Brand Synergy: Favoriot’s Journey with MDEC at Smart Nation Expo 2023

In an increasingly digital world, there’s a prevailing sentiment that virtual channels are the primary avenues to connect with potential customers. True, platforms like social media have revolutionized outreach, but one must never overlook the age-old method of face-to-face interaction at trade expos and exhibitions. For Favoriot, this couldn’t ring more true. Here’s why.

1. A Personal Touch

No matter how advanced technology gets, nothing can replicate the personal touch of direct interaction. Speaking to someone in person offers a depth of connection and trust that’s hard to achieve online. It allows for spontaneous questions, real-time demonstrations, and genuine reactions.

2. Thought Leadership Beyond Seminars

Being invited as a speaker or panelist at conferences is an honor. It positions one as a thought leader, amplifying the company’s voice and brand in the industry. Yet, the confines of a seminar room have their limitations. The exhibition floor, bustling with activity, offers a more direct and organic way to engage and influence a broader audience.

3. Live Demonstrations

There’s a saying, “seeing is believing.” Having a booth at an expo allows companies like Favoriot to showcase their products live, allowing attendees to witness the tangible benefits. A live demonstration not only grabs attention but often becomes the convincing factor for potential customers.

4. Quality Interactions

The concentrated nature of a 3-day expo ensures a wealth of potential clients in one place. The environment fosters seriousness, with visitors genuinely seeking solutions and partners. Every conversation at the booth is a potential lead.

5. The MDEC Advantage

Our recent participation at the recent Smart Nation Expo 2023 (19-21 Sept 2023), under the banner of MDEC Pavilion, was a testament to the power of brand collaboration. MDEC’s renowned brand became a magnet, drawing attendees and providing Favoriot with a prime opportunity to shine.

6. Post-Event Momentum

An expo doesn’t end when the booths are packed away. The real work begins afterward with the follow-up. Every person that expressed interest, every business card exchanged, becomes a potential client, partner, or project collaborator.

In conclusion, while the digital realm provides a vast ocean of opportunities, trade expos offer a concentrated pool of potential. For Favoriot, they have proved invaluable, and our recent success at Smart Nation Expo 2023 is just a glimpse of the potential such events hold. We’ll continue to harness the power of face-to-face interactions, reaching out and connecting in the most personal way possible.

The Power of Public Speaking: From Thought Leadership to Business Opportunities

In the bustling landscape of startups, public speaking is often perceived as just another marketing strategy. However, my journey with my startup, Favoriot, taught me that it’s much more than that. Here’s how public speaking not only established me as a thought leader in IoT, Smart Cities, and IR 4.0 but also subtly paved the way for business opportunities.

The Early Days: Building a Personal Brand

When I started out, I was often invited to share my knowledge on various tech topics. And I did, wholeheartedly. These engagements were purely knowledge-based, leaving out any mention of Favoriot. This approach was intentional, aiming to build trust and credibility without appearing overly promotional. Over time, these efforts earned me a reputation as an IoT thought leader. But while this title brought recognition and esteem, it failed to translate into tangible business leads for Favoriot.

The Pivot: Injecting Favoriot into the Narrative

I soon realized that while being recognized as an expert is rewarding, it wasn’t fulfilling my ultimate goal – to get Favoriot known in the industry. I needed a new strategy.

Instead of keeping my talks strictly academic, I began to subtly incorporate elements of Favoriot’s products and services. I showcased real-world examples of how IoT platforms, especially like ours, can build effective IoT solutions. A couple of slides bearing the Favoriot product logo turned out to be enough to sow the seeds of brand awareness.

The Impact: From Awareness to Business

Gradually, the narrative began to shift. The moment of epiphany would often come during networking sessions or casual interactions when someone would say, “Oh, you’re from Favoriot? We’ve heard of you.” That statement epitomized the change.

While turning awareness into paying customers wasn’t instantaneous, it certainly laid the groundwork. Over time, some of those who had a mere awareness of Favoriot became interested parties, and eventually, paying customers.

Conclusion: A Strategy Worth Investing In

Public speaking is a long game, especially when it’s used as a business promotion tool. However, its effects can be long-lasting and profound. By transitioning from pure knowledge-sharing to subtle brand promotion, I found a sweet spot that not only solidified my position as a thought leader but also carved out a niche for Favoriot in a crowded market.

So, to all startup enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, remember: Public speaking is not just about sharing what you know; it’s also about weaving in who you are and what you offer. That blend can be a game-changer.

10 Inspirational Life Quotes of Mazlan Abbas

Based on Dr. Mazlan’s biography, here are 10 inspirational life quotes that might resonate with his journey:

  1. “Success is the intersection of preparation and opportunity; I’ve lived at that crossroad.”
  2. “From the lecture halls of academia to the dynamic world of IoT, every step was a lesson waiting to be learned.”
  3. “When you’re passionate about innovation, every disruption becomes an opportunity.”
  4. “Teaching is the best way to learn; I’ve been both a student and a guide throughout my journey.”
  5. “A true leader not only creates a vision but inspires others to embrace it.”
  6. “In the rapidly evolving world of technology, remaining a student is the key to becoming a master.”
  7. “Your qualifications open doors, but it’s your passion and persistence that build empires.”
  8. “Every title I’ve held was a chapter; together, they tell the story of a relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation.”
  9. “Be the change in the industry you want to see, and soon you’ll find yourself leading the way.”
  10. “From a spark of curiosity to illuminating the world with ideas – such is the journey of a lifelong learner.”

These quotes reflect Dr. Mazlan’s dedication to education, leadership, innovation, and his impact on the world of IoT and telecommunications.

Why ‘Picking My Brain’ Isn’t Free Anymore: A Business Perspective

Back in the day, the question “Can I pick your brain?” was music to my ears. As someone eager to impart knowledge and share experiences, I always took these requests as compliments. I believed it was a testament to the value others saw in my insights.

The Early Days: Open Arms and Open Doors

In the beginning, I was a beacon of assistance. Why? Primarily, I had the luxury of time. I could afford to spare an hour or two to discuss ideas, provide feedback, or simply share my perspective on things. It was immensely gratifying, knowing that people saw me as a source of valuable information. Moreover, I genuinely enjoyed sharing. After all, isn’t knowledge most valuable when it’s shared?

The Middle Phase: The Emergence of Doubt

However, as time went on and my calendar started to bulge at the seams, a new sentiment started to creep in. Each “Can I pick your brain?” began to feel less like an innocent request and more like an intrusion into my already packed schedule. The intention behind the question also began to blur. Was it truly about seeking knowledge, or was there an underlying motive? Was I inadvertently feeding potential competitors? Were these sessions providing equal value to my business, or was I merely acting as a free consultancy service?

The Reality Check: Quantifying the ROI

After countless coffee dates, luncheons, and brainstorming sessions, I took a moment to reflect. How many of these interactions led to tangible opportunities for my company? Unfortunately, the answer was: very few. It seemed that the balance of value had tipped. While I was pouring out insights, expertise, and time, there wasn’t much trickling back in.

The Present: A More Guarded Approach

Nowadays, my approach to these requests has matured. My time, just like anyone’s, is finite and valuable. I’ve become more discerning. It’s not about being unapproachable or stingy with knowledge. Instead, it’s about ensuring that any interaction is mutually beneficial. The objective isn’t to shut doors but to ensure that both parties walk away feeling enriched.

To those who genuinely seek knowledge and collaboration, my door remains open. However, the days of one-sided “brain-picking” are firmly in the rearview mirror. The ultimate lesson? Time is a resource, and like any resource, it needs to be managed wisely. As much as I love to help, it’s essential to remember that every professional interaction should be a two-way street.

Building My Personal Brand: The Stepping Stone to Favoriot’s Success

Every brand has a story, but my journey is slightly unconventional. My personal brand’s inception wasn’t with the intent to sell or pitch, but to share and enlighten. This chronicle started way back in 2014, long before Favoriot was even a twinkle in my eye.

Laying the Foundation: The IoT Advocate

In 2014, the Internet of Things (IoT) was a term only the tech-savvy were familiar with. Driven by a deep-seated passion for technology and its potential, I ventured into the world of social media to voice my insights. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn became my playground where I shared my musings on IoT and its implications for smart cities.

This dedication did not go unnoticed. Invitations started pouring in, asking me to lend my voice to discussions, seminars, and workshops centered around IoT and smart city solutions. I was relishing my role as an IoT thought leader.

Transitioning to Favoriot: The Underdog Story

Then came Favoriot – a startup, our brainchild. In its nascent stages, while my personal brand thrived, Favoriot was still finding its footing. However, I had an ace up my sleeve – the trust and recognition I had garnered over the years.

With each speaking engagement and social media post, I started weaving in Favoriot’s mission and vision. I introduced my audience to the solutions and innovations Favoriot was bringing to the IoT landscape.

The Ripple Effect: Personal Brand to Business Boom

The beauty of personal branding is the ripple effect it can create. The trust, recognition, and respect I had cultivated with my personal brand began reflecting onto Favoriot. Slowly but surely, as my narrative shifted, the perception of Favoriot started changing. From an underdog startup, it began its transformation into an IoT powerhouse in Malaysia.

Today, when someone in Malaysia hears “IoT”, Favoriot isn’t far behind in the conversation. That business card with “Favoriot” emblazoned on it? It’s not just a company name; it’s a testament to the symbiotic relationship between personal and business branding.

In Retrospect: Branding is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Building a brand, be it personal or business, isn’t an overnight endeavor. It’s a marathon of persistence, adaptability, and genuine passion. I look back at my journey with immense gratitude. The initial years of dedication to my personal brand laid a robust foundation for Favoriot’s success.

For every budding entrepreneur, remember: Your personal brand can be the strongest advocate for your business. Nurture it, leverage it, and watch the magic unfold.

From Research Lab Critiques to Startup Pitches: My Slide Story

Starting my own business was a dream I’d always nurtured. But never did I think that my time at a government R&D agency would play such a pivotal role in my startup journey, and all because of…presentation slides!

Slide Struggles: The R&D Chronicles

Imagine this: I’m in a room filled with experienced scientists and officials, excitedly presenting the results of weeks of research. Yet, before I could even delve into the details, I’d be halted – usually by the second slide. My superior, with a puzzled expression, would barrage me with questions. Sometimes, they’d jump the gun, inquiring about points I was just about to cover in the subsequent slides.

Now, don’t get me wrong – feedback is a gift. But the cosmetic criticisms were particularly stinging. “Why this color?”, “The graphic is too amateur!”, “Is this slide just a photo?”, or “Feels like I’m reading an essay here!” It felt like navigating a tightrope walk where balance was elusive. Too much text, and it’s an overload. Just graphics, and it’s too vague.

The Startup Slide Revolution

Fast forward to my entrepreneurial journey, and presenting became second nature. Whether I was pitching to potential investors, engaging with customers, or sharing insights at lectures, the slide deck was my trusty sidekick. And here’s the twist in the tale: the relentless feedback from my R&D days turned into the treasure trove I didn’t know I needed.

Those seemingly endless rounds of critiques transformed into lessons. The balance of graphics and text, the narrative flow, the choice of colors – everything started making sense. It was as if the past was training me for these very moments.

I’ve now come to a point where I passionately design my own slides. Why? Because they’re an extension of my thoughts, my story, my vision. And who better to tell that story than me?

Conclusion: Embracing The Journey

Today, when I look back, I smile at the irony. What once was a source of frustration has now become a skill I deeply value. The critiques, the questions, the interruptions – they were all shaping a more resilient and adept version of me.

To all budding entrepreneurs out there: Embrace every feedback, every critique. You never know where those lessons will come in handy. After all, in the words of Steve Jobs, you can only connect the dots looking backward. My slides, my story. And what a journey it’s been!

How to Overcome Fears on Media and Public Speaking

What fears have you overcome and how?

I’ve overcome my fears of facing the media over the years. It was a real challenge, but now I can confidently tackle various media platforms. From giving lectures to students, public speaking at seminars and conferences, making keynote speeches, being a panelist or even a panel moderator, going live on radio and TV, hosting webinars, creating videos on YouTube or TikTok, and going live on Facebook—I’ve done it all!

It wasn’t an overnight process, though. It took me a good number of years, actually more than 20 to 30 years, starting from my early days of employment, to lessen the jitters I felt when facing crowds and the media.

Overcoming Media Fears: My Tips

  1. Knowledge is Confidence: Being knowledgeable about the topic is crucial. The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel when speaking about it.
  2. Practice, Practice, Practice: Rehearse your speeches or presentations extensively. The more you practice, the more comfortable you become with the material, refining your delivery and controlling your nerves.
  3. Arrive Early and Mingle: Ease your nervousness by arriving early and mingling with the audience or other speakers. It helps build connections and creates a more relaxed atmosphere.
  4. Prepared Answers for Panels: Have written answers prepared for panel sessions. They serve as a helpful reference when faced with challenging questions.
  5. Relate to Your Expertise: Find connections to your expertise when encountering unfamiliar topics. This allows you to provide valuable insights while staying within your comfort zone.
  6. Honesty Beats Guesswork: If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s better to admit it honestly. Offer to look into it and provide a well-informed response later.
  7. Inject Humor Appropriately: Adding humor lightens the atmosphere and engages the audience. Ensure it is relevant and suitable for the occasion.
  8. Link Topics Mentally, Not Read Slides: Instead of reading slides verbatim, mentally link the topics together for a more natural flow during the presentation.
  9. Clear and Concise Communication: Avoid mumbling or speaking too fast. Articulate your words clearly and explain complex ideas in simple terms to connect effectively with your audience.

These tips have helped me overcome my fears and excel in facing the media. What about you? Do you have any strategies or techniques that have worked for you? Share your thoughts!

The Subtle Art of Hiring: A Peek Into My Experience

Beyond Grades: Sifting Through Resumes

When it comes to hiring fresh graduates, many might consider academic grades as the primary sieve. Although grades indeed provide a snapshot of an individual’s academic performance, I find that the real gem often lies within their project experiences. A resume may be brimming with honors and accolades, but it’s the hands-on experience that adds the valuable edge.

The Story Your Projects Tell

The projects – assignments, group tasks, or final year projects, help me understand a candidate’s practical skills, critical thinking, and ability to collaborate. Unfortunately, resumes often fail to reveal the comprehensive story of these projects. Most list only the titles, offering scant insights into the depths of the tasks undertaken and the skills honed through them.

The Interview: Your Chance to Shine

The interview stage is where a candidate has the opportunity to articulate their experiences and skills. It is here that they can impress us by detailing their project experiences. However, quite often, the graduates fail to seize this chance. Those who outsourced their projects or didn’t engage with them deeply are the ones who struggle most, unable to lucidly articulate their roles and contributions.

The Importance of Hands-on Experience

What graduates often overlook is the immense value of project work. It’s the closest real-world work experience they gain during their studies. It’s their first taste of responsibility, an introduction to working under supervision, an opportunity to hone their presentation skills, and a trial by fire of their writing abilities through theses. They might not yet be in the league of candidates with more than a year of work experience, but these projects are their stepping stones.

Choosing The Right Projects: The Real Game Changer

The choice of final year projects is crucial. Opting for challenging tasks gives graduates the chance to prove their mettle, learn, and grow. These projects not only test their academic knowledge but also their ability to innovate, troubleshoot, and collaborate. Handling these projects efficiently mirrors handling real job responsibilities.

The Differentiating Factor: Your Ticket to Getting Hired

The interviewer always looks out for differentiators – elements that set one candidate apart from the rest. How you handle your academic projects, especially the final year ones, is a telling indicator of your potential as an employee. So, take your projects seriously. Choose them wisely. Excel in them. They might just be the key to unlock your dream job.

My Experience at the Two-Day Smart Cities Event: Juggling Multiple Roles

Day 1:

As dawn broke, my anticipation for the Smart Cities Event was palpable. A unique opportunity awaited me, one that was going to challenge my versatility – to serve as the Chairperson, a Speaker, and a Moderator all in the same event. The mere thought made my adrenaline rush, but I was determined to rise to the occasion.

Taking up the reins as the Chairperson, my initial responsibility lay in introducing the speakers. With meticulous research and profound respect for their work, I sought to present each speaker’s background in a way that was just and insightful. Managing time efficiently was crucial, ensuring the event flowed seamlessly and respected our shared schedule.

Particularly stimulating was engaging the audience during the Q&A sessions. I put in extra effort to prepare additional questions for the speakers, ensuring that everyone had something to answer. The goal was not only to stimulate dialogue but to ensure relevance and engagement. The process required a deep understanding of the topics and a keen sense of what would resonate with our audience.

Day 2:

On the second day, I stepped up to the podium as a Speaker, preparing a 45-minute talk on the topic of ‘IoT in Action: How Smart City Drive Data Driven Decision Making’. The audience’s questions pushed me to reflect more deeply on my subject matter, challenging me to provide thoughtful and comprehensive answers.

Later, I put on my Moderator’s hat for two panel sessions, with one of the panelists joining us virtually. Some of the topics were not necessarily my areas of expertise, but I embraced the challenge. Ensuring the questions posed were pertinent and meaningful was at the forefront of my approach. It was also essential to uphold fairness, allowing each speaker equal opportunities to express their views and insights.

The experience of multitasking was indeed tiring but equally rewarding. Despite the packed schedule and diverse roles, I found joy and fulfillment in the proceedings. What I took away was a deeper understanding of the topics, the joy of facilitating meaningful conversations, and the thrill of successfully multitasking in an event of such magnitude. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity and the enriching experiences that these two days offered me. Here’s to embracing more such challenges and growing through them!

Read – The Ultimate Startup Cheat Sheet.

Learning on the Go: The Power of Podcasts in My Daily Commute

What do you listen to while you work?

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time for continuous learning can be a challenge. As an entrepreneur with a busy schedule, I have discovered a valuable source of knowledge during my daily commute – podcasts. While I prefer to work in silence to maintain focus, my drive to and from work presents the perfect opportunity to indulge in podcasts hosted by well-known figures, offering valuable advice on entrepreneurship, blogging, and social media tips.

The Commute: A Window of Opportunity
My daily commute to work, spanning 40 to 69 minutes, may seem like an unavoidable downtime. However, I have transformed it into a productive and enlightening experience by tuning into podcasts. Rather than passively enduring the drive, I now actively absorb valuable insights from these podcasts, making the most of this otherwise idle time.

Podcasts: The Ideal Learning Medium
While reading books demands dedicated time and attention, podcasts offer a more flexible way to learn. Podcasts bring valuable content right to my ears, enabling me to learn something new, stay updated with industry trends, and gain insights from experienced professionals, all while driving.

Empowering Entrepreneurs and Bloggers
As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of continuous learning in my journey to success. Podcasts hosted by accomplished figures in the business world provide invaluable advice, real-life experiences, and strategies for growth. Listening to these entrepreneurial insights during my commute empowers me with knowledge to apply in my own ventures.

Social Media Tips: Navigating the Digital Landscape
In today’s digital age, social media plays a pivotal role in business growth and visibility. Listening to podcasts that delve into social media tips and strategies equips me with the tools to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape effectively.

Maximizing Limited Reading Time
Like many professionals, I find it challenging to allocate enough time for reading books amidst my busy schedule. However, podcasts offer a convenient solution to this dilemma. By tuning in during my commute, I can learn from the wisdom of experts without sacrificing my work or leisure time.

Making the Most of Every Moment
Embracing podcasts during my commute has taught me the significance of maximizing every moment of my day. By turning an ordinary drive into a valuable learning experience, I seize the opportunity to grow, adapt, and stay ahead in my entrepreneurial journey.

Conclusion: The Power of Learning on the Move
In a world where time is a precious commodity, finding creative ways to continue learning is vital. Podcasts have become my go-to medium for self-improvement, entrepreneurship insights, and social media expertise during my daily commute. By making the most of this idle time, I have discovered a powerful tool for continuous growth and development.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, blogger, or professional seeking knowledge, podcasts offer a gateway to a wealth of information and inspiration. Embrace the opportunity to learn on the move, and you’ll soon find yourself transformed by the valuable insights and wisdom shared by industry experts. So, the next time you hop into your car, plug in your earphones, and dive into the world of podcasts – a journey of learning awaits!

Spotify – My Favoriot App for listening Podcasts

Read – The Ultimate Startup Cheat Sheet.