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Supported by Bizporter O2O,

UTAR e-Marketplace to Promote e-Commerce

UTAR E-Marketplace 
by UTAR Unovate Centre

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

With the setting up of UTAR E-Marketplace by UTAR Unovate Centre, UTAR now has its own e-commerce platform for students to get hands-on training on the full works of e-commerce. UTAR students and staff now can sell and buy from this e-commerce platform that is exclusive for the UTAR community. The public can also log on to purchase items from the E-Marketplace.


The UTAR E-Marketplace platform is operated using BIZPORTER O2O Application, which is an application that is developed and managed by UTAR’s collaborative partner MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn. Bhd (BIZPORTER). This O2O (online to offline) new retailing platform enables students to conduct integrated retailing business online with delivery options for purchasers to do self- collection or use courier services.

To facilitate the physical operations and inventory storage of the UTAR E-Marketplace on campus, the Campus Fulfilment Centre in UTAR Sungai Long Campus and also in UTAR Kampar campus were set up. The point of contact for UTAR students to participate in this e-commerce UTAR E-Marketplace is the UTAR Unovate Centre. Students can choose to enrol as University entrepreneurs to sell their merchandise or choose to support UTAR merchants by purchasing their merchandise via the E-Marketplace BIZPORTER O2O new retailing app. 

With such fully integrated fulfilment system, every order is managed by the UTAR operational team to provide next day speedy delivery. Purchasers can also choose to save on courier fees and choose the self-pick-up option at the E-commerce Delivery Centre (ECDC) in the respective UTAR campuses.

Since its soft launch in February 2021, sales of merchandise have begun with much success at the UTAR Sungai Long Campus. Purchasers can download the BIZPORTER O2O app from Apple App Store and Google Play Store to access the E-Marketplace for purchases.

The UTAR community and public are encouraged to support this UTAR E-Marketplace by downloading the BIZPORTER O2O App from the App Store. Once registered as a user, purchasers can explore the merchandise from different campuses and enjoy a new shopping experience.

During the e-convocation in March 2021, the platform recorded remarkable response from graduates who are currently at their hometown and went online to purchase certificate holders for their degree certificates. Currently, there is a 5% promotional discount for all UTAR souvenirs on E-Marketplace.

The UTAR E-Marketplace also acts a learning platform for students to practice their e-commerce skills. UTAR students are encouraged to participate in this exclusive platform as an e-merchant. For those who are interested to join as a merchant, please email to

UTAR Unovate Centre will continue to promote e-commerce and strive for greater awareness among the UTAR community to realise a visionary entrepreneurship ecosystem that enables UTAR students with a one stop platform to kick start their entrepreneurship journey.


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Hope Helps, Hope Heals

Hope Makes A Difference

We Move With Hope 
Initiative for UTAR Hospital

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

Following a successful collaborative accomplishment with MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd (BizPorter) through the launching of the E-Commerce Fulfilment Centre (ECFC) at UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 28 September 2020, UTAR and MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd (BizPorter) achieved another milestone by exchanging a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the launching of the second E-Commerce Fulfilment Centre (ECFC) at UTAR Kampar Campus on 31 March 2021.


Riding on the wave of digitalisation, Unovate Centre, a business incubator at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has taken an innovative step to introduce We Move With Hope project to support the hospital donation initiative.

In line with its objective to promote entrepreneurship among students, Unovate Centre developed a platform that the public can enjoy a unique shopping experience from the university’s e-marketplace and at the same time, support UTAR hospital.

Complementary to the hospital donation campaign, donors have an additional choice to contribute their donations by purchasing our special edition merchandise that are available at A part of the profit from the sales of the merchandise will be contributed to the hospital fund.

According to the Head of Unovate Centre, Dr Lee Sheng Chyan, this project is very meaningful as it supports fundraising and at the same time provides a platform for students to learn about the operations of e-commerce. From this e-commerce platform with real transactions, students have hands-on training on digital marketing skills, business operations skills, event management skills, warehouse management system, operational management, customer relations skills and much more. 

We Move with Hope initiative also provides a platform for corporates and business owners to support the development of student entrepreneurship. Idotshirt is the first brand to participate in this project. Unovate Centre welcomes more corporates and industries to propose their ideas for collaborative opportunities in the interest of students and in support of this project.


We Move with Hope aims to raise funds for UTAR Hospital. The hospital will consist of an initial phase of 250 beds for Western Medicine and 100 beds for Traditional Chinese Medicine and a future phase of additional 250 beds or more. There will be facilities for out-patient and in-patient treatment, diagnostics and treatment, medical and non-medical support, research and education and administrative centres. The hospital will not only offer affordable and quality services to the students and the public, but also provide clinical training for the medical students.  

This We Move With Hope project is a UTAR Unovate Centre initiative and supported by MCM BizPorter Unipreneurs Sdn Bhd, MCMeCOM Global Venture Sdn bhd and idotshirt as part of their company’s CSR project.

The UTAR community and public are urged to support this We Move with Hope initiative via website. Once registered as a user, you can purchase a limited edition of We Move with Hope premium T-shirt to support UTAR Hospital. 

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Launching of the second 
E-Commerce Fulfilment Centre (ECFC) at UTAR Kampar Campus

UTAR and MCM eCOM Global:
Establish Second ECFC
at Kampar Campus 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Kampar, Perak darul Ridzuan

Following a successful collaborative accomplishment with MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd (BizPorter) through the launching of the E-Commerce Fulfilment Centre (ECFC) at UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 28 September 2020, UTAR and MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd (BizPorter) achieved another milestone by exchanging a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the launching of the second E-Commerce Fulfilment Centre (ECFC) at UTAR Kampar Campus on 31 March 2021.


Exchanging the MoA were UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat and Executive Chairman of MCM Group Adjunct Prof Max Shangkar, while witnessing the exchange were UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, Head of UTAR Unovate Centre Dr Lee Sheng Chyan and Chief Executive Officer of MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd (BizPorter) Dan Then Ikh Choo.

Also present were Executive Director of MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd Lawson Lau Chai Yap, Guest of MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd and Technology Consultant of Iconix Consulting Sdn Bhd Dr Tan Su Wei, Guest of MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd and Director of NCB Synergy Sdn Bhd Raymond Chin, General Manager of J&T Express (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Jhony Ning Cheng Jun, Marketing Manager of J&T Express (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Evonne Phon Mun Yee, Dean of UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology Assoc Prof Ts Dr Yap Vooi Voon, Dean of UTAR Faculty of Science Assoc Prof Dr Lim Tuck Meng, Dean of UTAR Faculty of Information and Communication Technology Assoc Prof Ts Dr Liew Soung Yue, Deputy Director of Division of Community and International Networking Dr Chen, I-Chi and UTAR staff.

Emphasising on the importance of technology revolution and the importance of university-industry collaboration, Prof Ewe explained, “Taking into consideration the importance of e-commerce, UTAR strongly encourages its staff and students to partake in this digital trend. We strongly believe that the exposure and participation of individuals in this environment would promote digital literacy among the users, which is significant and in line with the need of Industrial 4.0 revolution. Since then, UTAR has always been committed and has consistently taken proactive steps by having various activities which promotes e-commerce among staff and students. For instance, we have started the UTAR New Village E-commerce Project, Unovate Centre and we were the first Alibaba GET member in Asia besides China. We think that we should not rest on our laurels, hence we continuously push for more practical e-commerce experience for our staff and students. Besides the above initiatives, we have also set up the E-Commerce Delivery Centre to encourage and promote the use of e-commerce among staff and students.”

Prof Ewe also thanked the MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd for their support towards UTAR students and University events such as Fashionpreneur Competition, 2nd Industrial Business Conference 2019 and the Business Plan Competition.

In response to Prof Ewe’s speech, Prof Shangkar said, “This ECFC includes technology development and an integrated system to enable a real university entrepreneurship ecosystem that is led by Unovate Centre. MCM eCOM has invested and developed a program algorithm with R&D and integrated with market key partners such as J&T Express and other e-commerce fulfiller service providers. The efforts from MCM eCOM through Bizporter and Unovate will work hand in hand to support the Unovate entrepreneurs community that are cooperative, supportive, proactive and visionary. The goal is to support students to get a better understanding of digital business and entrepreneurship transformation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank UTAR for making such a visionary move and great effort to embrace IR 4.0 while supporting e-commerce and young entrepreneurship.”

The event reached its highlight when the MoA documents were exchanged. It was followed by an exchange of souvenirs and a group photograph. The MoA exchange ceremony also marked the launching of E-Commerce Fulfilment Centre (ECFC) at UTAR Kampar Campus.

Prof Ewe also thanked the MCM eCOM Global Venture Sdn Bhd for their support towards UTAR students and University events such as Fashionpreneur Competition, 2nd Industrial Business Conference 2019 and the Business Plan Competition.

The E-Commerce Fulfilment Centre (ECFC) is an initiative of UTAR Unovate Centre with great collaborative support and contribution from MCM eCom Global Venture Sdn Bhd (BizPorter). ECFC aimed to create a complete e-commerce ecosystem that comprises the full cycle of the buying and selling of goods electronically. The ECFC will serve as a warehouse and e-commerce delivery centre that provide fulfilment service such as storing merchandise and preparing merchandise to be shipped out to e-commerce merchant, using the Warehouse Management System to manage and control the warehouse operations from the time goods received until the goods are shipped out. The ECFC also enables students to experience real e-commerce processes from theory to practice and operations by dealing with real products and customers.

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The 3rd Industrial Business Conference focuses on Business Transformation, Gig Economy and Digital Business Revolution

UTAR Student Development and Alumni Relations (SDAR)

in collaboration with 

UTAR Alumni Association of Malaysia (UAAM) and GenYouth

15 October 2020 - 17 October 2020.


UTAR Student Development and Alumni Relations (SDAR), in collaboration with UTAR Alumni Association of Malaysia (UAAM) and GenYouth, organised the Third Industrial Business Conference 2020 from 15 October 2020 to 17 October 2020.

The theme of the conference was “The New Norm in Business Transformation: The Rise of Gig Economy & Digital Business Revolution”. It provided a platform for the intellectuals from various fields and disciplines to discuss and address the current issues worldwide and industry trends, as well as to exchange and share their knowledge with others.

The 3rd Industrial Business Conference 2020 was held throughout three days with different sessions addressing different topics. Each session was live-streamed and conducted via Zoom. Invited to deliver a welcome speech for the conference was UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat. In his speech, he pointed out that Covid-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of not just education but also many businesses globally.

He said, “More and more companies are diving into online platforms to sustain their businesses. The Department of Statistics Malaysia reported an increase in online retail sales index of 35.5 per cent year-over-year growth in June 2020, indicating that consumers are switching and getting used to online purchases and transactions. Many e-commerce platforms also noticed a boost in numbers of local retailers serving the needs of households during the Movement Control Order (MCO).” According to him, there is a declining need to have staff manning physical offices in favour of staff working from home. To reduce staff costs for greater sustainability, companies are relying more on part-timers and free-lance workers, especially those who are more IT and tech-savvy.

“Part-timers, freelance workers and gig workers have been around for decades but these jobs have now become more pronounced due to the rise of the digital platforms and improved IT devises. Data from the World Bank (2019) shows that about 26% of the Malaysian workforce of about 15.3 million are doing freelance work and they form part of the growing gig economy. This is close to 4 million freelancers in the country. What makes it even more amazing is that these gig workers can work for any companies anywhere in the world and not limited to geographical boundaries,” he said.

He highlighted the need for students and employees to equip themselves with the necessary skills and added, “The Malaysian workforce has changed greatly with millennials and Gen Y being more tech-savvy who prefer to work more independently in the comfort of their own environment. With new norms, come new opportunities and the gig economy will undergo great changes in the years ahead.”

Held on 15 October 2020, the first-day conference consisted of three subsessions focusing on the theme “The New Norm in Business Transformation”. The first presentation titled “Sharing Economy Landscape in Malaysia” was delivered by Director of Digital Inclusion Division Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Darzy Norhalim. In his keynote address, he mentioned that sharing economy and peer-to-peer platform are going to change the landscape of how people are employed. He also talked about crowdsourcing, explaining that it was actually about an organisation’s outsource job or task, or some business operation to the crowd.

“This is one of the job trends that has been identified, where people are employed by the market instead of an organisation. Organisations should take into consideration the talents and human resources that are outside of the organisation. Talents are now more independent. If an organisation wants to employ the best talent, they should consider to get freelancers or contracted workers to work on short-term projects,” he said.

According to him, the sharing economy in Malaysia is defined as a socio-economic system where it is powered by digital platforms that allow sharing of assets and resources between individuals, governments and businesses thus increasing the utilisation of assets and resources or promoting access over ownership. It involves four archetypes, including assets access sharing, intangible assets sharing, goods sharing and money sharing.

Furthermore, he illustrated sharing economy platform partners present in Malaysia. As of September 2020, the country has a total of 127 partners and more than 15 categories of businesses such as tourism-related services, food delivery and home chef services, ride and transportation, education and training, logistics and delivery, digital and professional work. Ninety-eight out of the 127 were local companies. He mentioned that the government provided the recognition to these sharing economy platforms because it is a way to increase people’s trust and enhance the business confident to outsource tasks to the recognised platforms.

The second talk was delivered by Chief Executive Officer Chua Khai Suan. In his presentation titled “The eCommerce Trend during MCO and Post MCO”, he first defined digitalisation and eCommerce. He then explained the benefit of selling online and said, “During the MCO, we were restricted to move around. If we wished to purchase something, the nearest shop was our phone. We can run it for 24 hours and sell it at home. The customers can be from anyplace. Anyone with the link will be able to enter your shop. When people buy from you, you are actually collecting their data. This is totally different from traditional business.”

“Essential items such as vegetables were the products that people urgently required during the start of MCO. As people spend more time at home, home appliances such as the fridge becomes essential. You must have a proper functioning fridge to keep your vegetable and seafood. Physical shops are closed during the MCO, therefore the only way is to buy it online,” he said. He explained that another high-demand product category is computer-related devices. “Everyone is working from home and learning from home. Products such as Wifi, keyboard, mouse, printer, printer ink, view cam are all selling good,” he added. He mentioned that food delivery and entertainment are also the areas seeing a growing trend in demand.

Chua shared his business experience, providing great insight into the areas of eCommerce such as what products or services to offer, what platform and promotion channel to choose, what digital marketing and online advertising to use, where to source the products, and how to compete with others. He said, “The E-wallet began booming in the past two years especially during the MCO. This is a trend in the future and it is changing our behaviour. E-wallet is so convenient as it simplifies all the processes. E-wallet is facilitating eCommerce; that is a chance to make money from consumers.” He also talked about cybersecurity and important trends such as artificial intelligence, data analysis and big data, coding and programming, Internet of Things and robotics.

A virtual forum was then conducted after the keynote presentation. The speakers were Redspot Mediatech Enterprise Co-founder Chloe Kwok Wei Yan, MCM eCom Global Venture Sdn Bhd Dan Then Ikh Choo and iPay88 (M) Sdn Bhd Co-founder Chan Kok Long. The forum was moderated by Master of Information Systems Programme Head Dr Wong Whee Yen. During her talk, Chloe Kwok spoke about YouTube content monetization. She said, “Social media is a new norm now. More and more businesses are shifting their budget to digital advertising. We can see the fact that they are actually using the digital platform for content instead of traditional media. That is why content creator like us getting more influential these days.”

Explaining the reason to choose YouTube for content creation, she said, “Youtube is the largest video network in the world. YouTube belongs to Google. It is actually the best platform for you to get traffic for your business.” She added, “YouTube actually makes money by providing a platform to content creator like us to create videos and upload them onto the platform. They will provide or sell the company’s advertising slots to business to gain money. We, content creators manage to get 50% or 55% profit sharing with YouTube.” She also shared some tips on how to start earning and generate traffic for YouTube channel.

Dan Then, on the other hand, talked about the digitalisation toward modern supply chain which provided participants with insights on how traditional ways of businesses are being transformed to today’s new norm. “A manufacturer can leverage Lazada or Shopee to sell products. That is one of the channels. The second channel is to build your own distribution hub, getting all the orders through the digital platform. So which one to choose? ” he said. He added, “Having own platform will be more sustainable than leveraging. The right approach is to design and build a new digital distribution infrastructure to stay in control of the future distribution.”

“The next ten years from now, the micro-fulfilment centres will be the trend. The trend will be growing more standardisation because the technology will be growing mature and the flexibility will be reducing. This defines that the fulfilment cost will greatly reduce and products can reach out to consumers in a far more efficient way,” he said.

The forum was continued by Chan, who introduced the background of iPay88 and its achievements. He then discussed the key disruptors and he said, “The business community has now started to think out of the box. They are thinking not only outside the box but thinking of a new box. The Covid-19 pandemic made a lot of businesses to think in new boxes. They have no choice but to do other businesses.” He added that businesses have to earn revenue to survive, and gave an example of how Air Asia transformed their business into a comprehensive lifestyle platform by developing a super app. “The pandemic made humankind realise the danger of not being flexible in the business,” he said.

He also gave an overall idea of the traditional retail business and eCommerce, multichannel and omnichannel. Furthermore, he explained that all payment falls into three categories, namely online banking, card payment and e-wallet. “The highest transaction mode of payment is FPX internet banking. FPX is now coming out as B2B payment. A business can pay to a business using FPX. FPX also creates an ecosystem, where credit card can accept credit card,” he said. He also talked about the O2O Omni-channel and concluded that payment is the mother of all disruptors.

The forum was then followed by “Get to know New Villages!” exchange session which was moderated by P Lab Chief Executive Officer and Founder Chok Yen Hau. The invited speakers were UTAR Institute of Chinese Studies Deputy Dean Assoc Prof Dr Wong Wun Bin, Swee Len Food Industries Owner Oh Chee Keong, Kicap Cap Tangan Bentong Owner Adrian Wong Chee Yuan, Canton recipe Sdn Bhd (Sempah T-Farm) Edwin Chin and Simple Hive Works Studio Founder Low Ley Soon.

In his talk, Dr Wong shared his personal journey and how he became passionate about creating value for the new villages and the local community. He said that the new villages are historically and culturally unique and should be preserved as part of an important heritage rather than being left to decay. “As an academic, I was thinking these years on how to make use of my knowledge to benefit the society. I hope that I could transform the research outcomes into sustainable value and contribute to the economic growth,” he said.

In recognition of the historical and cultural significance, Dr Wong placed a lot of effort in promoting the value of the new villages to more people. He explained that some projects were undertaken to convert some traditional buildings into commercial and tourist attractions while preserving the original features. There was also another project that involved converting former mining sites into agricultural land. He hopes these efforts could help to promote the local economy and encourage the people, especially young generations from Kampar who have moved to cities, to know and appreciate their hometown. 

Oh, on the other hand, gave an introduction to the background of Swee Len Food Industries. Swee Len Food Industries, which has more than 90 years of history, famous with traditional wedding crackers—sesame “Mua Lao” and rice crispy “Lao Huei”. According to Oh, the crackers are part of the gift package. The family of the newlywed will give out these crackers to relatives and friends to announce the marriage. He illustrated the way of making these crackers and stated that the process of manufacturing remained the traditions. “As times change, we make some changes on the product’s packaging and taste in order to attract younger consumers while preserving these traditional crackers,” he said.

Besides, Adrian Wong also shared the background and history of Kicap Cap Tangan Bentong. He said, “The Company only focuses on a few products which are soy sauce and bean-related products. We are currently collaborating with Sempah T-Farm to come up with a new soy sauce product.” He mentioned that the soy sauce was all made in a traditional way to retain the authentic taste. “The soy sauce fermentation tank that we use is very old and is hardly found anywhere else. Therefore, it is costly to retain this traditional way of making soy sauce,” he said. He also talked about the challenges he faced, saying that the industry lacks technology and research and that it was hard to engage young people in traditional business.

On the other hand, Edwin Chin shared his journey from being a teacher to an entrepreneur. In his talk, he gave a brief idea of Canton recipe Sdn Bhd and the four brands under the company. Highlighting the newest established brand—Take 5, he mentioned that the objective of the brand was to create value of empty space for clients’ products. “There are actually a lot of good products in the market that people do not know. Some Malaysian companies can manufacture high-quality products, especially kitchen appliances, but they may not do well in product marketing. The team from Take 5 will use their soft skills such as marketing and design skills to assist these companies to market their products,” he said.

Low Ley Soon first introduced his hometown Hulu Yam Lama and shared his personal story about his decision to go back to his hometown to set up a business. “I want to encourage graduates and youngsters to consider the opportunity of starting a business in your hometown,” he said. However, starting a business at hometown is not easy. Low shared the challenges he faced and the efforts he had to place in order to achieve his goals. He now owns a work studio. He is also helping his parent to run the family business. He also shared with participants interesting anecdotes from running a homestay and shared how he got to know a lot of friends from different countries.

The second day of the conference saw Nam Heong Kopitiam Sdn Bhd owner Andy Goh Ching Mun sharing his views on “How to deal with the new economy?”. He shared the business trend for college and university students, digital economy, customer to customer (C2C) business model, ways to become an entrepreneur and the differences of entrepreneurship style between the United States, China and Malaysia. He also introduced a business platform named MeCan Trade - a new way to take control of your future and build a sustainable digital footprint. Andy Goh, who is also the OldTown Bhd, White Café Sdn Bhd Co-Founder and MeCan Mall Founder said, “The covid-19 situation has influenced the global market economy and has greatly impacted all of us. Everyone is looking for ways to survive this pandemic situation. If you want to become an entrepreneur, I will suggest you to look forward to a change.”

The forum on “The rise of gig economy” featured two speakers, namely GenYouth Group Sdn Bhd CEO-cum-Founder Eldrick Koh and MODEN Founder Jerry Hang. Jerry Hang presented “Be a KOL Yourself” whereby he shared his experience of becoming an entrepreneur and how he founded MODEN which trained more than 1,000 Key Opinion Leaders (KOL). He said, “KOL are experts in their respective field and their opinion is valued in a specific industry. KOL are trusted and respected for their knowledge and experience. Age and appearance do not matter in becoming a KOL but what is important is to know how to create content to inspire and educate people aside from having the skills of copywriting, videography and editing as well as performing livestream to share the content to the public. What defines a KOL is the capacity to change the opinion and behaviour of others.”

He shared how to focus on creating genuine and valuable content, “China KOLs have the right tools which is using video in e-commerce and it has proven to be effective. I urge everyone to leverage the social media platform to share your content. Besides focusing on your academic, you also need to discover your passion to create valuable content to share with people around you. Gaining additional skills through online classes will add advantage to your future career.”

“Gig economy is created for employment on a short-term basis which is set to bring in about USD2.7trillion by 2025 to the world. In Malaysia alone, 26 per cent of the total 15.3 million Malaysian workforces are part of the growing gig economy. With the percentage set to rise and many Malaysians pivoting towards this lifestyle due to its benefits such as being able to work from home, choosing jobs to take on, the gig economy is now seen as a new source of economic growth. The gig economy is very broad and workers come from different walks of life and backgrounds. There is a lot of gig economy portal which you can engage to increase your experience so you can build more skills and add value to yourself to be competent in the market as you build your career,” said Eldrick Koh as he explained the rise and importance of gig economy in Malaysia. He added, “Learning is borderless, hence open up your mind to the new possibilities ahead of you. Learn what you do not know and pursue your passion.”

Eldrick Koh also gave an introduction to eUsahawan which aims to apply digital entrepreneurship values and knowledge to youth entrepreneurs. He said, “In the module, you will be able to learn about business management, financial management, copywriting, creative content and marketing, website development, branding and so forth.”

Present to share their experience and knowledge at the Connected Campus Tour Online Youth's Talk were Founder of Vanilla Crepe & Vanilla Mille Crepe Nelson Liew and JPM Group of Companies Group Strategist Richard Khoo, who enlightened the participants on how to build oneself as an entrepreneur during the Covid-19 pandemic. The session was hosted by Eldrick Koh and GenYouth Co-Founder Gillian Ooi.

Nelson Liew who spoke about how to build oneself as an entrepreneur said, “The few points that I would like to share are, firstly, don’t panic and keep calm. This can be difficult but it is important to take care of yourself. Having a healthy mindset is necessary for one to come up with creative and innovative ideas to move forward. Tap into the resources provided by the government and financial institution which support business owners such as Bantuan Prihatin, Penjana, loan moratorium and others. Aside from that, you would also need to upskill the existing staff to increase productivity and efficiency.”

He added, “Having a healthy mindset is important. Thus, we need to build more skills and experience so that we are better equipped to face the challenges. Follow your passion and research before you start anything but do not overthink the unnecessary. Prepare yourself to face the worst and be responsible for the decision you have made. Never give up and never let anyone stop you from pursuing entrepreneurship. Just go ahead and do it, dive in and learn as you do.”

Richard Khoo advised, “Remember PAN where P stands for Pivot, A stands for Agility and N stands for Network. In the current situation, everyone needs to adapt to the new normal and be prepared for what is ahead of us. Aside from that, we also need to be flexible in life and all aspects while gaining new knowledge and widen our perspective as we grow. If you snooze, you will lose.”

In his session, he shared what can be learnt from past experiences, digital business revolution, the myth of job security, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cultural change and adaptation as well as how to better prepare ourselves. “Gig economy can be defined as a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts of freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. They enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies to provide services to the company’s clients. Some examples are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and so forth,” he said as he explained the gig economy.

The third-day conference themed ‘Digital Business Revolution’ started with a talk by Head of Digital Operations, Kingdom Digital Steven Yap titled “The importance of digital user experiences”. In his presentation, he first introduced the company’s background, followed by what is user experience, example of social media tools to identify user experience, ways to enhance user experience and how to understand the consumer. Yap shared, “User experience refers to how people interact with your product or service and their experience in it. It is a set of strategies, tools, and methodologies that make a product service or brand focused on the user rather than the company.”

The second talk titled “Data Driven Organisation Transformation” was presented by Head of Data Science and Engineering, Infinai Tech Dr Poo Kuan Hoong. Dr Poo introduced data driven organisation, overview of data driven organisation, motivation of data driven organisation and data driven organisation transformation. Dr Poo said, “When we talk about data-driven organisation, we cannot escape from talking about the main ingredients of the transformation - data. Data is the new oil, data now is more valuable than petroleum, and whoever has the most data can make the best decision and transform the company. For example, Facebook. Facebook owns Instagram and Whatapps, these three companies gather a lot data and provide free services for user by exchanging the user data. This is how the company differentiates themselves and remains more competitive from competitor.”

The conference was followed by a forum titled “Digital Business Revolution” featuring, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Convedge Sdn Bhd Stan Lee, Senior Associate Business Development Team of Shopee (M) Sdn Bhd Michelle Than, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Logistic Worldwide Express (M) Sdn Bhd Ng Shern Yau and CEO & Founder of Bitle Tech Sdn Bhd Chew Jing Yao. It was moderated by UTAR Deputy Dean of Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM) Dr Hen Kai Wah.

Stan Lee took over the forum as the first presenter. He shared his presentation titled “Business and Digital Transformation”, where he spoke about the market trends of E-commerce, big data in E-commerce, four pillars of digital transformation, challenges of digitalisation and user experience. Stan Lee highlighted, “According to Gartner’s research, 85% of the customers would love to have interaction with the company or business without human. I would prefer digital interaction because I feel annoyed when the bank or vendors call me but they do not understand my needs. The businesses now need to have a solid digital customer experience.” He concluded his session by giving some take home points, “The first point that I would like everyone to learn is Do it now!  Secondly, think big but start small, you may start with something that you are capable with. Lastly, business and digital transformation is about making more profit or minimising cost through digital transformation.”

“The internet economy hit $100B, what will it be in 2025? How to be a part of it? ”, presented by Michelle Than focused on what is internet economy, what is online marketplace, E-commerce ecosystem, introduction of Shopee, E-commerce landscape in Malaysia on pre-covid and post-covid situation and how to get started in Shopee. She emphasised, “E-commerce is the most potential field that will have the chance of growing into $153B business in 2025. It will be growing bigger due to the covid-19 as the buying behaviors of customers have drastically changed.”

The third presenter Ng continued the forum by his talk titled “Leveraging Technology in Logistic”. He talked about his personal journey on how to digitalise business in logistic, ways to improve logistic operations, business tools in logistics, big data analysis benefits for logistics operations and importance of digitalisation and big data. He highlighted, “Logistic is something that has happen in the last 2,000 years. Logistic was specifically made for E-commerce. It provides door to door delivery and it still carries physical goods. The cost driven has become lower and lower, the margin has become thinner and thinner but the good things is the market have grown bigger. The challenge for logistics nowadays is on driving and enhancing business with technology. However, when we talk about the digitalisation of business, logistic is one of the forerunner from 20 years ago.”

“Code the way out”, was discussed by Chew during the last discussion at the forum. It focused on how to modularise business, how to start business, how to close deal, programming in business and cloud kitchen in future. He said, “We are slowly removing human factor from the business process. For simple processes, we replace human; for complicated processes, we standardise or let somebody else do it. There are more platform, systems and tools, but how the right tools create impact in the business, here’s where the programming mindset comes in.”

The conference were then followed by a sharing session by iFarm, second runner-up in Alibaba Get Global Challenge 2020 (Malaysia round) and Unovate sharing session featuring Data Magic Sdn Bhd, Graphicito and Kon10 Innovations which focused on start-ups, the challenges and the way forward in business. 

“Today marks a significance milestone as we have come to the end of our third Industrial Business Conference. For the first two conferences, we had it physically in UTAR Sungai Long Campus but this year, due to the pandemic, the organising committees have come to a decision to make it online, and because of that we are blessed to have a wonderful and meaningful conference today. I would like to take this opportunity thank our 22 reputable guest speakers for taking their time out to share a lot of wonderful insights and knowledge to students, staff and the public. I hope everyone can bring back some useful notes after the three-day conference. Before I end my speech, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our generous sponsors MCM eCom Global Venture Sdn Bhd, ASK Education and Training and Vincent Hoh for their generous support,” said UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong in his closing remark.

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Assisting University Students
in Pursuing Their Entrepreneurial Dreams

A webinar titled “Unipreneur: How a University Student Evolves to Be a Full-Fledge Entrepreneur” was organised by MCM GIC on 16 March 2021. The invited speakers were Head of Unovate Centre Dr Lee Sheng Chyan and CEO of MCM eCom Global Venture Dan Then Ikh Choo.


Dr Lee was the first speaker. He gave a brief explanation on Unovate Centre and said, “The word ‘Unovate’ was assembled from UTAR Renovate Centre. The goal of the Centre is to cultivate and foster an entrepreneurial culture in the campus.”

Dr Lee also stated that he had worked with government and private universities, including Universiti Malaya (UM), Multimedia University (MMU), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and now UTAR. “I have signed partnerships with a lot of local, private and public universities. I have seen how students change from my time as a student at UM till today,” he added.

Dr Lee said, “As I started talking to all the student groups who have set up a business, I found that there were many challenges for the students. They want to become an entrepreneur because they want to control their own destiny; they don’t want to just work for people but work for themselves. And yes, that is a very big word.” Some of the challenges mentioned by Dr Lee include not having a solid business plan, business model and idea as those are very important aspects of becoming an entrepreneur.

“One of the challenges is the lack of business model; another challenge would be the lack of business idea. They do not do prior research on what they want to do; whether other people have done it or not. They just do it by themselves and think that it is something they can sell over. The third challenge is the scope of coverage; whether is it a service or a product and where they want to target the audience,” he said. Some of the business barriers mentioned by Dr Lee include the lack of capital to run a business, the lack of determination and the lack of a good mentor.

He also addressed another barrier in business which was their willingness to take risks and that led to another issue; the mindset. Dr Lee mentioned that the students, these days, have the mindset that they will become a billionaire, like Jack Ma, and they think they can speed up the process of generating the billionaire dream fast enough. “I believe they will eventually learn that it is not as simple as what they read from the textbook or what they learn in the classroom,” Dr Lee stated.

When it comes to opportunities, either positive or negative, he believes that the students have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. He said, “When they want to become an entrepreneur, of course, they will come up with some ideas where they need to have some sort of guidance. This is where we can use those kinds of circles to invite business mentors to assist the students. I think the support from the industry is extremely important to make the students understand their capabilities.”

Dr Lee mentioned that he is aware that students nowadays are very good at utilising technology. He said, “They are Internet users and they know how to make use of the tools on the Internet and turn it into a business. I could see that this is a very good opportunity for them. However, they need an idea and someone to help them realise it. I believe if they fully utilise the technology platform, they can actually venture into entrepreneurship.”

The second speaker Dan Then shared about his experience of digitalisation toward the modern supply chain. “We are a consulting company that specialises in helping organisations, especially the ones that require fast-moving consumer goods, transform their supply chain from the traditional way to a modern one,” Dan Then stated.

After introducing himself and his company, Dan Then presented a video that featured the process of e-Commerce. He then said, “I hope that the video gave you a little insight into the end-to-end supply chain that has evolved from the traditional ways to the modern ones. This is what we call a new norm after the pandemic.”

Dan Then shared a method called “The ‘Killer’ Conventional Way” and explained how B2C (Business to Customer) functions under the new norm. “The ‘killer’ of the conventional way is mainly caused by the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and that is why many customers are dissatisfied because every time they make a purchase, either offline or online, it becomes an issue,” he said and added, “The university is one of the key factors that we could use to help students in the modern way; by creating an ecosystem inside the campus. It will be a single community on its own.”

He explained, “We would like to create a model that could empower the university to create a modern supply chain and this would be called the “O-to-O concept”. Consumers can buy through the online platform using mobile apps. With e-wallet and online payment gateways, consumers are given more options. This is largely due to geolocation. You can choose to buy and pick up at the selected retail store or you can request the courier to send to you or you can even request on-demand riders like LALAMOVE to deliver the products to you immediately.”

Dan Then also took the opportunity to announce that they were currently collaborating with UTAR to build a Micro Fulfilment Centre at UTAR, and it would be called the Campus Fulfilment Centre. “This is the warehouse that will be housing all the products from the lecturers and students and even alumni. We will manage it with our warehouse management system and we have also created the BizPorter structure to help sustain it,” he explained.

Explaining the latest supply chain towards digital transformation, Dan Then said, “After the pandemic, everything moved toward digital transaction or e-Commerce or digital commence; we called it ‘paying online’ and ‘selling online’. We named this discovery as an online-to-offline, offline-to-online kind of platform.”

Following that, Dr Lee announced a programme that was newly introduced under Unovate Centre. He said, “We came up with a programme called Structured Entrepreneur Cultivation Programme (STEP). The programme mainly touches on technology platforms since the students will need to make use of technology and work with strategic partners.” The programme is supported by Dan Then and his company.

Before ending the talk, Dr Lee also explained how Unovate Centre operates in UTAR and the method and strategy utilised to help the university students achieve their entrepreneurial dream. Moreover, he elucidated on Unovate Value and Community.