The recruitment of key executive-level or highly technical employees will be a major factor in the success of E-commerce companies operating in Malaysia, executive recruitment company Monroe Consulting Group says.
The comments follow a statement by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the launch of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) Economic Forum 2017 when he praised the success of the National Transformation Programme, which sought to propel Malaysia to a “high income status nation by 2020.”
Najib said that since the launch of the programme in 2010, Gross National Income had increased by 52 percent, 2.26 million jobs had been created and Malaysia expected to record a nearly 5 percent increase in GDP.
“As it is, we recorded spectacular growth of 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Total exports, meanwhile, breached the RM80 billion mark in March for the first time on record,” he said. “No wonder a World Bank report recently concluded: ‘The Malaysian economy is progressing from a position of strength’.”
He said the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap (NeSR) was a key part of the government’s National Transformation Programme.
“In addition, the National Ecommerce Strategic Roadmap, spearheaded by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, or MDEC, is mandated to map out actionable programmes that will lead to Malaysian businesses eventually becoming global Ecommerce champions,” the Prime Minister said. “As it is, Malaysia’s Ecommerce grew by 12.8 percent per annum between 2012 and 2015 to RM68 billion, making up 5.9 percent of GDP. With the Government’s policy intervention via the roadmap, we are aiming to double growth to 20.8 percent per annum to RM170 billion in 2020.”
Shameer Nijar, an executive recruitment consultant with Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia, said it was an exciting time for the Ecommerce sector in Malaysia, particularly with the establishment of the world’s first DFTZ, which could draw as many as 1,500 small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) this year alone, and another 8,000 in 2018.
"The Malaysian government had grown Malaysia’s Ecommerce industry 12.8 percent per annum between 2012 and 2015 to comprise almost 6 percent of the gross domestic product,” he said. “The roadmap will double growth of the sector to 20.8 percent to RM170 billion.”
Shameer, who specialises in recruitment in the technology sector, said Malaysia was working closely with Jack Ma, the founder and Chairman of Chinese Ecommerce company Alibaba Group, to tap into not only the Malaysian economy but the potential of the wider Southeast Asian region, which was home to 600 million consumers.
“The two major players, Alibaba and Amazon, are expected to go head-to-head in the region in order to achieve their goals of becoming the world’s largest online retailer,” he said. “Alibaba has a massive advantage in Asean, primarily due to its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Lazada, the largest existing Ecommerce marketplace, and investing as much as US$2 billion in the company.”
The recruitment consultant said Amazon had launched in Singapore and was similarly eyeing the potentially lucrative Southeast Asian market.
“Singapore is an ideal springboard for the company due to its high consumer purchasing power, well-developed infrastructure and business friendly regulations. Amazon’s move into Singapore would just be the first stage, as they are expected to expand sooner rather than later into other lucrative markets in the region, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.”
The NCCIM Economic Forum 2017 featured 50 exhibitors and in excess of 1,000 participants in a number of Ecommerce market segments, including payment solutions (MOLPay and IPay88); E-marketplaces (such as Lazada and AgroBazaar Online); logistics providers (Pos Malaysia, GDEX and SkyNet); solution providers (Webshaper and Sitegiant); business groups; and SME businesses, including online sellers.
Dean Nazmuddin, also with Monroe Malaysia’s Technology Division, reiterated his colleague’s optimistic outlook for the Ecommerce industry in Malaysia and the wider Southeast Asia, the exciting competition between Amazon and Alibaba, and the implications for other Ecommerce-reliant companies.
“The competition between Alibaba and Amazon will provide an even greater focus on the Ecommerce industry in Southeast Asia, the potential of the industry here and the employment market,” Dean said. “Due to that, the demand for specialised information technology professionals and executives is expected to increase drastically and more graduates coming from IT backgrounds are expected to emerge across the emerging markets. Indonesia is a great example.”
Dean said Monroe, which operated throughout the emerging markets of Asia, including China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia, was an international award-winning recruitment company that understood the technology sector intimately, and how to source key hard-to-find talent leading companies need to secure to be able to grow their businesses.
Executive Recruitment Consultant Arvinth Gunasegaran said there was an ongoing need for “competent senior IT professionals who can actively contribute during the start-up and growth phases of high-performing companies, which aim to become competitive and profitable as quickly as possible.”
Arvinth, who also specialises in the technology sector, said executive recruitment companies such as Monroe Consulting Group Malaysia were specialised at assisting clients source key talent in areas where it was often problematic to recruit in.
“We work for multiple leading Ecommerce-based companies in Malaysia and Southeast Asia who can often struggle to source highly competent individuals with the required education, experience and important soft skills, including an important second language and critical thinking abilities or being able to think outside the box – basic problem-solving.”
Arvinth said it was also important to note that the rise of Ecommerce posed multiple questions for other industries, including banking, finance, insurance, logistics and retail.
“Monroe specialises in recruitment in five industry verticals, namely Industry, Consumer Goods, Health, Technology and Professional Services, which covers banking, finance and insurance,” he said. “One of the great things about our recruitment company is that we have a handle on the key growth industries in rapidly developing economies in the Asia-Pacific. We’re in the perfect position to help leading national or multinational companies establish or expand their businesses to maximise their business interests.”