Penjana Kapital Sdn Bhd, an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Finance, partnered with Sea Limited (Malaysia) (Sea) to co-organise the 8th installation of Capital Connections in an effort to cultivate a vibrant startup and venture capital ecosystem in Malaysia.
(L to R): Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing Campaigns, Shopee Malaysia; Melvin Chee, Chief Executive Officer, RPG Commerce; Nisha Devina Roy, Managing Director, M&C Saatchi; Taufiq Iskandar, Chief Executive Officer, Penjana Kapital; Terence Siau, Country Head, Sea Limited; Justin Chan, Founder and Director, Metier Food; and Henry Ting, Chief Executive Officer, TT Racing at the 8th Capital Connections Forum.
Penjana Kapital is established as part of the government’s initiative to accelerate the deployment of the RM600 million Dana Penjana Nasional programme with the strategic mandate to develop the venture capital (VC) and innovation ecosystem in the country. Capital Connections is one of Penjana Kapital’s flagship events, specially curated to connect startups to potential investors, market players, government agencies and other corporates to address their pain points.
Among the highlights was a panel discussion “Digital Consumer Behaviour and Changing Retail Trends”, held at the Shopee Malaysia HQ, featuring industry players and thought leaders within the digital space namely Melvin Chee, Chief Executive Officer of RPG Commerce; Justin Chan, Founder and Director of Metier Food; Henry Ting, Chief Executive Officer of TT Racing and Nisha Devina Roy, Managing Director of M&C Saatchi.
“We are honoured to be given this opportunity to co-organise Capital Connections along with Penjana Kapital, supporting the growth of our Malaysian startups. We are proud that Shopee has been a great stepping stone for budding startups, allowing these businesses to penetrate untapped markets and introduce their offerings beyond local shores,” said Terence Siau, Country Head, Sea.
“The retail industry is in the midst of dynamic change, fuelled by the digital economy and shifts in consumer behaviour. This evolution provides a unique opportunity for startups to be part of what is now known as boundaryless retail, that is a world devoid of artificial barriers, driven by innovation and collaboration. This is where businesses leverage on the power of technology to create a seamless experience for consumers,” said Taufiq Iskandar, Chief Executive Officer, Penjana Kapital.
“The Capital Connections series showcase the country’s fast growing startups and brings the best minds for learning, networking and collaborating, because together we will reshape the future of our industries,” Taufiq added.
Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing Campaigns at Shopee Malaysia, presented findings from the platform’s largest marketplace study this year, Celebrate the Heart of Malaysia on E-Commerce, which among others, revealed that 9 in 10 Malaysians still buy online despite reopening of physical outlets because it is a learned and adopted habit.
[Based on 3,300 buyers surveyed between July and August 2022. The survey was conducted by Shopee, between 19 July to 17 August 2022. Voluntary feedback was obtained from 2,132 Malaysian sellers and 3,356 Malaysian buyers on the platform.]
In regard to online purchasing habits, Nisha Devina said, “With the lack of physical connection with your consumers, it is important for brands to develop innovative strategies to introduce their products to consumers, and work twice as hard to persuade consumers to even make the purchase.”
Justin commented on the importance of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of both online and physical approach in reaching consumers. “While physical shopping allows consumers to experience and understand the product better, online shopping provides greater accessibility, where anyone can purchase any product from anywhere. It’s important for brands to complement the accessibility with meeting the needs of the consumers.”
Henry emphasised the importance of evaluating the right target audience as part of the business expansion of the company. “Our business used to cater to a very niche market, but in time we realised the need to expand our products to a wider audience, including office workers who spend long hours in front of their computer.”
Melvin shared his experience in terms of business strategies and operations during the early days of the company. “We started as a data-driven company, which we then incorporated to focus on being product-led and taking on the consumer behaviour-first approach. Today, we are a team that focuses on the combination of all these aspects. It’s all about understanding and adapting to the demands of the market and incorporating it with the business plans.”
Industry players in the panel discussion “Digital Consumer Behaviour and Changing Retail Trends”. L to R: Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing Campaigns, Shopee Malaysia; Melvin Chee, Chief Executive Officer, RPG Commerce; Nisha Devina Roy, Managing Director, M&C Saatchi; Taufiq Iskandar, Chief Executive Officer, Penjana Kapital; Terence Siau, Country Head, Sea Limited;, Founder and Director, Metier Food; and Henry Ting, Chief Executive Officer, TT Racing at the 8th Capital Connections Forum.