CEO shares his entrepreneurship journey
UTAR Centre for Corporate and Community Development (CCCD), in collaboration with UTAR Unovate Centre and MDT Innovations Sdn Bhd, organised the “CEO Talk Series: My Entrepreneurship Journey” via Zoom on 23 June 2021. The webinar was delivered by MDT Innovations Sdn Bhd Group CEO Liew Choon Lian. It was moderated by Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Head Assoc Prof Ir Dr Chang Yoong Choon. The webinar received about 300 participants.
In his talk, Liew introduced MDT Innovations Sdn Bhd and shared the story of how he formed the company. “Life was very tough back then. People of our age had a hard time where we had to fetch water from the well, live in wooden houses, grow our own vegetables and use oil lamps as lights. Fast forward, I grew up, did well in my studies and got accepted into the Royal Military College and graduated with top honours,” said Liew as he shared his humble beginnings.
“We are involved in IoT embedded engineering. The things we do involve energy, security, healthcare, fintech, digital ID and e-Agro. We have been profitable since inception, and we have exported more than RM2billion worth of services and merchandise overseas. We are one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 companies,” added Liew.
Liew said, “Some of the flagship applications we implemented over the years in various markets are smart hook, Linotag, NFC SIM payment, smart trolley, smart pet collar, connected healthcare, IP-based walkie-talkie with a guard positioning system, industry 4.0 work in progress tracking, SchoolTrac and more.”
Liew shared his story as an entrepreneur and advised, “Everyone has their own talent and weakness, you don’t have to be a great presenter but you have to be an effective communicator. An effective communication skill is important in order to make the audience understand what is being presented. There is always good and bad experiences in any business. When faced with challenges, do not give up. Try to find a compromise solution and if there is no solution, be prepared to let go and learn from the experience.”
“Have passion in what you do, then you will see the outcome. Try your best and the chances are you are going to do well. Be humble and listen to what other people say before you speak. Be diligent, dedicated and determined in what you do and never stop learning. You can be more successful in time to come,” advised Liew.
In 2011, Liew created history by guiding MDTi to emerge 12th in Deloitte’s Fast 500 Asia Pacific, the highest ranking ever achieved by an ASEAN company. Between 2006 and 2013, the company won 13 Asia Pacific ICT awards, including two Prime Minister’s Best of the Best awards in 2007 and 2013, Red Herring Asia 100 Award in 2008, and Red Herring Global 100 Award in 2009. “We aspire to be one of the top IoT companies in the Asia Pacific. As a pioneer in RFID/IoT technology and system applications in this region, and to go further, we want to be among the top 5 worldwide. Our corporate mission is to become a market leader in providing value-added engineering, systems development and competitive solutions in the field of RFID, IoT and wireless information technologies,” said Liew.
In 2015, Liew was awarded the coveted EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Technology Category. In 2016, MDT was chosen by IoT Business Platform Asia to be among the top 5 vendors behind Microsoft, IBM, Google MDT and Cisco. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the company was chosen for the Best Brand Asia and Best Employer Awards. In February 2018, Liew was featured in the cover page story of CIO Outlook and in August, MDTi won Frost and Sullivan Best IoT for Asia Pacific 2018.