We live in an era of constant change, which is driving new growth opportunities. With rapid urbanization, Malaysia is transforming quickly and continues to have immense potential. Malaysia is currently one of the most urbanized countries of Southeast Asia, which is also one of the most rapidly urbanized regions around the world.
In 2019, urban population for Malaysia was 76.6%, an increase by at least 6% since the last 10 years. The general population has been on a steady positive trend since at least 2014 and is projected to grow up to 40.5 million residents by 2040.1 The growth will see a larger middle-class population with higher spending power than before. In short, the population is becoming more affluent as technological developments are helping the region to innovate and disrupt.
Being the third largest economy in Southeast Asia, Malaysia contributes a sizeable portion of the market. To fully tap into the opportunities of this growth, companies must consider how to meet the higher demand by increasing their scale of production. The key to this lies with digital transformation through technology.
Industry 4.0: Our Catalyst of Growth in Malaysia
Industry 4.0 is accelerating how digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing fuel growth in the region. For small and medium businesses (SMBs) as well as multinational corporations (MNCs), Industry 4.0 technologies help to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and open opportunities to scale production and services.
In response to this, The Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has launched the Industry 4WRD Policy in 2018 to drive digital transformation of the manufacturing and related services sectors in Malaysia. Local factories are encouraged to improve efficiency by integrating smart digital technologies along their production process.
For instance, sensors can be used to collect data from the machines. With that data, and the help of data analytics as well as artificial intelligence, factory operators can pre-emptively schedule maintenance works when it has the least impact on their productivity to reduce machine downtime while increasing productivity.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is one of the key technologies driving the Industry 4.0 revolution and can potentially disrupt the manufacturing sector – a major component of Malaysia’s economy and contributes about 23% to its GDP.
With 3D printing, companies can print parts or products by transmitting digital designs and printing products closer to its destination. By localizing manufacturing and operating close to an on-demand production model, companies can better manage costs by balancing supply and demand. This reduces waste and cost generated as a result of overproduction. Ideally as well, should there be a shortage of supply, companies can leverage on 3D printing as one of the core solutions. For example, to combat the shortage of medical face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the local 3D printing and design communities are working hand in hand with Malaysian Medical Device Authority and University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) to produce face shields for front liners.
At HP Inc, together with the global digital manufacturing community, we are mobilizing our 3D printing teams, technology, experience, and production capacity to help deliver critical parts in the effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 3D R&D centers in Spain, Oregon, San Diego, California, Washington and Singapore are collaborating with partners around the world in a coordinated effort to increase production to meet the most urgent needs. To date, over 1,000 3D printed parts including face masks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers, and respirator parts have already been delivered to local hospitals. HP is also coordinating with government, health, and industry agencies in numerous countries to ensure a synchronized and effective approach.
Helping SMBs to Leverage Digital Transformation
Companies that transform and leverage digital technologies will see immense growth. Capitalizing on digital technologies to scale and grow is important not just for MNCs, but SMBs as well.
The SMB segment is a significant growth engine for Malaysia. In 2018, its contribution to Malaysia’s GDP has increased to RM521.7 billion, accounting for 38.3% compared to 37.8% the year before.4 The country is on track to achieve the target of 41% to GDP by 2020 as envisaged under the Dasar Keusahawanan Nasional 2030 (DKN 2030).5
We are ready to support the future of Malaysia through SMBs as we recognize their need to advance, disrupt and transform their business through technology and our business strategy has evolved in response. HP, through our Advance, Disrupt and Transform business strategy, is committed to introducing new products innovation and creating new local partnerships and collaborations to ensure that we serve the needs of Malaysians.
Our local initiative, HP for Business, is dedicated to equipping SMB owners with knowledge, expertise and skills to grow their business. The site provides access to news, tips, success stories, business insights and free upskilling courses on HP Life, a free, self-paced public learning platform for the SMB community.
HP also regularly creates mentorship opportunities with industry leaders through collaborative partnerships for the start-up and SMB communities. HP’s Creators of Tomorrow for example, aimed to encourage entrepreneurship among youth by offering mentorship support. In total, the campaign has received over 2,500 start-up ideas from university students around Malaysia.
In addition, HP’s Graphic Solutions Business is also supporting SMBs with capabilities to personalize experiences for customers. Through the HP Personalization Pinwheel, a framework that helps brands identify areas to accelerate business growth, SMBs can enhance their customer engagement and brand equity with customized packaging, labelling and content made possible with digital printing.
Change truly represents an opportunity. For businesses to succeed, they must be ready to leverage the opportunity to digitally transform and be willing to embrace new technologies. At HP, we remain a global brand with a local soul. Through digital transformation, we are committed to do our part in contributing towards the growth of Malaysia, starting from securing our customers’ success.
By: Fayza Mohamed Amin, Managing Director of HP Inc. Malaysia.