiencies these players enjoy would ultimately trickle down to consumers [in the form of] faster, more efficient and more cost-effective products and fulfilment,” he said. https://twitter.com/fusionexint

Fusionex CEO receives Technopreneur of Excellence Title

Fusionex Managing Director and CEO Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh was awarded the Technopreneur of Excellence 2017 Award at the PIKOM ICT Awards ceremony over the weekend. The coveted award was presented to Teh, in recognition of Fusionex’s achievements and contributions towards growing and supporting the ICT sector in the region.

Fusionex Ivan Teh (center) on stage to receive the Technopreneur of Excellence award

The star-studded event was marked by an attendance of approximately a thousand attendees, consisting of industry leaders, talents, and budding stars in the ICT arena. The Technopreneur of Excellence award is reserved for individuals demonstrating ICT best practices; as well as to commend their diligence, commitment, and continuous innovation.

This award marks the continuous excellence exhibited by Fusionex, helmed by Teh, and follows Fusionex’s earlier win of the Company Excellence Award in 2016.

fusionex ivan teh

Teh carried the Malaysian and ASEAN flags up high when he represented the country and region to speak at the 2017 Belt and Road Summit. Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC), Teh was one of the most prominent speakers, gathered to share their perspective and vision with thousands of business leaders and key government officials from almost 50 countries.

With Fusionex as a premier data technology player, Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh has also led Fusionex towards striking a strategic alliance with Alibaba Cloud, one of the fastest growing cloud providers in the world. Fusionex technology is also incorporated into the syllabus of certain local universities, to encourage homegrown ICT talent. Teh is a strong advocate for the nurturing of young talent, frequently encouraging students to consider ICT and data technology as a viable interest and career. He was also a judge for the Sunway University Dolphin Tank tech entrepreneur competition (by the Young Outliers) as well as Battle of the Digital Ninja event by MDEC held at KLCC.

Teh commented, “I am happy and humbled to receive this award. Accepting this in front of so many ICT friends, and colleagues reminds me that it takes everyone working together to advance the role of ICT in society.

I would like to congratulate and thank everyone from Team Fusionex who made this possible. We will continue to move upwards and onwards in our journey and mission to help shape this country and region in a positive manner with technology.” https://www.fusionex-international.com/Latest-News-Announcements/Fusionex-CEO-receives-Technopreneur-of-Excellence-Title

Diaspora Malaysians see opportunities everywhere, including in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: When Ng Keng Hooi was appointed Hong Kong-based AIA Group Ltd’s chief executive officer, he made history by becoming the first Malaysian to helm a global financial services firm.

Ivan Teh

His appointment brings to mind the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians working abroad, of which according to the World Bank in a report from 2011, a third have some form of tertiary education.

The total number of those born in Malaysia but who have moved overseas over the decades has risen to well above 1 million. Some have become citizens of other countries while others continue to hold on to their Malaysian passports.

Because of their skills and knowledge base, Malaysia-born migrants usually can be found in the professions and some have even made it as entrepreneurs, founding companies listed in foreign bourses.

Malaysian entrepreneurs can be found all over the world, one of them being Datuk Seri Ivan Teh, the founder of London-listed Fusionex International plc, which specializes in big data and analytics.

He has businesses around the world and has worked in the United States and Britain. Ivan Teh firmly believes that the grass can be green anywhere as long as the business landscape and supporting infrastructure “is well-taken care off”.

He said entrepreneurs from anywhere who were willing to work hard and learn, especially if they set up their businesses in other countries, can make it.

“Main thing is willing to learn, and learn quickly, willing to take chances that even if they fall, they pick themselves up,” Teh said.

He does see an increasing trend of Malaysian entrepreneurs returning to the country, and that has also been matched by fewer Malaysians moving abroad compared to five years ago. The Asean growth story plays a role, with returning Malaysians hoping to clinch opportunities in Malaysia’s Asean hub role.

But Teh admits that younger Malaysians may find the work culture more attractive in the developed economies. He said younger Malaysians might find themselves disconnected from the workplace where traditional Asian values based on seniority still prevail.

Chan Jiaheng and Adelene Teh, property developers who both studied in Melbourne, Australia, also said that its how people handle opportunities that make the grass greener.

“I think it’s a misconception that the grass is greener on the other side, there are pros and cons of being over there or here, its really how you handle the opportunities and what you do with them. That’s what we believe in,” Adelene said.

For both, as with many Malaysians who studied abroad, it was a natural transition finding an opportunity in Australia.

They said that they would certainly explore opportunities in Malaysia if it came knocking. “Malaysia is a market we’re comfortable with because we grew up here and so if we’ve the resources and the investors, then we’ll jump into it,” Chan said.

Datuk Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, Hong Kong-based Value Partners Group Ltd chairman and co-chief investment officer, firmly believes that Malaysia has one of the region’s best talent pools.

“Malaysians are some of the best talent I have come across, we hire them based on a commercial decision because they’re educated and bright, and very flexible and resilient,” he said.

Cheah, a former Star journalist, left Malaysia in the 1970s to become a journalist in Hong Kong before helping to found one of Asia’s largest independent asset management firms.

Although he left the country decades ago, Cheah has been looking for opportunities back in Malaysia. Value Partners opened an office in Singapore two years ago.

“Young people in my time had few career opportunities so we had to move overseas if we want to make it,” he noted

“They must believe in an expanding future and not a static future,” he said.

https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/06/13/diaspora-malaysians-see-opportunities-everywhere-including-in-malaysia/