Co-Founder of Qiscus: Thank you KUM2017

A commendable event indeed.

I don’t usually write about the events I attended or the people I met on Qiscus’ Official Blog. But I think, my experience in KUM warrants it.

KUM2017: Business owners/entrepreneurs from 8 ASEAN countries came together with the purpose of networking and finding opportunities for business collaborations.

Sounds like a normal convention doesn’t it? I have attended many networking events, conventions, conferences etc such that, yes, KUM2017 did sound like a normal convention to me… Until last Monday.

Here are some of the things I experienced and the reflections I made within the short 2 days:

1) It’s not about ‘I’. But about ‘We’.

Stephen Covey says,“Synergy is everywhere in nature. If you plant two plants close together, the roots commingle and improve the quality of the soil so that both plants will grow better than if they were separated. If you put two pieces of wood together, they will hold much more than the total weight held by each separately. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One plus one equals three or more.”

This need for active collaborations between businesses across ASEAN and the importance of breaking out of a localised mindset were repeatedly emphasised in almost all of the keynote speeches – from that of Y. Bhg Datuk (Dr.) Hafsah Hashim, CEO SME Corp. Malaysia, to the speech delivered by Datuk Dr Md Daud Bakar, Founder and Group Chairman of Amanie Group.

In fact, Datuk Hafsah Hashim was really passionate and adamant about the urgent need for ASEAN businesses to collaborate and increase our influence in the business world.

She strongly emphasised on the need for collaboration as a means for ASEAN businesses to rise, TOGETHER.

This spirit of collaboration and rising together was anchored with a signing ceremony between representatives from all 8 ASEAN countries present, on their commitment to vitalise the Halal Industry together.



This spirit of synergising, sharing of expertise and upholding a common commitment of enhancing the business landscape across borders is commendable.

While lots of work need to be done to produce a tangible outcome from this MOU signing, the very point that business leaders across countries are taking a concrete step forward is in itself, an achievement.

In the words of Bapak Agoeng Hadianto Wibowo, President of Exzellenz Group,

“Whatever we have, bring it to the other ASEAN countries so that they can benefit from it and rise up together with us”

I personally think this statement is a profound statement that gives a more inclusive flavour to the whole idea of ‘globalisation’ – which i believe every ‘globalising’ businesses should reflect on.

2) Attendees were genuinely looking for a win-win.

A networking event is worth attending when the attendees see themselves as equal to the other attendees, regardless of whether they are big corporations or startups – ie equal in gaining and giving benefits/opportunities.

And I think the organisers, MUBIN, has done a great job in ensuring this. In turn, it has facilitated lots of potential win-win opportunities between the attendees, including for Qiscus as well. I am just recording two examples below which I believe many of the participants who attended KUM2017 have had similar experiences as well.

Bumping into Datuk Dr Md Daud Bakar

I am deeply humbled by Datuk Dr Daud. I was introduced to him and he agreed without hesitation when requested for a private discussion on a few opportunities that we can embark on together. We had a meeting soon after he delivered his speech, despite having to leave for another important meeting.

After a few minutes of exchanging our views, he called one of his CEO in one of the companies under his group to meet me the next morning to deepen our discussion. The meeting with his CEO indeed happened and we are now exploring something exciting together.


Bumping into Ustaz Megat Mohamed Amin

Another humbling experience was with the Executive Director of Ikram Musleh, an established chain of school in Malaysia. After having a short breakfast chat with him, he asked for a write-up on how we can help his school, within the afternoon itself. Bunga papan duka cita

So I opened my laptop, raced my fingers over my keyboard and submitted the write-up as per his request. And to my amazement, within the same afternoon, I received a call from him that he has reserved a 30-minute slot during a meeting with ALL of the 40+ school Principles/Heads. Indeed it happened and Qiscus now have access to the doors of the 40+ schools under him.

These are just two of the many potential opportunities presented to Qiscus. It’s a humbling experience and I profusely thank MUBIN for this great business networking experience.

3) Learn about each other; Friendship goes a long way.

Achieving synergy requires high trust and high cooperation and can lead to better solutions than anyone thought of alone.


To me, this is one of the many highlights of KUM2017.

For any business to be successful, building and strengthening relationships are key. And the best way to do this is via casual lunches or gatherings which are away from the rigid business settings. We should not underestimate the importance of such casual sessions in building trust and friendship which will bring business collaborations a long way between people who were previously strangers.

However, the reality is, it is not always possible to have such sessions especially if we are talking about building relationships across ASEAN. While businesses should continuously find opportunities to catch up, we will need to fall back on other ways of networking and building relationships, leveraging on the existing solutions out there, beyond whatsapp groups. (MUBIN may want to explore this).

Moving forward, we look forward to KUM2018. Thank you MUBIN for organising this. Below are the heroes of KUM2017:



Specially written by Muhammad Md Rahim, Co-Founder & Director of Qiscus Pte Ltd.


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