Newly elected Chairman Danny Lee talks to Sharmila Valli Narayanan on PIKOM’s focus for the year through its short term and midterm plans for the association, at the same time push towards diversity by introducing a new chapter solely focused on developing women in the tech industry.

Danny Lee’s involvement with PIKOM goes back more than a decade. He became directly involved with the association when he was elected as council member in 2009. Over the years he went up the rank within the association holding various posts as treasurer, secretary and deputy chairman. At the recent PIKOM AGM, he was elected chairman for the term 2019-2020.

Congratulations on being elected as the chairman of PIKOM. How does it feel to lead the largest tech organisation in the country that is also regarded very highly overseas?

I’m honoured to be elected chairman. It has been very fulfilling to have spent years contributing to the association. As a council member, I was privileged to get a feel of what the organisation is about by leading various chapter projects before heading the association.

I have big shoes to fill as the previous chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah has done an excellent job. I will definitely continue the good work he has done and push for more things to be done. We are the largest and most influential tech association in the country. We need to get more connected to the public and the private sector.

What are your objectives for PIKOM?

We intend to continue working on the primary objectives that were set a couple years ago. PIKOM has always looked at improving its membership value for our members. We have managed to increase membership over the years by bringing in industry value through our chapter activities and flagship events.

Another key direction is to institutionalise the association by putting in the right strategies necessary to attract cross-industry associations, private sector and form further collaboration with the Government.

As with any association, PIKOM has its short-term, midterm and long-term goals. We are heading in the right direction in achieving these goals.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by short term and midterm goals?

Short term goals are major events which PIKOM will be organizing this year, namely the World Congress on IT (WCIT2020) in Penang. Often referred as the Olympics of ICT, this premier global ICT congress brings together more than 5,000 global leaders in business, government and academia from over 100 countries to impact economic and social development through the exchange of policies, practices, trends and ideas on ICT.

In conjunction with WCIT 2020, a 10-day exhibition called Penang TechFest 2020, takes place to feature new technologies like the 5G application and experience the latest technology showcase from around the world. Another international event in 2020 which PIKOM will host is the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards 2020 (APICTA) popularly seen as the ‘Oscars of the ICT arena. APICTA is a platform to push forward new ideas, products and services into the global market.

Our midterm goals are based on key activities developed by our 5 chapters:

  • OM (formerly known as Outsourcing Malaysia) – developing the Global Services Sector
  • PIKOM Venture Investment Chapter – connect entrepreneurs with investors and angels
  • PIKOM CIO Chapter – represented by 130 members from various sectors, the CIOs often meet to network and share tech experience in building their businesses further
  • PIKOM Cybersecurity Chapter – aims to adders the cybersecurity challenges and opportunities, for the private sector, government and public.
  • PIKOM e-Commerce Malaysia – an initiative to develop Malaysia’s e-Commerce sector further through key projects like the #MYCYBERSALE series

Other midterm goals include promoting our much-sought training programs under PIKOM Academy. All our tech, leadership and project management programs are HRDF claimable.

With the role of the getting larger, we felt the need to develop new initiatives. Recently we launched a new initiative in PIKOM, a think tank called Future Digital. The committee of Future Digital will consist of people from the academia and the captains of the industry who will advise on policies relating to the tech industry. This think tank will also be a platform for us to communicate the tech industry’s concerns to the Government. We believe the Government will consider reviewing proposals and concerns we raise because as the voice of the tech industry, we know what the industry needs.

PIKOM seems to be very much a men’s club. Where are the women?

One of the most exciting midterm goals for 2020 is the establishment of a new chapter dedicated to women which, we are temporarily calling ‘Women in Tech’. Its final name will depend on what the committee finally decides to call it.

This chapter will help women get equal opportunities to contribute in the tech industry. It will also be a great platform for networking among women and for younger women in the tech industry to look for mentors and to seek advice from other women. I hope this chapter will be able to attract all the top women in tech. You’ll be hearing more about this chapter in the coming months.