KUALA LUMPUR--AC Ventures, the venture capital unit of Andersen Consulting, is challenging dotcom start-ups in the country to take on the world if they are to play in the e-commerce arena.
Daniel Chan, Partner, Andersen Consulting, said while it is a "pleasure"
to meet young dotcom executives who have the enthusiasm and passion,
many still lack the dream to "take" on the world.
"They tend to focus on the Malaysian marketplace. There is insufficient
thought to the reality and practicality of their concepts. Many do not
realise that marketing and branding are very critical to the success of
a dotcom," said Chan.
"Innovation, speed, more innovation and more speed are what needed in
the e-commerce," said Chan. Young dotcoms are also advised to be
prepared to collaborate or form alliances, to reduce the capital
requirement to start up and to achieve the speed for the launch.
"E-business must be deliberated quite differently from capital projects
of the past. They must be run and operated outside the current
organisation structure. If you are starting a pure play dotcom, think
big, play big. Otherwise, don't play at all," Chan quipped when
contacted by CNET Malaysia.
Couple of dotcoms run by young 20-somethings executives have been
sprouting up in Malaysia. These include Catcha.com, Asianauto.com and Dreammotor.com.
AC Ventures, said Chan will look for dotcoms across all industries which
have business models that can truly scale regionally and globally.
"The business models must have differentiating value propositions that
will change the rule of the game and create a more efficient and
productive business environment. They must generate real revenue and
collection should not be an issue," Chan said.
Serious consideration and sustainable budget must also be set aside for
"Then there is the need to get world class endorsement and alliances.
Finally, we look at the company's management and development team and
their ability to scale fast and the unique assets (engines) to be
built," he added.
Malaysia growing out of infancy stage
Though Malaysia is still in its infancy in e-commerce, recent spate of
corporate moves is a strong indication the race for a piece of the Internet
pie is moving at a phenomenal pace.
"Yes, the dust has finally settled. Many CEO's have started internal
eVenture groups. We are reading a lot more news about Malaysian dotcoms
and corporate players establishing incubators and venture funds. We are
beginning to hear success stories, for example, Asia Travel Network. More
importantly, CEO's are starting to pay attention to this new economy,"
To move on to the next level of e-commerce, however, some issues need to
be ironed out.
"In terms of real e-commerce, Malaysia has to first quickly sort out the
issues before we can see more people embracing it. Credit card fraud
high and this is not a trivial matter," said Chan.
To create demand, businesses need to start offering online transactions
Chan also urged the Malaysian government to review existing regulations.
"In particular, many of the existing regulations must be revisited and
changed to create a more competitive environment. If more government
transactions can be done online, for example, applying for passport,
renewal of driver's licence, then the internet growth will be faster. We
are a little too slow here," said Chan.
The e-economy's contribution to the country, though is not easy to
estimate is expected to be similar as in the US where e-economy will
constitute 3 percent to 10 percent of the GDP, said Chan.