“You don’t have to be born an entrepreneur to be one.”
“Become part of an entrepreneur-based network, then only you will eventually become one.”
“I dropped out of university.”
I was privileged enough to attend the 2nd National Youth Entrepreneur Convention, held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur on 10th January 2009 (thanks to HSBC for the complimentary passes), and these were the words uttered my some of Malaysia’s best youth entrepreneurs.
It was an experience well worth attending, my only regret having wished I had been more vocal during the convention. I wished I had asked more questions during the Q&A session. I nevertheless had the chance to ask Ganesh Kumar, Henry Goh, Jeffrey Ong as well as the rest some questions such as:
1. Is becoming an entrepreneur something you have to be ‘born-into’, or is it a skill that can be nurtured?
2. If anyone can become an entrepreneur, why is that so many business people still fail?
These and many other questions were thrown at the speakers during the 9-hour long convention. While most questions were rather specific in nature, depending on the lens from which you are viewing this scenario, most questions were more general in nature, questions concerning the qualms and headaches of entrepreneurship.
They certainly made things look so easy.
I won’t be covering these topics in my blog as these would be way out of scope, for now, but I’ll be covering a little on the series of events that unfolded on that day. Read on to find out.
The stage area.
The minister delivering his speech.
At about 9.30am, the Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob delivered the opening speech followed by the opening ceremony, which comprised of 3 beats to the gong and a presentation of a souvenir to the minister by Joel Neoh, founder of Youth Malaysia. Time was quite pressing, so unfortunately, Joel was not able to deliver his opening speech during the first half of the opening ceremony.
For the first half of the day, the convention was moderated by chief moderator Chris Tan, who skilfully, with his amazing sense of humour, kept us constantly roaring with laughter. Never a dull moment with him at the helm.
Perhaps the most impressive part concerning the speakers was that none of them are actually older than 30 years of age, with some exceptions (I think Chris Tan and Ganesh just turned 30).
The convention was composed of three sessions:
1. Technopreneurship Session
2. Media Entrepreneurship Session
3. Lifestyle Entrepreneurship Session
The technopreneurship, or technology entrepreneurship session gave us an insight into what tech-savvy entrepreneurs such as Henry Goh, Dato’ Ricky Wong, Ganesh Kumar and the rest did for a living. 🙂
Complete list of entrepreneurs in this category:
1. Dato’ Ricky Wong Shee Kai – Founder & CEO of Asia Media Sdn. Bhd.
2. Mr. Henry Goh Chee Heng – Co-founder and COO of Makro Kiosk Bhd.
3. Mr. Ganesh Kumar Bangah – CEO of MOL Access Bhd.
4. Mr. Aidan Aquinas Chew – Director of Traffixed.
5. Mr. Ng Khai Lee – Co-founder of YouthSays.com.
6. Mr. Jeffrey Ong – Director of Markentsia.
Media Entrepreneurship Session
Entrepreneurs in this category:
1. Mr. Aimann Faiz – Co-Founder of Don’t Panic.
2. Ms Joyce Wong – Blogger, KinkyBlueFairy.net, also founder of TongueInChic.com.
3. Mr. Joel Neoh – Founder of YouthMalaysia.com.
Lifestyle Entrepreneurship Session
Entrepreneurs in this category:
1. Ms. Ninie Ahmad – Founder of Be Yoga Sanctuary.
2. Ms. Fiona Jane Gomez – Founder of Talent Hub.
3. Ms. Anna Rina Rahim – Photography Entrepreneur.
4. Ms. Shan Tan – Founder of Rockin’ Reptiles Sdn. Bhd.
5. Mr. Joe Flizzow – Founder of Kartel Records.
In a nutshell…
Overall the convention was quite good, apart from some minor hiccups. It ended a little behind schedule, ending approximately 6.45pm. It was an event well worth the trouble of travelling all the way to Kuala Lumpur from Johor.