Why Malaysia is a good test bed for innovation despite funding hurdles

Published 04 July, 2019

Khairil Abdullah (pictured centre), CEO of Axiata Digital Services, said during the recent Innovfest Unbound 2019 that Malaysia is a good test bed for innovation and rolling out new businesses due to its wide demographic range, from the Bangsar population which comprises high net worth individuals and digitally savvy youths, to the average Malaysian and the underserved communities. According to him, Axiata Digital has a team of venture builders in Malaysia who are aggressively experimenting, testing and building products due to the accessibility of the market. He said:”We use Malaysia as our test bed because it has this amazing demographic.”

“The market is so accessible and you see such a wide range of demographic in such a small geography that allows us to experiment, build our products, test it and get the results very quickly,” Khairil said.

Khairil explained that Axiata Digital first started out as an R&D unit in late 2012, when it was experimenting with various initiatives to participate in the digital economy. Eventually, it settled on three major pillars – digital financial services, advertising tech and API gateway. Today, Axiata Digital builds, accelerates and invests in ventures across 10 markets including Malaysia and Indonesia, and owns services such as Boost, ada and Apigate.