Greater Kuala Lumpur, The Regional Headquarters Location For Multinational Companies In Asia

Global MNCs grooming world-class local talent in KL

KUALA LUMPUR: INDUSTRY 4.0 is reshaping economies around the world with rapid technological advancements. By providing an enabling eco-system to thrive in these new technologies, the country will continue to attract high-growth investment from various industries, especially in the high-value services sector, providing regional high-paying jobs.

In a recent statement, International Trade and Investment Ministry (Miti) Minister Darell Leiking said that industry 4.0 or Industry4WRD will pave the way for enhanced productivity, job creation, high-skilled talent pool and ultimately contribute to the economic prosperity and societal well-being.

Two multinational companies with regional hubs in Malaysia are committed to invest in upskilling local talent to help them achieve global competitiveness and prepare for the technological advancement of Industry 4.0. International leading manufacturer of lighting products Feilo Sylvania and the world leader in industrial gases, technologies and services, Air Liquide, are giving back to the Malaysian community through human capital development programmes.

The firms, which are known for their technological advancements and Industry 4.0 related activities, said they are grooming local talent to possess qualities that will place them on a level playing field with their international peers especially in the area of digital technology and automation.

This, they believe, will be beneficial to Malaysia’s economy as the demand for high skilled talent will increase as the country journeys towards industrial 4.0.

“We will continue to collaborate with the talent ecosystem, working together with academia and related parties to build and grow our Malaysian talent capabilities in order for us to face new challenges ahead as we grow our investment in this region,” Feilo Sylvania Regional General Manager for Southeast Asia Walter Hiew said in an interview recently.

He said the firm will be expanding its team to be more technologically innovative as the company cement its position as a leading provider of consumer, industrial and architectural lighting solutions.

“The company emphasises on human capital development is an important factor to support our regional business expansion into this region. We focus on educating, upskilling and reskilling, training and other professional development initiatives to improve and increase the level of know-how, skill sets and experience of our employees, ” he added.

Feilo Sylvania launched its regional hub in Greater Kuala Lumpur in 2017 with an initial investment of US$10 million (RM41 million) while Air Liquide selected Kuala Lumpur amongst many other regional locations early last year, to set up its regional Smart Innovative Operations (SIO) centre here with a €20million (RM96 million) investments.

Air Liquide, on the other hand, believes in providing more international exposure to Malaysian talent in their global operations as well as in senior management levels of the organisation.

“We place so much importance on skills and development of our employees. That is one example of how we contribute to the Malaysian economy and eco-system,” Air Liquid Centre of Excellence Director, Clement Lix and SIO Transformation Director, Sebastien Giard said.

“Continuous upskilling is important. This will help them be more equipped with the necessary skills as they climb the corporate ladders. For example, we have soft and leadership training as well as on-the-job training. We are developing the local talents so that one day they can lead and manage the operations here.”

“In our organisation, they will not be doing repetitive transactional and value tasks. They will be exposed to big data and learning on how to extract value from it,” they said.

Feilo Sylvania and Air Liquide said one of the main reasons they chose Malaysia as their regional services hubs is also because of the country’s highly skilled talent pool.

Walter said the firm believes that the Malaysian skilled workforce is capable to undertake both its servicing and manufacturing activities. Currently, almost all its regional employees are Malaysians.

“With a diverse talent pool, we are able to tap into this valuable asset to further expand our services in Malaysia, a regional hub for business growth and development in Southeast Asia,” he added.

For Air Liquide, Clement and Sebastien said that they have access to a large pool of talents, top universities and experienced professionals. And, Air Liquide also work on various academic collaboration programmes with these universities.
InvestKL’s Chief Executive Officer Datuk Zainal Amanshah said Malaysia was ranked 22nd among 63 countries by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in 2018, ahead of Japan, the United Kingdom and France. In terms of investment in and development of home-grown talent, Malaysia is ranked 17th, ahead of the US, Japan, France, Korea and UK.

With the availability of diverse high skilled talent, more foreign MNCs are beginning to see the value of setting up and operating their regional and even global Business Services hub here in Greater KL.

Foreign Direct Investments for global and regional establishments, in 2018, accounted for RM16.5 billion of the approved investments in the Services sector.

Zainal added that the investments in Digital technology are also growing in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data Analytics (BDA), Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity, which is in-line with Miti’s national policy on Industry 4.0 or Indystry4WRD initiatives.

All these factors put Malaysia on the elevated platform for global investors. The value proposition of Greater Kuala Lumpur is hard to beat, with our strong business infrastructure and a conducive ecosystem to support our investors. Our local talents are also highly skilled to meet industry demands. We facilitate collaboration between multinationals and academia to nurture our locals to be global corporate leaders through our Malaysia Global Talent (MGT) program me,” he said.

“The MGT programme was launched to set and facilitate initiatives that will develop and enhance local talent skill sets to be at par with global standards. The sharing of MNCs’ knowledge, expertise and best practices will help prepare Malaysians the future of work with global MNCs.

InvestKL will continue to facilitate the needs of our MNCs to ensure that their regional operations in Greater Kuala Lumpur will continue to growth,” Zainal said.
Source: NST