[This is a sponsored article with MDEC.]
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the norm, and for many the new norm was not easy. In addition to a large portion of the population stuck working and learning from home, many businesses have seen that their normal income streams have been reduced or even disrupted.
It was in challenging times like these when a group of local technology companies decided to take the opportunity and look beyond their situations or problems.
These companies have a common interest in helping Malaysians overcome the pandemic by helping those in need, ensuring that Malaysian society as a whole will be able to contribute to the economy, including the digital economy. This is in line with Malaysia Digital Economy CorporationVision (MDEC) to create a technologically integrated society in line with Malaysia 5.0.
While the agency was tasked with running Malaysia’s digital economy, MDEC GAIN program has nurtured over 150 successful technology companies.
What more do you know: GAIN stands for “Gateway, Amplify, Invest, Nurture”. It is an ongoing initiative that helps technology companies by providing market access, visibility impact activities, access to funding incentives and growth through a mentoring system.
Thanks to the start and the help these companies received through the GAIN program, they decided to pay for it with their fierce drive to build community. They are not only capable of running an extremely successful global business, but they have also been given priority to help the nation and give back to those in need.
Here are some stories about how MDEC’s GAIN companies helped others during the pandemic.
1. Providing executable computers and tablets to students who need them
With physically closed schools, classes have moved online. But for those in a difficult financial situation, acquiring a capable computer for the use of their children could be almost impossible.
Rent, a supplier of Green IT Solutions, addressed this problem by equipping poor schools with functional PCs for their students. They collect retired computers, which are then restored and deleted, breathing new life into devices before passing them on to students.
To this day, they have prepared 250+ refurbished computers for schools in the nation. They recently worked together with MDEC to donate several laptops to students at the Tenom Innovation Center, Sabah.
Like Rentwise, SNS network, a local technology solution provider also worked to address the needs of schoolchildren during the pandemic.
They donated 15 units of JOI tablets (SNS’s own brand of device) and a combination of 70 headphones, speakers and printers to SMK Permatang Rawa. This allowed the school to deliver distance learning tablets to its students.
In addition to the schools, the SNS team also gave 9 notebooks to the JOI team at the Penang Hospice Society so that their doctors and physicians could be connected.
2. Ensuring that families with B40 still have food on the table
Those who lost their jobs during the pandemic could struggle to find a new source of income. This could be a disaster for the B40 families as well as most of them live from hand to mouth.
Innov8tif, a supplier of AI solutions that helps companies achieve more sales and improve traditional processes, organized Donations of love B40 group social assistance program in Subang Jaya. Working with the MBSJ, they handed out food and grocery vouchers 200 families in need in May 2020.
“We understand that when it comes to giving back to the community, any action, big or small, can make a real difference,” said George Lee, CEO of Innov8tif.
3. Providing financial assistance to vulnerable communities
Some companies have decided to make monetary donations to NGOs and people in need who lack financial resources for basic things.
Vitrox, a local manufacturer of electronic equipment RM1,088,790 funds from several NGOs, schools and hospitals.
HR platform, WorkSmartly ledDaily salary challenge ‘ whereby the employees informed their management how many days they wanted to donate their salary, and which management then adjusted. At the end of the challenge they collected RM5,750 and they donated funds to Mercy Malaysia, Kitafund and the Negara Zoo.
4. Launching initiatives at a higher level
Some larger companies have decided to launch several initiatives, dealing with multiple fronts.
One of the GAIN companies that does that is Forest Interactive, a telecommunications platform supplier operating in 39 countries, which have taken full advantage of its mass reach.
Through #ForestCares, they contributed to the needs 147 households with more than 1,100 people in the Temuan Orang Asli community in Damansara Perdani. They also launched their #Qurban initiative at their branch in Indonesia. They prepared The victim (cattle sacrifice during Eid) for over 430 people in Indonesia.
But they are not alone in these endeavors.
Cooperation with Street feeders KL (SFOKL), provided food and supplies to street friends (a term for the homeless used by SFOKL) in key KL areas through their #CANFeedTheHungry initiative. Initially, they started collecting 2,000 RM, but they exceeded that goal, making sure 2,700 RM for the use of SFOKL.
redONE, a mobile virtual network in Malaysia has also decided to launch several initiatives. They gave all their customers 10 GB of free high-speed internet, helping them stay connected during the pandemic, and they also provided 1 GB of data per day, which is useful for students who rely on mobile data for their studies.
To help those looking for job opportunities, they have launched the redONE Preneur Sales Advisor (RPSA) program for connect over 10,000 Malaysians with employment opportunities. The program helped participants become sales consultants, equipped with professional training and coaching.
The team behind redONE worked together with the Perak State Government. They launched the Telcopreneur Perak program to nurture 1,000 young, unemployed and small businesses to be telecom entrepreneurs.
5. Front line protection
In the meantime, MDT Innovations, a technology company with a focus on IoT products, has decided to equip frontliners from the Department of Immigration, Security and Passports with over 400 boxes of face masks, ensuring the safety of our immigration officers during work.
They have also partnered with more than 13 NGOs, distributing over 400,000 face masks and 4,000 bottles of disinfectant to more than 16,000 users locally.
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These companies have shown that they strive to achieve common prosperity, and community building is deeply rooted in their core value. This is exactly the kind of company that MDEC hopes to continue to nurture.
“The contributions and actions of these GAIN companies are a reflection of MDEC’s vision of Malaysia 5.0 – a human society in the technological age. While many of these companies have solutions and innovations working on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), their actions show that they put society at the center of what they do, ”says Gopi Ganesalingam, vice president of MDEC’s Digital Startup Division.
“We hope to see more technology companies in Malaysia contribute to society whenever they can, as these GAIN companies have, and contribute to our state’s efforts to achieve the vision of Malaysia 5.0.” Gopi added.
MDEC, supported with the support of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), will continue to lead the digital economy forward, ensuring shared prosperity for many Malaysians, along with the implementation of Malaysia 5.0.
This is achieved by focusing on the three strategic pillars of empowering digitally skilled Malaysians, accelerating the digital drive business and attracting digital investment.
- For more information on MDEC’s GAIN program, click here.
- Learn more about what we’ve written about MDEC in the past here.
Featured image: Forest Interactive / MDT Innovations