Photo (official): (Top row from second left to right) Kamarul Nizam Kassim (Partner of ADIF), Mohd Khairil Abdullah (CEO of Axiata Digital), Datuk Yasmin Mahmood (CEO of MDEC), Stephanie Ping (CEO of WORQ), Norhizam Kadir (VP of Growth Ecosystem Development at MDEC) with the winners of the Axiata Digital Challenge.
Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of Axiata Group, is working with national Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation agency, MDEC, to help local businesses into regional markets in Asia.
To effect this expansion, the partnership will extend Axiata Digital's Mobile Internet Fulfilment Exchange (MIFE), which is an API (Application Programming Interface) platform, as a services gateway.
Last week, when announcing the collaboration, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, MDEC's chief executive officer, noted that, "Malaysia continues to attract interest from startups and entrepreneurs worldwide."
"Strategically located at the heart of ASEAN, Malaysia connects businesses to a regional market of more than 625 million people," said Yasmin.
"Through this collaboration with Axiata Digital, Malaysian digital and online businesses can offer better consumer experience and better monetisation opportunities," she said " We believe this will help provide Malaysia's startups unprecedented access to Axiata's regional customer base with ease."
Earlier this year, Yasmin talked of strategies to adopt disruption as an engine for growth. (See - Malaysia's battle plan for digital disruption: part 1 of an exclusive with MDEC's Datuk Yasmin and Disrupting the disrupters in Malaysia: part 2 of an exclusive with MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin)
Strengthens Malaysia's Digital Hub strategy
Axiata Digital's chief executive officer Mohd Khairil Abdullah welcomed the partnership with MDEC, adding: "[The move will] fast-track digital transformation amongst Malaysian businesses. We especially look forward for Malaysian digital and startup companies to plug into our API platform to scale and grow their businesses not only within Malaysia but also across the other Axiata markets."
"Furthermore, there are additional features on MIFE that protects both customers and businesses with the highest level of security," he said.
Launched in August 2015, MIFE has built a network of global and regional partners including major marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and Google Playstore. This new collaboration allows MIFE to connect to MDEC's digital hubs and leverage each other's network strengths.
He added that MIFE has also developed the Malaysian Access Gateway (MAG), a self-service portal for startup companies to use MIFE's APIs.
Axiata Digital's MIFE platform provides businesses a secure access to API services and solutions without exposure to the backend systems and information, he explained. This is to help meet customer privacy requirements.
All these moves are intended to present Malaysia based businesses - domestic and global tech companies - opportunities to make connections and use dynamic workspaces to achieve rapid growth through MDEC's digital hubs. These also offer incentives for growth to startups, investors, global tech companies, accelerators, and talent builders to help businesses achieve scale.
At the same time, Axiata Digital's platform should help drive "faster customer engagement, and secure payment processes by enabling billing via existing pre-paid or post-paid accounts, SMS notifications, experience username and password free user authentication and login."
Khairil said Axiata's Digital Challenge has been created with the intention of unearthing innovative solutions and ideas from Malaysian tech start-up community.
Tech startups present their ideas on effective utilisation of MIFE's APIs from a concept to a functioning product, to a panel of judges.