Entrepreneurs Dialogue

The objective for this virtual forum is to facilitate discussions among entrepreneurs on Malaysian startup challenges and ideas, and to build a culture of sharing and community. 

Please use the startup lifecycle guide below to identify any challenges you've experienced within each stage or for any ideas to improve the current state. 


Lack of qualified engineers to build MVPs or product

MaGIC Team 4 years ago • updated by Muz 4 years ago 16
We don't have enough good engineers in current programming languages eg RoR, Python or node.js. Most php, .net, and front-end developers are not keeping abreast with the latest framework or best practices (eg. github, etc) and are not keeping up with the evolving technologies.

Not enough mentors for startups

MaGIC Team 4 years ago • updated by Wan Adli Wan Hassan 4 years ago 5
We don't have enough mentors with the appropriate technical skills for startups to go to for help and advise. A lot us have to rely on troubleshooting, trial & error, which could take time.

Government is our main roadbock, through its fear of ideas

Malek Ali 4 years ago • updated by BigVee 4 years ago 6
Since its inception, BFM Radio, a business radio station I founded, has tried to expand our broadcast footprint beyond the Klang Valley, only to meet official intransigence. We have dedicated programming for entrepreneurs, so that they can be matched to potential funders, business partners, customers, but all this is for nought outside of the Klang Valley. Our fault seems to be that other parts of our programming demand the same fiduciary responsibilities of government that the private sector demands of its corporate leaders.

So yes, the Malaysian government is our main impediment to growth. But maybe there's an unintended consequence: It has forced us to go abroad to seek growth.

It's interesting how government restrictions has caused some of our Malaysian companies to go abroad and become global or regional leaders - Eversendai, who built one of the KLCC towers through a subcontract by the Koreans, was not given more work in Malaysia and had to go to the Middle East, where it went on to build the Burj Al-Khalifa, and now is the global leader in steel structures.  Other examples include Top Glove, Supermax (no. 1 and 2 global leaders in the rubber glove industry), and AirAsia (the way AirAsia is treated by Malaysia Airports, given that the passenger traffic that AirAsia brings is the single most important reason for MAHB's success, is abysmal). We also now see entrepreneurs being squeezed out by government-linked entities (SP Setia, E&O, Sunrise), and government entities competing with private sector for business (1MDB, a fund guaranteed by taxpayer's money is competing  with a slew of private sector entities for renewal of power plant concessions). 

too focus on money making in early stage

lu chen pin 4 years ago • updated by Muz 4 years ago 22
Many mentors and investors like to tell entrepreneur to identify the money making element, that kill a lot of innvotive ideas, and make Malaysian's startup to only focus on the same business models, or copy from another workable idea.

MSC Status not suited for startups, but more for MNCs

MaGIC Team 4 years ago • updated by Azrul Rahim 4 years ago 1
MSC Status not suited for startups, but more for MNCs

Quality of the entrepreneurs itself

Reza Razali 4 years ago • updated by Farhan Yun Hanimi 4 years ago 6
- Not enough talent pool around town
- Entrepreneur is tardy
- Good at complaining really bad at execution
- Cant handle feedback
- Cant work / team up with other entrepreneurs in complementing each other product
- Launched the wrong product with wrong business model
- Syok sendiri

It is hard to hire good talent.

Daniel Cerventus Lim 4 years ago • updated by Muz 4 years ago 11
It is hard to hire good talent as most of them have better paying options in MNC 

MSC status companies should not ONLY operate in "very selective" properties

Imran Sulaiman 4 years ago • updated by Anomally 4 years ago 1

Not enough exposure for some of the great stuffs that some of us are doing.

Thomas Yip 4 years ago • updated by BigVee 4 years ago 19
Most Malaysians tend to believe that all local stuffs are not that great (Proton Mentality), and that we are not capable of anything good and all great things can only be done by foreigners. Compounded by the fact that some media exposure, tv shows and events go on to expose half baked ideas, while companies with traction hardly get any exposure.

Difficulties in getting paid. Singaporeans allowed to sell almost anywhere, Malaysians can't.

Thomas Yip 4 years ago • updated by CK Ng 4 years ago 3
Paypal practically the only option. Google Wallet just opened recently and mainly targetting mobile apps. Amazon and many other payment options not available. Inability to setup US bank account to cater to Enterprise customers who purchase through normal payment options. Malaysians can't sell on Newegg, etc.