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Kuala Lumpur, Monday 12th Jan:

We had a very interesting Dialogue on Monday entitled “What’s Hot 2009”.  Organised by Cradle Fund and Malaysian Entrepreneurs the Panelists discussed what 2009 held for Malaysian Entrepreneurs.

Panellists:

Professor Zainul Faziruddin Zainuddin

Director of USM Innovation Office

Mr. Sharil Tarmizi

Chief Operating Officer of Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Commission (CMC)

Mr. Peter Tam

Director of Local Software Innovation Malaysian Software Economy

Mr.Hazani Hassan

Senior VP, Kumpulan Modal Perdana (KMP)

Mr. Hasnul Shah

Manager Industry Policy & Research, Multimedia Development Corporation, Malaysia

Generally while the Panelists agreed that 2009 will be a difficult year, there were still some bright spots and Entrepreneurs can find some good opportunities here. The following areas were discussed and the consensus of the audience is given in  brackets.

1) Creative Content (HOT)

This area includes digital animation especially movies and Japanese Anime. With the release of the first fully animated Malaysian movie “Geng” in February, the consensus is that this is one growth area for Entrepreneurs. This also includes gaming tecnnology where there is still a lot of scope. Finally while 3D may be the future, 2D is still the bulk of the market especially Anime so 2009 is still a good year for just plain ol 2D. Consensus is that this is a HOT area for 2009.

2) Shared Services & Outsourcing (HOT)

With the global economic recessions (Developed nations) and slowdown (Asia) companies will seek to lower their costs and outsourcing is one area that will continue to grow. Malaysia offers lower costs and well trained people although issues remain with proficiency in English.

3) Broadband (HOT in Kuala Lumpur, COLD elsewhere)

With High Speed Broadband (HSBB) and Wimax taking off in 2010 & 2009 respectively expect this to drive more mobile & Internet businesses. However outside KL HSBB will take at least another 3 years so it will be slower elsewhere.

4) Funding: Venture Capital (Lukewarm), Grants (HOT), IPO (stone COLD), Private Equity (HOT)

The funding environment is going to be tough. While there will continue to be plenty of government grants for startups and for R&D, VC will be tough as they are more choosy with investing. Early stage is going to be tougher than expansion stage. However the IPO market will be virtually dead for 2009. Private Equity however will be HOT as PE players seek out the mature companies that need short term funds and restructuring because of the crisis.

5) Web2.0 (HOT)

There are many new players in Web2.0 and this will still be a hot area. Web2.0 is however expected to evolve and may not be just social networks as more businesses will adopt Web2.0 like Dell has done. Uptake will be slower but it will still be a good year.

6) Clean Tech (HOT)

Hazani of Modal Perdana the VC fund is very keen on Clean Tech and expects this to be a hot area in 2009.

So thats the gist of this very interesting dialogue.

We took videos of the Dialogue and will post them shortly.

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