Nasdaq-listed Demant opens first technology hub outside Europe, serves US$22 billion global market

KUALA LUMPUR, 29 August 2023: Denmark’s Demant, a leading hearing healthcare and audio technology group listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen, opened its first technology hub outside Europe in Kuala Lumpur (KL) to support the company’s growth journey and aims to gain a bigger slice of the hearing healthcare market.

The hearing healthcare market is estimated to be worth some US$22 billion (RM102 billion) today with an average growth rate of around 4% per annum. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5% of the world’s population or 430 million people live with hearing loss. By 2050, hearing loss could impact one in ten people, or over 700 million.

Secretary General of the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Isham Ishak inaugurated Demant’s Technology and Innovation Hub.

Datuk Seri Isham said, “KL is proud to be Demant’s first technology hub outside Europe and be a part of the group’s history of excellence built on a heritage of care, health, and innovation. With Demant’s partnership, Malaysia continues to gain momentum as a dynamic hub for technology and innovation in Asia. We are delighted to support Demant’s focus on hearing healthcare and look forward to transformative solutions for millions around the world.

“We welcome like-minded global companies to collaborate with us to elevate the standard of healthcare across Asia and the world. Malaysia is a pro-investment, pro-trade, pro-industry investment destination, underpinned by solid business propositions, enhanced ease of doing business, robust eco-systems, digital infrastructure, and dynamic talent pool.”

Demant’s Chief Information Officer, Christian Pedersen said, “The opening of Demant’s technology hub in KL solidifies our commitment to create life-changing hearing health. We are pleased to leverage KL’s outstanding pool of talent, strategic location, diversity, the forward-thinking government support, and commitment to accelerate the digital economy, to develop Demant’s innovative solutions.

“KL will be our biggest diagnostics hub outside Europe, housing 65 per cent of our global team of engineers and specialists who will take the lead in developing software solutions incorporating the latest technologies including Artificial Technology (AI).”

Demant has two other R&D centres in Europe: one in Copenhagen and another in Warsaw, Poland. R&D is a key pillar in Demant, underpinning its innovative solutions. In 2022, the group invested 1.3 billion DKK (RM880 million) in R&D.

Chief Executive Officer of InvestKL, Datuk Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli said, “We are pleased to facilitate the establishment of Demant’s Technology and Innovation Hub in Greater KL. Their cutting-edge offerings and solutions will transform hearing healthcare and contribute immense spill-over benefits through the transfer of knowledge and the creation of sophisticated tech jobs for Malaysians. InvestKL will continue our efforts to create a conducive landscape for companies at the forefront of tech and innovation such as Demant to ensure long-term and sustainable growth in Greater KL.”

The KL technology hub will serve markets worldwide with a focus on Asia, especially North Asia. In the first half of 2023, Demant’s Asia business, driven by significant growth in China, outperformed all other markets with a 34 per cent growth.

Demand for hearing healthcare across Asia is expected to remain robust with the increase of the elderly population. The Asian Development Bank projected that Asia's elderly population is expected to reach nearly 923 million by 2050.

“According to WHO, hearing loss has the biggest impact on elders, with one in four people over 60 years old affected. Untreated hearing loss can lead to mental fatigue, social isolation, and withdrawal. That may lead to depression and cognitive decline, which can precede dementia. KL enables us to develop and deploy cutting-edge hearing technologies to assist those who need our services the most,” Pedersen also said.

He added, “Concurrently, we will develop KL into Demant’s IT hub to serve our offices across 30 countries. Our IT specialists will provide support in the areas of critical infrastructure, application support, cybersecurity, and cloud technology.”

Demant plans to recruit 200 engineers and specialists by 2024, and increase the number of highly skilled employees by 50 per cent by 2026. The KL hub would be headed by General Manager, Christian Daugbjerg.

Demant is a world-leading hearing healthcare and technology group built on a heritage of care, health, and innovation since 1904. Headquartered in Denmark, Demant employs around 20,500 people globally, has offices in 30 countries and is present with solutions in 130 countries.

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