Other | February 15, 2010

Top Three Tips for GEW Success from Malaysia

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We’re barely a month into the new year and Malaysia is already on a roll!  The first official GEW event of 2010 was held on January 21st in Kuala Lumpur by the Technopreneur Association of Malaysia (TeAM), an official GEW Malaysia partner. The T3 Monthly Get-Together – first in a series of GEW talks to be held on the third Thursday of every month – welcomed Malek Ali, founder of popular radio station BFM 89.9, who shared his stories on life as an entrepreneur.  Attendance was high and spirits even higher (as seen here in pictures taken at the event)! 

 

The unstoppable Dhakshinamoorthy “Dash” of Warisan Global, GEW Host for Malaysia, stopped by our London offices six days after the event to update us on how GEW plans are coing along in Malaysia.  Dash recently dined with the British High Commissioner to Malaysia Boyd McCleary who, so taken aback with GEW Malaysia 2009, has already agreed to sponsor the launch of GEW Malaysia 2010 in as early as March!  Also at the dinner was former Trade Minister of Britain Lord Richard Needham, who commended Dash for his efforts in inspiring entrepreneurship in Malaysia.

 While in London, Dash (pictured here with London GEWers Marilise Saghbini and Ingrid Tharasook) also generously spared us a few hours to share best practices from the 2009 GEW Malaysia campaign.  And what a campaign it was: With 530 events hosted by 182 partners and event organizers attended by over 70,000 participants, Malaysia was certainly the global force to be reckoned with.  Here are Dash’s Top Three tips for a smash-hit campaign:

Top Tip #1: Don’t Underestimate The Role of the Media!
"Organizations in Asia at least, I suspect, don't immediately understand the concept of being a GEW Partner - they are not sure why they need to organize their own activities at their own cost. So in these places you will face a difficult time getting money and support for your campaign” laments Dash.  "As such one key way out of this is to organize media - get media support and try to give your partners coverage.  This will also attract the sponsors as they would get coverage."  In 2008 and 2009, GEW Malaysia had the support of everyone from Deputy Minister of Higher Education YB Dato' Saifuddin Abdullah to Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry YB Dato' Mukhriz Bin Tun Mahathir.  The benefits are passed directly onto the entrepreneurs, who can use the media exposure to promote their brand and maybe even gain investors.

 

Top Tip #2: Use Clusters of Catalysts
Instead of trying to manage every single aspect of the campaign on his own, Dash put together what he likes to call his “Clusters of Catalysts” – groups or individuals who are responsible for carrying out different facets of GEW.  He had one catalyst each for four key categories: Innovation, Women, Youth and Mobile Phones.  The latter was key in Malaysia since mobile phone penetration rates are soaring and it is a highly popular medium which youths use to communicate with each other.  Adopt Dash’s “Clusters of Catalysts” model, tailoring it to your local environment.    
 

Top Tip #3: Connect Through “The Three M’s”
“There are very few countries that sustain communication with the broader international GEW family once the week has ended,” says Dash.  “But communication after the week is crucial to sustaining everybody’s commitment to this year-round campaign.”  One of his primary goals for GEW 2010 is to establish these linkages and encourage young entrepreneurs to perennially connect with one another.  The more long-term goal will be to create a competition where local entrepreneurs are given the chance to travel to other countries throughout the year to experience life as an entrepreneur in other markets around the world.  For now, Dash believes the year-round exchanges can take place even without the face-to-face contact.  “The principle is simple.  All entrepreneurs need the three M’s: Markets, Mentors and Money,” he explains.  “There will always be plenty to talk about, the communication channels just need to be set up.” 

We at GEW agree wholeheartedly and will work with Dash to get this developed!  If you want to contribute to this, or have any Top Tips of your own which you’d like to share with the world, please drop us a line at itharasook@unleashingideas.org.