Home Press Release MARii launches SME programme to spin-off mobility related technologies to rural sectors
MARii launches SME programme to spin-off mobility related technologies to rural sectors

MARii launches SME programme to spin-off mobility related technologies to rural sectors




19TH OCT 2019


MARii launches SME programme to spin-off mobility related technologies to rural sectors


Penampang, 19TH OCTOBER 2019 – The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), launched the Technopreneur Development Programme (TDP), to allow more sectors to enhance business operations through the leveraging of existing technologies readily utilised in the automotive sector.

The programme is structured to allow Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate the adoption and utilisation of digital tools and systems to enhance their business operations, through a shared platform developed by MARii and its partners.

The pilot for the TDP, developed in partnership with Fintech Lab, was launched today, in conjunction with the Malaysia Autoshow Sabah 2019, at the Sabah Cultural Centre, Penampang by YB Datuk Darell Leiking, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

To kick-start the programme, 10 Sabah-based SMEs, specialising in handicrafts, furniture as well as food and confectionaries, were shortlisted as participants in the pilot batch of TDP.

“Programmes such as TDP allow businesses from other sectors, especially rural industries,  to leverage on existing technologies that are widely utilised across the automotive sector to enhance and digitalise their daily operations, especially in regions that are not automotive-based.”, said Datuk Darell Leiking.

“The sharing of technologies across sectors will also provide easier access for companies operating in rural areas to modernise their operations, thus allowing the whole country to grow together towards achieving global recognition”, he added.

“This collaboration between MARii and Fintech Lab is timely. In April this year I had the honour of witnessing an MOU signing ceremony between Fintech Lab and University of California, Berkeley during my trade mission to the USA. It is great to see that our entrepreneurs in Sabah will benefit from the syllabus and expertise of a world-renowned university such as UC Berkeley through our Malaysian own company, Fintech Lab.”, he explained.

This TDP will first assess the performance of participants from a financial, technology and market opportunity standpoint. The results of this assessment will then be used as a guidance to focus to develop intervention programmes in resolving issues faced by the participants in order to enhance their business’s performance.

“This programme allows SMEs to optimise business operations through technology adoption, and infusing value-added activities that enhance productivity.”, said Dato’ Madani Sahari, CEO MARii.

“As SMEs form the most sizeable portion of the Malaysian economy, it is important that the normalization of technology utilization be made a key focus, particularly within the SME ecosystem. While we work on high technology penetration within the economy, MARii is committed to ensuring technology adeptness begins with the acceptance of technology at all levels.”, he added.

Through TDP, participants will also undergo adaptation and adoption of Industry 4.0-related technologies, in line with National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) that was launched by YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia.

For a total of six months, each participating SME will be coached and trained to restructure their approach in the way they run their business operations.

Participants will undergo intervention process to adapt new business practices, through mentoring and coaching sessions from experts in the industry. Business matching events to explore new opportunities for TDP participants will also be conducted.

Other methods include, providing assistance and guidance to the SMEs in terms of financial management to remain sustainable and undergoing digitalisation and technology adoption with the support from MARii.

The 10 SMEs were shortlisted based on a criteria which include; products sourced from local raw materials, adding the unique selling point of “made in Sabah with Sabah materials”. They should also possess stable operations, whereby scaling is not reliant solely upon the companies production capacity or capability.

Other criteria include the intention to expand business operations, products that have a potential to attract a wider range of customers and the establishment of online presence.



About the Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii)

Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) serves as the focal point, coordinating centre & think tank towards enhancing the competitiveness of the automotive industry and overall mobility, including intelligent transportation system & related services through adoption of robotics & IoT.


About Fintech Lab 

Fintech Lab is a Malaysian technology learning company. The focus area for Fintech Lab is to accelerate capacity building in companies via bespoke curation of contents and through the adoption of digital tools. Fintech Lab is MDEC’s strategic partner for their Islamic Digital Economy initiative. The team at Fintech Lab created the world’s first Islamic Digital Economy Accelerator Program.



Media enquiries: 

Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii)

Sarah Mamat / sarah@marii.my / 011 2690 0611


Fintech Lab

Abdullah Hidayat  / hidayat@fintechlab.tech /

Baiza Bain / baiza@fintechlab.tech