Vision 2020 was totally different than we envisioned. Who would have expected such an unprecedented situation in our lifetime. The entire year was spent pivoting businesses, refocusing and re-strategizing business plans as well as reviewing all business priorities while managing challenges brought by Covid-19. That in itself is a total business turnaround.
For the tech industry, the lockdown and the MCO did affect us directly as we were not allowed to operate from our office nor client premises to address and troubleshoot issues. Although it did not come immediately, we managed to convince the government that IT is an essential service. From then on, PIKOM was consulted in all sectoral policy, digitalisation processes and activities relating to the tech sector. PIKOM will carry on to play a substantial role in the digital transformation of our nation by becoming a key catalyst to the private sector in embracing digital revolution. We will continue to engage with the relevant government agencies and advocate for the growth of our industry.
We were your advocate by voicing our views to the government, media and stakeholders on issues affecting our industry. We were part of high-level committees and meetings that included the Prime Minister, Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Minister of Human Resources, Minister of Higher Education, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as the Deputy Minister of Finance. We will continue to provide active engagement and input in policy making.
While we would have loved to have been able to meet in-person, this has not been possible in 2020. Many planned events had to be cancelled or converted to a virtual mode. Nonetheless, we thank you for the support during these trying times. We had to pivot and adapt to the circumstances. We organised more than 30 webinars with our members of topical interests during the year. That was one way we hope to keep you abreast of developments. As webinar fatigue sets in, we have also made changes to our delivery of the programmes.
Our awards programmes in 2020 also happened on a virtual basis. The GBS Asia Awards Digital Edition took place a few weeks ago while the inaugural virtually delivered TechFest 2020 and Road to WCIT Malaysia took off in November with targeted participation from the tech industry leaders around the globe.
There is so much to look forward to in 2021. We look to increase engagement with the tech industry by introducing a new flagship platform for members through a collaboration with Fusionex, providing a digital interactive space that includes an ecommerce marketplace, an exhibition showcase and a B2B meeting space, to reach global markets.
PIKOM has been entrusted to proceed with the Place and Train Program under Penjana HRDF, with 100 member-companies and training providers, running more than 13 tech-related programs for new employees to fit the demands of new skilled talents in the industry. This includes Big Data, Cybersecurity, Design Thinking and Innovation, Ecommerce, GBS, BPO, Project Management, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and IOT programs. The main objective is to reduce mismatch, ensure requirements by industry is fulfilled through the right training, while producing more local talent with the right skills and mindset, raising the bar of tech industry in creating more job opportunities.
We are revisiting the establishment of a new chapter dedicated to women which, we are temporarily calling ‘Women in Tech’. 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. 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.
We will also be having our Annual General Meeting in January 2021, and we hope to have it as a physical event, with strict compliance to the SOP. I look forward to meeting members at the AGM so that together we strengthen our unity for bigger and better things for members in the coming year.
Members would also be pleased to know that the PIKOM Digital Summit originally scheduled for November 2020, will be taking place in March 2021 (subject to prevailing conditions). Members who are keen to be part of this flagship event can reach out to me or the secretariat for more details. Essentially, we will be featuring 3 segments to the event; technology leadership, cybersecurity and smart sourcing.
The MSC Malaysia APICTA, a platform to push forward new ideas, products and services will also be making its presence in the first quarter of 2021. It has garnered many participations the past few months and will be a much sought-after event.
Another major event we are planning in 2021 is TechFest as well as Road to WCIT Malaysia, which will again take place in Penang sometime in September 2021. We look forward to having a hybrid platform take place in this event where new technologies from both local and around the world are featured.
We hope to bring back many of our flagship programmes that you have come to expect from us including our Unicorn Tech Awards Night and Gala Dinner, networking events such as Members Meeting, festive event gatherings and charity events.
RISE, the largest annual tech gathering will be coming to Malaysia in 2022. While a lot of hard work was put in place by the tech industry and partners to bring RISE to Malaysia, getting greater support from industry partners starts this year.
RISE in Kuala Lumpur is estimated to have an economic impact of over RM500mil over 3 years through tourism, job creation and foreign investments into the tech and start-up ecosystem. Visually seeing RISE 2022 as a physical event, Kuala Lumpur is potentially expected to welcome guests from around the world.
There is definitely a spotlight in the tunnel as we speak, while much of this year has been uncertain, all of us are looking ahead for a greater 2021 adjusting ourselves with a new way of working. While staying safe, staying strong, staying POSITIVE.
I wish all of you a greater 2021.