(This is a sponsored article with MDEC.)
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the norm and for many the new norm has not been easy. Aside from the fact that a large part of the population had to work and study from home, many companies saw their normal income streams being reduced or even cut off.
During such challenging times, a group of local tech companies decided to rise to the occasion and look beyond their own situations or problems.
These companies share a common interest in helping Malaysians cope with the pandemic by helping those in need and ensuring that all of Malaysian society can contribute to the economy, including the digital economy. This is in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) vision of creating a technologically integrated society in line with Malaysia 5.0.
As the agency tasked with running Malaysia's digital economy, MDEC's GAIN program has supported over 150 successful technology companies.
The more you know: GAIN stands for "Gateway, Amplify, Invest, Nurture". It is an ongoing initiative that supports technology companies by providing market access, high visibility activities, access to funding, and growth through a mentoring system.
Thanks to the head start and support these companies received through the GAIN program, they have decided to continue paying for themselves through their community building commitment. Not only are you able to run a hugely successful global business, but you are also committed to helping the nation and giving back to those in need.
Here are some stories of how MDEC's GAIN companies helped others during the pandemic.
1. Providing working PCs and tablets to students who need them
Since the schools are physically closed, the classes have passed online. But for those in dire financial straits, it may be next to impossible to get a powerful PC for their children.
Rentwise, a provider of green IT solutions, has solved this problem by equipping disadvantaged schools with working PCs for their students. They collect retired computers that have then been restored and data deleted. breathe new life into the devices before they are passed on to the students.
So far they have prepared Over 250 refurbished PCs for schools across the nation. You recently worked with MDEC to donate several laptops to students at Tenom Innovation Center, Sabah.
Like Rentwise, SNS Network, a local technology solutions provider, worked to meet the needs of school children during the pandemic.
Photo credit: SNS Network
They donated 15 units of JOI tablets (devices from SNS) and a combination of 70 headsets, loudspeakers and printers to SMK Permatang Rawa. This enabled the school to provide its students with tablets for remote learning.
In addition to the schools, the SNS team gave 9 JOI notebooks to the Penang Hospice Society team to keep their doctors and doctors connected.
2. Make sure B40 families still have food on the table
Those who lost their jobs during the pandemic may struggle to find a new source of income. This could spell disaster for most B40 families live from hand to mouth.
Innov8tif, an AI solutions provider helping companies generate more sales and improve traditional processes, organized a Sumbangan Kasih program to meet the welfare needs of B40 groups in Subang Jaya. In collaboration with MBSJ, they distributed food and grocery vouchers 200 families in need in May 2020.
"We understand that any action, big or small, can make a real difference when it comes to giving back to the community," said George Lee, CEO of Innov8tif.
Image credit: Innov8tif
3. Financial support for affected communities
Some companies have chosen to donate money to NGOs and people in need who lack funds for essentials.
Vitrox, a local electronic equipment manufacturer RM1.088.790 of funds to several NGOs, schools and hospitals.
On the HR platform, WorkSmartly carried out a “Gaji Sehari Challenge” in which employees told their management how many days of their salary they wanted to donate, which management then brought together. At the end of the challenge, they collected RM5,750 and they donated the funds to Mercy Malaysia, Kitafund and Zoo Negara.
WorkSmartlys #GajiSehariChallenge / Photo credit: WorkSmartly
4. Start larger-scale initiatives
Some of the larger companies opted for multiple initiatives that addressed multiple fronts.
One of the GAIN companies doing this is Forest Interactive, a telecommunications platform provider operating in 39 countries, which has made full use of its vast reach.
With #ForestCares you have contributed what was necessary 147 households with more than 1,100 people in the Temuan Orang Asli community in Damansara Perdana. They also started their #Qurban initiative in their Indonesia office. They prepared qurbani (animal cattle hoppers during the oath) for over 430 people in Indonesia.
But you are not alone in these endeavors.
In collaboration with Street Feeders from KL (SFOKL), they provided street friends (the term used by SFOKL for the homeless) in key KL areas as part of their #CANFeedTheHungry initiative. At first they wanted to collect 2,000 RM, but surpassed this goal and secured the goal RM2.700 for use by SFOKL.
redONE, a virtual cellular network in Malaysia, has also decided on several initiatives. They gave all customers free 10GB high-speed internet so they can stay connected during the pandemic, and they also spent 1GB of data daily which is helpful for the students who rely on mobile data for their studies.
Some of redONE's initiatives in 2020 / Image Credit: redONE
To support those looking for job vacancies, they started the redONE Preneur Sales Advisor (RPSA) program for Connect over 10,000 Malaysians with job opportunities. The program helped participants become sales consultants equipped with professional training and coaching.
The team behind redONE also worked with the government of the state of Perak. They started the Telcopreneur Perak program to support 1,000 young people, unemployed people and small business owners as telecommunications entrepreneurs.
5. Protection of the front liner
Meanwhile, MDT Innovations, a technology company focused on IoT products, has chosen to equip the frontliners of Immigration, Security, and Passport with over 400 boxes of face masks to ensure our immigration officers are safe while they work.
They have also partnered with more than 13 NGOs and distributed over 400,000 face masks and 4,000 bottles of disinfectant to more than 16,000 local beneficiaries.
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These companies have shown that they have pursuits for common prosperity and that community building is deeply rooted in their core value. This is exactly the kind of company that MDEC wants to continue promoting.
“The contributions and actions of these GAIN companies reflect MDEC's vision of Malaysia 5.0 – a human-first society in the tech age. While many of these companies have solutions and innovations working towards the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), what they are doing shows that they are putting society at the center of what they do, ”said Gopi Ganesalingam, vice president of MDEC's Digital Powered Business.
"We hope that more technology companies in Malaysia contribute to society whenever they can, as these GAIN companies do, and contribute to our nation's efforts to achieve Vision Malaysia 5.0." Gopi added.
With the support of the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia (KKMM), MDEC will continue to advance the digital economy and ensure the common prosperity of many Malaysians and make Malaysia 5.0 a reality.
It does this by focusing on three strategic pillars to empower digitally skilled Malaysians, accelerate digitally operated businesses and attract digital investments.
- For more information on MDEC's GAIN program, see Here.
- Find out more about what we've written about MDEC in the past Here.
Selected image source: Forest Interactive / MDT Innovations