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Malaysia: Unicorn Nation

By Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah February 26, 2021 I know what you must be thinking – that Doc Siva must have lost his marbles – how can Malaysia even come close to being a Unicorn nation, when even the best prospect we had, Grab, is now considered a Singaporean company even though it’s run by Malaysians and was founded in Malaysia.

I totally agree, Malaysia is not a nation that has created unicorns (which to the uninitiated means a company valued at US$1 billion and over) nor does it appear that it ever will in future. But surely there are some who wish it were otherwise and harbour a dream to build a unicorn and wish it was possible to make this dream come true? Even the government has this aspiration in its latest Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital), where it wants to create or attract 5 unicorns to set up in Malaysia by 2030.

The question is not whether it is possible but what it takes to make Malaysia a “Unicorn Nation”, where it’s possible to start and build a highly successful startup and make it a unicorn. I am going to consider this from two angles, firstly from the macro angle where we will look at the environment and ecosystem in Malaysia to see if it’s possible to create an environment suitable for the creation of unicorns and secondly from a micro angle where I will look at entrepreneurs and their companies to explore if they have what it takes. READ MORE >

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