Covid-19 has Malaysia in a lockdown. This means business across the nation is taking their work online. One local start-up has risen to meet this need.
Co-founded in March 2018, the firm initially specialized in security hardware. However, their multiple meetings with clients led to the pivot of the product, precisely a year later.
The firm spoke with its clients in the security industry and realised that there is a major problem in managing the workforce effectively, the Co-founder and CMO stated.
Currently, there are no solutions or products to address this problem. The firm realised that there is a gap in the market for businesses that operate multi-location and remote workforce manually. This prompted the company to pivot in March 2019.
In the current form, the firm is an online platform that helps organisations streamline their workforce management process. Its app also allows supervision and remote monitoring of employees.
The app also assists in the assigning and monitoring of work schedules, leave management, and checking on live updates of all sites in real-time.
The company helps traditional industries and businesses to manage their large workforce attendance and operation reporting in multi-location around Malaysia and globally with zero proprietary assets.
Concurrently, a cloud-based platform with real-time updates that promises business continuity with zero downtime is also offered to clients. In addition, the product features payroll integration.
Primarily, the company caters to companies, which deal with multi-location and sizeable remote workforce. Its clients come from across industries, including security, recruitments, facility management, construction, retail, cleaning services, F&B and education.
While setting up the firm, acquiring a team that shares the same values and vision for clients and then pivoting the company’s goal later was difficult the firm has managed to stand its ground for two years.
Now, in the wake of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, opportunities are massive. Moreover, many companies in Malaysia are slowly expanding into neighbouring countries.
For now, the firm is targeting Malaysian SMEs and associations by conducting workshops and seminars on how to kickstart their digital transformation journey.
Before thinking of being an entrepreneur and coming up with a minimum viable product, the Co-Founder advised aspiring founders to learn as much as they can about the industry pain points and be an expert about it. They should also look for a mentor who can answer their questions.
A solution for the MCO
At 10:00 PM on 16 March 2020, Malaysia’s Prime Minister made a televised speech and officially promulgated the restricted activities order under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.
The order, called the Movement Control Order, has been implemented as a preventive measure of the federal government of Malaysia towards the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
During this time, firms are being encouraged to make their daily operations digital.
Malaysian businesses are struggling to enable their staff to work from home during the Covid-19 movement control order, discovering that remote working goes beyond having a laptop and a broadband connection.
One of the most common issues? “Windows updates,” according to a senior consultant.
To install Microsoft’s suite of Office365 tools, for example, Windows systems on laptops and PCs must be up to date, and many are not.
There are other issues, but this is perhaps one of the most frustrating, slowing down the ability of consultants to help businesses keep going while the two-week movement control order (MCO) is in place.
Cloud services providers are struggling to meet a flood of interest and demand. Referrals have jumped as software providers such as Microsoft and Google are inundated by inquiries, consultants note.
Experts’ advice for small and medium-sized businesses is to take advantage of free offers and trials from software providers and vendors.
Use these to ensure business continuity for now. When the all-clear is given, firms must do a proper implementation and adoption exercise to ensure that they are not caught the next time around.
“The next time around is probably not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. Be ready,” the expert advised.