Press Release

Sunway iLabs Partners Players in Digital Ecosystem to help SMEs Get Online

Sunway City Kuala Lumpur,20 April 2020

Sunway Innovation Labs (Sunway iLabs) will be hosting the eCommerce Jumpstart Programme, a free four-week training programme for SMEs and retail entrepreneurs to help their businesses get online. The programme is organised by Sunway iLabs and Sunway University in partnership with numerous industry leaders, government agencies, and digital champions in the ecosystem. The programme will kick off with a keynote address from Brian Wong, Vice President of Alibaba Group.

The eCommerce Jumpstart Programme is a CSR initiative by Sunway iLabs in response to the COVID-19 crisis, aimed at helping Malaysian retail and SMEs entrepreneurs on their digital transformation journey to weather the current economic downturn.

“While a recent Malaysian Digital Association report showed online traffic growth rates surged to 600% for some grocers as Malaysians flock to online stores, we think that this crucial business opportunity is not available to a majority of the SMEs. SME Corp had indicated in 2018 that only 37.9% of SMEs are involved in online business, with a majority of the online businesses serving the domestic market. We want to help the businesses who are not online to get an online presence for their survival, and help them emerge stronger,” said Matt Van Leeuwen, Sunway Group Chief Innovation Officer and Sunway iLabs Director. 

“If there’s anything the COVID-19 situation has amplified, it would be the crucial necessity for offline SMEs to employ a bricks-and-clicks strategy. The eCommerce Jumpstart Programme intends to help them implement digital solutions for their business through a structured curriculum and mentorship from digital experts,” he added.

“Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is highly supportive of Sunway iLabs’ continuous efforts to promote online business activities amongst micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs. We are encouraged by Sunway iLabs, one of 7 Malaysia Digital Hubs (MDH), for its initiative in helping business communities equip themselves with fundamental tech capabilities to pivot their business model for sustainability and profitability. We look forward to more initiatives of this nature across our MDH fraternity,” said Gopi Ganesalingam, Vice President of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation’s Global Growth Acceleration Division.

The launch of the eCommerce Jumpstart Programme will take place on 27 April 2020 will kick off with a keynote address from Brian Wong, Vice President of Alibaba Group. The 12-hour, four-week programme will cover fundamentals in the first week, e-commerce strategy in the second week, pragmatic steps for getting businesses online in the third week, and content and digital marketing in the fourth week. The programme will feature lectures, talks and workshops from successful digital entrepreneurs, e-commerce players and academics. The whole programme will be delivered online and is targeted to benefit primarily entrepreneurs and SMEs in the retail space who are looking to establish an online presence.

Among the growing list of the experts to give talks during the programme and mentor the participants are Matt van Leeuwen, Chief Innovation Officer of Sunway Group; Brian Wong, Vice President of Alibaba Group; Hans-Peter Ressel, Founder and CEO of Momentum Commerce and Co-Founder of Lazada; Yeoh Chen Chow, Co-Founder of Fave; Lalitha Sivanaser, CEO of OURSHOP (AirAsia); Nadhir Ashafiq, Co-Founder and Executive Director of TheLorry; Luqman Adris, Co-Founder and CEO of AVANA; Eileen Feng, Country Manager of Shopline; Ganesh Kumar Bangah, Founder & Executive Chairman of Commerce.Asia; Isaac Leong, Co-Founder and CEO of Kumoten;  Wong Kim Yoong, Founder of Red Dino Ventures; and speakers from Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Sunway University.

The programme is open to any Malaysian retail entrepreneurs and SMEs. At the end of the programme, there will be a competition where the winner will be able to win a 100% fee waiver worth RM 12,500 for the Alibaba Global eCommerce Talent (GET) Programme which includes access to Alibaba’s global ecosystem and resources and an opportunity to join the Sunway iLabs Accelerator Programme. Registration opens now till 25 April 2020 (by 6.00pm). To register or for more information please go to 


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