“My current goal for the group is to raise the level of entrepreneurs in Malaysia to have more global players,” said Daniel Cerventus Lim to Vulcan Post.
If you’re part of the Entrepreneurs and Startups in Malaysia (E&S) Facebook group, you might know him as its creator and admin.
If this group is unfamiliar to you, it’s essentially a meeting place for anyone who identifies themselves as an entrepreneur in Malaysia, or is interested in the scene. It’s where members are welcome to start productive conversations, ask questions, and interact with fellow entrepreneurs.
Today, the group has an impressive 39.4k members. More than entrepreneurs, it consists of probably every person who has ever written for Vulcan Post.
With that number of individuals condensed under one roof, we wanted to find out what Daniel’s top observations were as its admin.
1. More Collaborations Than Competition
Due to the large size of the group, entrepreneurs here have varying levels of experiences and are willing to share their advice.
It’s no surprise that when a member hits a roadblock, they’d usually turn to the group as there is always something new to learn.
Founders seeking connections and resources are commonplace here. For example, they may be looking for packaging suppliers, logistics companies, or software development ones for their business.
Other requests can be more specific and personal. These entrepreneurs might be facing a challenge in their business and are looking for alternative perspectives to adapt.
Of course, starting your own business is not a straight path as the environment, ecosystem, and economy will change depending on your product. But what entrepreneurs can learn is to see what works for others, and find something they can adapt to their business.
Daniel Cerventus Lim, creator and admin of Entrepreneurs and Startups in Malaysia on Facebook.
2. Entrepreneurs Can Be Trolls Too
Despite the genuine and supportive advice one might find on E&S, it’s still a social media platform and there will always be jokesters.
But everyone has their own communication styles, said Daniel. What might come off as offensive and ridiculous to someone might just be a lighthearted joke to another.
Before he and his moderators take any action like deleting their comments or posts, they must manually analyse their behaviour over a period of time.
One question they discuss among themselves is whether or not a user has had their posts removed in the past.
“Usually after a few posts, you can identify the scammers, spammers, trolls, or if they just occasionally want to have fun,” he told Vulcan Post.
3. Entrepreneurs Don’t Shy Away From Conflict
Other than seeking help and advice, members will also share their opinions on current events. This can lead them into some heated discussions, and inevitably, conflict.
These usually arise when topics of government and policies are discussed. That’s because most have varying opinions and beliefs on the issues at hand.
Another hot topic is why Malaysians don’t achieve success in Malaysia.
Daniel himself personally gets irked by such posts as he strongly disagrees with the statement. He explained, “I know many entrepreneurs in Malaysia who are world class but choose to remain here and build their businesses.”
To alleviate any animosity, admins will step in by communicating with the parties involved. In a worst-case scenario, they’ll put a stop to the comments section or delete the post as a last resort.
But that’s a rare case as members can be rather understanding and mature.
4. Malaysian Entrepreneurs Jump Onto Trends Fast
Malaysians have always been an innovative bunch and Daniel noticed that entrepreneurs are quick to hop on new trends quickly. When Uber launched here, we soon saw a Malaysian version in the form of MyTeksi.
Founders have also begun looking at other ecosystems like China, Korea, and Japan to see what could work in Malaysia too.
For instance, one founder is developing an unmanned smart store in Glenmarie, inspired by the trend of AI convenience stores in Japan.
This trendspotting has been attracting the interest of venture capitalists who’ve identified Malaysia as a viable place to invest in, hence the increase in venture-backed startups instead of bootstrapped ones that were more common in the past.
He added that this cultural shift was paved by the success of MyTeksi, which became Grab as we know it today.
5. There’s Still A Noticeable Gender Skew
In line with the aforementioned heated discussions taking place, it is worth noting that these mainly tend to happen between the male members in the group.
That’s probably because of the 65% of men who make up the majority of the group. Noticing this gender skew in the group, Daniel inspired Lily Sim, who’s an active member of E&S, to create a separate sister group called Female Founders & Entrepreneurs in Malaysia & Southeast Asia.
Editor’s Note: Information in the above paragraph has been edited to reflect greater factual accuracy.
It’s their effort to provide a safer space in discussing topics that may be more relatable to them, without the fear of being dismissed by their male counterparts.
Despite the separation and differences in gender diversity though, Daniel concluded one thing. Every Malaysian entrepreneur in the E&S group shares a collective personality type.
“Ambitious. I think people in this group are ambitious as they are constantly wanting to improve and grow. The energy around them is intoxicating,” he said.
- You can learn about Entrepreneurs and Startups in Malaysia here.
- You can read about more Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Cerventus Lim, creator and admin of Entrepreneurs and Startups in Malaysia