Last May, the finalists and winners of the Top E-Commerce Merchant Awards 2016 gathered at the Selangor Digital Creative Centre (SDCC) to meet with leaders in the e-commerce industry. Mentorship was proferred in the form of advice and strategic guidance on the options these merchants had.
The session represents the mentorship portion of the prize to the finalists in the Top E-Commerce Merchant Awards 2016 held by the Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (SITEC) earlier this year, which comes as an addition to 1 year’s free co-working space at the SDCC, cash, trophies, and certs.
Finalists met with and listened to three mentors, all of whom were major players in their particular field, and were encouraged to ask questions and pick the minds of the mentors with regards to how their businesses could be taken to the next level.
The first mentor was Ganesh Kumar Bangah, Deputy Chairman of the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), as well as Founder of MOL Global Inc. He spoke about the 500 Shades of Grey in entrepreneurship, in which there are many decisions for an entrepreneur to make at any stage in the business, but that the options should be tailored to what the entrepreneur wants from the business.
“Never forget the main reason you went into business. Once you know what you want to become, you can then mold your business towards that. The most important part of the business is you. Don’t lose sight of that,” said Ganesh, who noted that the competitors of the Southeast Asian internet economy is actually China, rather than Silicon Valley. He also related anecdotes of his time with MOL, to provide examples of the options and the choices needed.
The second mentor to speak was Dr Lau Cher Han, Data Scientist of the UCAN Technology Training Centre. He spoke about the importance of data analysis, and how it can solve a number of problems seen in e-commerce, with the application of the analysed data and a few tools by the entrepreneur.
“Data analysis plays a large role in helping you to further tailor your business strategy. From keeping search results and recommendations relevant, keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing, to customer segmentation, proper data analysis can further streamline and enhance your business,” said Dr Lau, who provided tangible examples from e-marketplaces, as well as showing the use of several tools and techniques.
The third mentor to speak was Eizzar Supiar, Head of Strategic Partnership of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd. He spoke about Cradle Fund, as well as the programs featured by the company which may be of interest to the entrepreneurs.
“We are focused on building up and supporting Malaysian entrepreneurs in several verticals, and have several programs meant to help in this, such as our CIP500 program,” said Eizzar, who had presented about the process of applying for grants, and answered questions on the processes and criteria necessary.
The session ended with a group photo, lunch, and a networking session.
The finalists will also be displaying samples of their products at display cases at Selangor Digital Creative Centre in i-City, Shah Alam.