Travel to Saudi – Preparations

It has been almost 2 years since I have last traveled overseas and that was to India just around the time before Malaysia closed down her borders. I was lucky enough not to be stuck in India during that travel restriction.

This time I have been fortunate to be invited by LEAP to be one of their speakers at the conference which is to be held 1-3 Feb. 2022. All traveling (including Visa) and accommodation expenses are borne by them.

However, due to many new procedures for travel due to Covid-19, I will share the preparation needed for my travel to Saudi Arabia.

  • Flight Reservation (Booked by host – Emirates)
  • Hotel Reservation (Booked by host – Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences)
  • Airport Transfers (Arranged by host)
  • VISA (Done by host via Saudi eVISA)
  • Muqeem Vaccination Regitration Predeparture. Need to apply a maximum of 72 hrs before departure)
  • Download Tawakkalna Application. Important: Please download the application to your phone prior to travel to KSA and have data roaming activated for use in KSA. You will ONLY be able to register once you arrive into KSA and have activated data roaming on your phone to receive the confirmation code via SMS.
  • Conduct RT-PCR Test at home i.e. 48 hours before departure. Since I am travelling on Sunday (30 Jan. 2022) at 01:30 hrs, I went to do my test on Friday at Poliklinik Dr. Medic at 9.40am and received the result (which is tested negative Covid) via WhatsApp 9.10 am Saturday (29 Jan. 2022). It cost me RM 180 which I paid via Bank Transfer and sent the rececipt to them one day earlier and requested for a Drive-In.
  • Request for Home Quarantine (4-10 days prior) arrival. Applied on Friday night and received the approved Home Quarantine by 4.36 am via email.
  • Register for Digital Tracker wrist band since I came from one of the listed countries that’s considered as high-risk countries by Malaysia.
  • Conduct RT-PCR Test at KSA (Saudi). The host has also arranged for this. Need to take the test at least 24 hrs prior flight departure.
  • Enable Roaming (Voice and Data). I am using Celcom. Check this Celcom Roaming charges.
  • [Latest Update] Covid-19 Insurance. I nearly missed my flight when the check-in counter requested for Covid-19 insurance. Luckily my Prudential Insurance covered the Covid-19. For travel, I need pay first and claim later (as described by my Agent). I just showed her my Insurance Policy (which I logged in via Pru Access)

I will update the traveling experience in my next post and probably need to update further update any arrangements for the RT-PCR test when arriving at Airport KLIA and using the digital bracelet (for people arriving from Saudi and some other high-risk countries) during quarantine for 5 days.

Travelog – Saudi (30 Januari 2022 – 5 Februarri 2022)

3 Ways to Become a Thought Leader

If you’re passionate about your field and know how to stand out, then you can quickly become a thought leader.

You’re passionate about your field, and you know how to stand out. You’ve built a portfolio of work in that area that you’re proud of. Now, you have the chance to show the world how awesome you are. With a little bit of dedication and focus, you can quickly become a thought leader—a person who people look up to and trust for advice.

3 Ways to Become a Thought Leader Click To Tweet

Here are three (3) ways to become a thought leader:

(1) Build a Strong Following

If you want to become a thought leader on social media, the first thing to do is build a strong following.

There are many ways of doing this, but the most effective ones are:

  1. Make sure your followers are interested in what you have to say. If they aren’t, they won’t be interested in following you.
  2. Be active.
  3. Respond to comments and questions and encourage people to follow you.

Get involved with other people’s content and respond to it as well. You can also build your community. Create a group that shares similar interests and join others’ groups. Build relationships – your followers will become your friends, and your friends will become your followers. The more you interact with them, the more likely they will follow you. You may think that you are not good at building relationships, but that is a mistake.

The best way to do this is to have a blog that focuses on the same subject as your podcast. For example, if your podcast is about technology, create a blog about technology-related topics. Then, you can link your podcast to your blog and vice versa. If people read your blog and listen to your podcast, they’re likely to click through and visit your website. I’ve been asked by many newbie bloggers what the difference is between their blogs and my podcasts. And honestly, there isn’t much of a difference. 

(2) Content Marketing

The third thing to do is to share quality content regularly. To stay consistent and build credibility, you should make sure that the majority of the content you share falls within one category or theme.

If your blog is a mix of many categories, you’re probably going to end up being just another “generic” blog that nobody will read. That said, I suggest that you focus on only one category in your content sharing. You might even want to limit it to two or three. The more categories you add, the less effective your content sharing will be.

(3) Brand voice

The next step is to develop your brand voice, which will be unique to you.

This is a combination of your logo and how you speak about yourself. If you’re a business coach, your brand voice will be different from an entrepreneur’s. The same goes for the voice of your employees. Brand voice can include:

  1. Your company logo
  2. The tone and language of your marketing material
  3. The way you speak on social media
  4. Your business mission statement
  5. Your tone and style of communication
  6. The tone of voice used in your emails
  7. The voice of your website

Social media tools allow you to share your content across multiple platforms easily. They can help you create a brand and a reputation that people will trust. This is why it’s so crucial that you have a unique voice and can connect with people. Be authentic to build a reputation for yourself.

This means that you should be willing to share your life experiences, as well as your opinions. You should also be open about your struggles, fears, failures, and successes. You should never make excuses, but you should always be willing to talk about the things that you’ve been through. This is because these things will help you to connect with other people. When people can relate to your experiences, they will be more likely to read your blog and other social media channels.

Related: How to Become a Thought Leader (And Win)

Conclusion

The first way to become a thought leader is to understand that people will follow you if they believe you know something they don’t. The second way to become a thought leader is to use content marketing to spread your thoughts, ideas, and expertise to others. Third, it’s essential to have a voice. Your opinion matters and your voice counts. You may not be able to persuade others to agree with you. However, you can influence them by influencing your audience. People are always listening to their customers, and they’re always looking for new insights into their industry. Be part of the conversation, and people will follow you.

Related article: How to Become a Thought Leader – The Beginning

Source: Media Update

How to Become a Thought Leader – The Beginning

Here’s my personal story how I began my IoT Thought Leadership journey. From Zero to an Influencer.

From Zero to an IoT Thought Leader. When does it all start?

Here’s the story.

One of my staff bumped into me, and he mentioned, “Congratulations, Dr. Mazlan, I saw your name as one of the IoT Thought Leaders.

I was very shocked and asked. “Where did you get the news?” and he said, “I saw in one of the Internet reports.

He gave me the link, and I quickly viewed the report from Onalytica entitled “The Internet of Tings 2014 – Top 100 Thought Leaders.” Wow! It was a pleasant surprise.

A couple of weeks earlier, I was very depressed and frustrated when my boss did not approve my application to attend IoT Asia 2014. I applied for the trip with two of my staff to attend the first IoT event in the region, yet only two of my staff applications were approved but not mine.

Our organization started the work on IoT almost two years earlier, and I thought this would be my best opportunity to hear from the industry leaders.

But the news that my staff brought to me was very unexpected. I wondered – how do I get to be selected by a prestigious organization like Onalytica?

The news spread very fast in the organization, with many people congratulating me. And one of them is the HR Vice President; she congratulated, “Dr. Mazlan, you are now a Thought Leader. That’s an amazing achievement!

But since I have never bothered to know what a “Thought Leader is,” I began to wonder what I did to gain that recognition? And what exactly is a Thought Leader?

How Onalytica Picked the Top 100 IoT Thought Leaders

Onalytica took in all Twitter conversations using the hashtags #IoT and #InternetOfThings and created a network of the top stakeholders discussing the subject. The network diagram of the top 100 is shown below.

Onalytica – Top 100 Network Map

I was thrilled to be ranked No. 20th on the list with Kevin Ashton (Father of IoT ranked 11th). And, of course, very proud to be the only Malaysian (or probably Asian) on the list!

Onalytica – Top 100 List 1-25

But really, how do I reach that stage? Is it by accident? In a way, most probably the answer is yes, but I didn’t realize that the things I did were actually how a Thought Leader should do – by influencing others.

It started probably 1 or 2 years earlier when my team was working on a research area called Wireless Sensor Network, 6LoWPAN (IPv6 Low Powered Area Network), and Internet of Things (IoT).

And during 2012 to 2014, I was a frequent social media user on LinkedIn and Twitter. Whatever I read on IoT topics, I will share this on Twitter and LinkedIn and use that hashtag #IoT. This includes sharing my thoughts about the industry in IoT.

This was when my circle of influence widened with more Twitter users following my Tweets. That’s how these Tweets are captured and analyzed by Onalytica.

The Start of an IoT Thought Leadership

Two years later, in 2016, I was the first Malaysian IoT Speaker in IoT Asia 2016 (“Issues and Challenges of Deploying a Smart Citizen Engagement Solution,” IoT Asia 2016, Singapore Expo, 30-31 March 201). The same event was when my boss rejected my application to attend in 2014. This time, the host invited me to speak with all expenses paid.

That was the beginning of the Thought Leadership journey, whereby I was invited to many speaking engagements as Keynote Speaker, Invited Speaker, TEDx Speaker, and many others. I created an IoT Blog called “IoT World” which became my official channel to share my thoughts and knowledge.

Other than the recognition from Onalytica (Onalytica Report can be downloaded here), I was ranked among Top 50 Global Thought Leaders on the Internet of Things (February 2019) and Digital Disruption (October 2019) by Thinkers360, Top 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders by World CSR Congress 2017, ranked Top 10 in IoT Top 100 Influencers by Postscapes 2017 & 2018,

It all started with a rejection….. From Zero to an IoT Thought Leader

Dr. Mazlan Abbas

Real Books vs. E-Books – Why I Choose

But I have this terrible habit of not finishing the book I read or didn’t even start reading them. And the worst part, sometimes I buy the same book twice because I don’t remember whether I have purchased it before or not.

When books are converted into digital, it changes how we consume knowledge. It also changes the way the reading habit.

This is what happened to me. I used to buy many print books (real books) and am proud to have a “library” to place the texts on proper shelves.
Books on my shelves.

But I have this terrible habit of not finishing the book I read or didn’t even start reading them. And the worst part, sometimes I buy the same book twice because I don’t remember whether I have purchased it before or not.

And then, I began to start to download E-Books, and I began to read them finally. And the best part, I managed to read them till the last page!

IoT E-Book

Initially, I was convinced that Real Books are far better than E-Books because it doesn’t feel the same holding a book compared to something just digital.

Why E-Books are better than Real Books Click To Tweet

BBut due to the Covid-19 lockdown, I started to read more E-Books and have changed my habit of reading. Below are some of the reasons:

  1. Freedom – I can read the E-Book anywhere. I need to carry multiple of them with print books if I want to read more than one book. Of course, real books are heavy to carry. During travel, you don’t want to carry heavy luggage unnecessarily. What if you don’t like to read that book and that is the only book you have?
  2. Easy to Highlight – Since I bought an iPad with a Stylus called Pencil, it simplifies me to jot down or highlight specific points or facts in the E-Book. And it does not destroy or dirty the E-Book because you can still erase the highlights quickly.
  3. Only Digital – Some books are only published in digital form. Or you can convert a web article into PDF and read it like an E-Book. You don’t have to waste printing the papers.
  4. Cheap or Free – E-Books are far more affordable than real books. And you can find free or “free” E-Books on the web.

Furthermore, I will be writing my E-Book called IoT Adventure and hopefully complete it by 2022.

Source: Why Ebooks Are More Popular Than Printed Books?

How Lifelogging Change The Way I Track My Life

Lifelogging is the act of recording and analyzing your daily activities as a way of finding out more about yourself and your life. By doing this, you can discover hidden patterns in your behavior and life; you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, gain valuable insights into your goals, dreams, and aspirations, and much more. This process has increased your quality of life in many different ways.

There are many benefits to lifelogging. This is one of the most exciting times in the history of humankind. With today’s technology (digital camera and smartphone), you can live forever. The only limit to your health and happiness now is your own imagination! Lifelogging helps you keep a record of your life for you and your family after you are gone.

Lifelogging via Gyroscope App

I have been using Gyroscope as my Lifelogging app, and it has recorded my daily activities since 2018. Gyroscope helps you manage the many aspects of your life by giving you an easy-to-use interface to track everything that matters to you. It tracks your days, weeks, months, and years in precise detail. And depending on the apps you integrate with, Gyroscope can bring together your sleep patterns, productivity, fitness activities, and Apple Health data.

One particularly tracking pattern that’s worth looking at is the Number of hours online and whether its productive or not. We can easily observed that pre-Covid (2019), the average online hours is about 1,000 hours as compared during the travelling restrictions and work from home activities. The online activity has increased by 50% !

2019 – Places

And if we see how the app tracked the number of places in 2020 and 2021, it was cut down by more than 60%. The physical meetings has now been compensated by the online meetings.

Steps Report

If we subscribed to it’s Premium subscription (Mine is RM 294.90 for Track Pro. There are many types of Subscription options), we have access to much more reports which are beautifully displayed. Although a great number of reports that can be shared in the form of Cards from its mobile app, lot more charts and analysis can be seen from the web portal.

Health Score (Seems I need to take care of my Health in 2022!)

How to Become a Thought Leader (And Win)

When you are a thought leader, you can influence others in your industry. If you can influence other people, then this means that you can get their attention and even persuade them to adopt your ideas.

Who is a thought leader? A thought leader has significant influence and credibility in their field of expertise. They are often well known and admired by the people they influence. They may be the subject of books and articles, but more importantly, they impact other people’s lives. Think of people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek, or Tony Robbins. They are all thought leaders.

How to become a thought leader?

It’s simple. All you have to do is spend your time and effort reading the best thinkers in your field. As you read, you’ll notice that most of them have the same basic things in common. They are all well-educated, they’ve thought deeply about their subject matter, and they’re usually knowledgeable.

In addition, you’ll find that they’ve created an intellectual community around their ideas. They share their thoughts, which helps them understand themselves, their ideas, and their impact on others. Finally, they’re constantly pushing the boundaries of their thinking. 

Why is it essential to be a thought leader?

In business, being a thought leader can be a potent tool. If you want to succeed in your business, you need to become one. You need to think out of the box and develop new ideas that others may not have considered. It is essential to become a thought leader because it will give you a competitive edge over others.

When you are a thought leader, you can influence others in your industry. If you can influence other people, then this means that you can get their attention and even persuade them to adopt your ideas. For this reason, being a thought leader can be a potent tool. But how do you become a thought leader? There are many ways to go about doing this, but there are also certain traits that you need to possess.

What makes a good thought leader?

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes a good thought leader. And I came up with some thoughts that are worth sharing in my humble opinion. 

Here’s the list: 

Know your audience and be yourself. This is so obvious. But I don’t know how many people take it seriously. The more you know your audience, the better you tailor your message to their needs.

And if you are not who you are, you might as well not exist. This is one of the reasons why I like to say that you should write your own book and be your own publisher. 

If you want to get a book published, you need to have something valuable to share. So, be yourself. That is the only way to get it right. Know your audience and be yourself. Be the best at what you do. Have a clear vision for what you want to accomplish.

But don’t ever stop learning. And if you can’t find your niche, create one. One of my favorite quotes is, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This means that you must first be the change you wish to see in yourself. So, be the change you want to see in yourself. 

How Can I Be a Thought Leader in My Niche Area? Click To Tweet

How can I be a thought leader in my niche area?

As a writer, there are many ways you can develop your thought leadership. Here’s a simple guide:

Find the most influential people in your niche. These people are often leaders in their industry. They write books, articles, and they’re active on social media. Find the most influential marketers in your niche if you’re a marketer.

  1. Follow them on social media. Most of these people have a blog or a Twitter account to share great content. They’ll probably follow you back.
  2. Read what they publish. The more time you spend reading their content, the more you’ll be able to incorporate it into your own.
  3. Write something unique. Don’t just copy and paste what they write.
  4. Write something that makes your audience think, “I need to read this.”
  5. Get the attention of these influencers. You can do this by writing a guest post on their blog or sharing their social media content.
  6. Once they start following you, ask them to review your book or article. The more people you get to review your work, the better.
  7. Finally, ask them for some feedback. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to help a writer improve their craft. 

How can I achieve being a thought leader?

Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Be the person others want to follow. This might seem like a cop-out, but you have to think about this from the other person’s perspective. You want to be the person they look up to and admire.
  2. It’s tough to be someone else’s role model.
  3. Focus on the positive There are so many things in your life that are great, but you just need to focus on those. When I first started looking at my life this way, I was amazed by how better I felt.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  5. Focus on what you can control.
  6. Have a plan of action and stick to it. If you set yourself up to fail, you’ll fail.
  7. Think about the best version of yourself.
  8. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  9. Understand that everyone has their own journey.
  10. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  11. Believe in yourself and know that you are enough.
  12. Take time for yourself.
  13. Get out there and do something that you love.

I used most of the tips mentioned above, and that’s how I achieved from zero to an Internet of Things (IoT) influencer within less than a year. I wrote two eBooks regarding IoT – IoT Notes and Your IoT Journey.

Ups and Downs of an IoT Entrepreneur

I love to hear your thoughts and comments about Thought Leadership. Kindly leave your comments below. Thanks!

How the Amount of Views Encourage Blogging

One of the main reasons people stopped to Blog is because they are easily discourage with the low numbers of views and visitors to their Blog.

I have to confess – I love to see the number of views and number of visitors to my Blog. It gives me some encouragement whenever I see activity on my Blog, although I am aware it is still very new.

I started to write my first two articles on November 17, 2021, i.e., when I officially published the Blog for the public. It is very new, and I am struggling to make the look and feel of the Blog easy to navigate with some content such as my backgroundbooksspeaking experienceBlogYouTubePodcastsProjects, and Press Info.

The first two articles are:

How the Amount of Views Encourage Me to Blog More Click To Tweet

The Blog Traffic Stats After Four (4) Weeks

One of the frustrating parts is when I Google the name “Mazlan Abbas Blog,” the website does not even appear in the Google Ranking! 

Here’s where many Bloggers would start to get very frustrated and abandon their Blogging activities. In reality (as described by many professional bloggers), it’s very typical, that we will only see the impact after several months!

Below is my traffic stats that showed the ups and downs. The “ups” is because I mainly promoted the posts on my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – and Facebook seems to be the highest referrals.

Mazlan Abbas Blog – Views and Visitors
Source of Referrals

Surprisingly my top 3 countries (other than my home country Malaysia) are the United States, India, and Ireland.

Mazlan Abbas Blog – Countries of Readers

Types of Blog Posts

The idea of my Blog is for Personal Blogging – sharing my journey into the world of Entrepreneurship, which mainly referred back to my business Blog called IoT World.

By monitoring the article’s number of views, I will understand what content attracted the readers.

Top be fair, the Blog is still at its infancy stage. It requires constant update with high-quality contents. I will be revisiting this statistics monthly and monitor the progress.

I am now using All-In-One SEO (AISEO) plug-in to help increase the SEO. And I have also followed many tips given by many other veteran Bloggers.

Kindly leave your comments and share your thoughts. I love to hear them.

8 Top Challenges Building a Citizen Engagement App

There’s no way to understand the challenges until you face with the real customers. Here’s what we learned.

The idea of building our second IoT product called Favorsense is to allow citizens to engage easily with the relevant authorities such as local councils.

Other scenarios would be for students on campus making reports about the universities facilities, residents making reports to their housing developers, and many others.

We can use the app for crowdsourcing input from users (in our case, we called crowdsensing – the people can become “sensors”).

Favorsense
8 Top Challenges Building a Citizen Engagement App Click To Tweet

8 Top Challenges We Need to Avoid

There’s no way to understand the challenges if we have not built and sold Favorsense. Facing the customers is the only to find out. Some of the challenges are:

  1. Many Copycats – Unlike other IoT solutions that depend on custom-made IoT devices, many other IT companies can easily copy a complete software-based application unless it has a complex algorithm or some form of machine learning.
  2. Challenging to Become a SaaS-based Solution – Many local councils have a long-existing process embedded into their everyday workflow. Thus, it requires many customizations based on their workflow unless they are willing to replace them with a new one. Or the SaaS must be complete with the flexibility to integrate with their legacy systems.
  3. Red Ocean Market – There are many similar solutions – although incomplete or have different features, it seems to be more challenging for the customer to change to a new one.
  4. Procurement Complexity – Introducing intelligent city solutions is a very complex process. Much unclear procurement process due to many stakeholders involved. And this includes budget issues.
  5. Stand-Alone Solution Weakness – Just a citizen engagement solution might not be attractive enough in any tender or procurement process. It’s is typically part of the more extensive project roll-out.
  6. Opening the Floodgate – Not many organizations prefer a very open or accessible channel for users to make complaints or reports. It’s like opening a floodgate of complaints. However, it’s between letting complaints go viral or making the channel more controllable – it’s the local council’s choice.
  7. Legacy Systems – Older IT systems have existed in the current workflow and are thus difficult to integrate with new methods, especially when the data is no longer compatible. It requires massive upgrades and costs.
  8. Citizen Engagement Fatigue – Once the mobile citizen engagement app is launched, it requires constant push and awareness regarding its usefulness. Many similar apps just died quietly after several months in public.

Unlike the first IoT solution, Raqib, these challenges are totally different. It’s not about technical challenges but understanding the users’ needs and current legacy workflow.

It’s easier to sell Favorsense when the customer does not have any complaint or trouble ticket system.

Favorsense Can Help Enforcement

Do you think there are other ways to resolve the eight issues mentioned above? Kindly leave your comments or feedback below. I love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Articles Worth Reading!

  1. 6 Great Challenges Building an IoT Solution for Hajj
  2. How We Build Our Second IoT Product
  3. My Top 5 Opinions – Malaysia National 4IR Policy

6 Great Challenges Building an IoT Solution for Hajj

This article is the first part of our Raqib journey. The experience that we have learned building such a solution is priceless. We must always be prepared to overcome the technical challenges and go-to-market strategy.

RAQIB is the first IoT product we built when we launched our Startup in 2017. The initial target market was Senior Citizens. However, we pivoted (or expanded) our customer segment to cater to people going for their Hajj.

Target Hajj Market

Based on our market research, we saw Hajj market is very suitable for Raqib as per the following reasons:

  1. More than 2.3 Million perform Hajj per year (about 30,000 pilgrims are from Malaysia)
  2. Different languages and cultures make communication very difficult during an emergency.
  3. Many pilgrims went missing because of the crowded nature and unfamiliar with foreign places.
  4. People can easily fall sick or faint due to heat and dust. The need to call help immediately is a challenge.
  5. Constant care and monitoring are required to have peace of mind when performing Hajj, especially when traveling with a spouse that is elderly.
  6. The hajj peak period is between 5-6 days with crowded people in small areas. Thus, it’s a challenge to find a missing person, especially almost all wearing similar robes and clothes.
  7. When staying at Mina, the tents are very similar, and thus finding a way home can be a significant challenge.
  8. Crowded places include Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah, and Tawaf at Kaaba.
During 2019 Umrah
6 Great Challenges Building an IoT Solution for Hajj Click To Tweet

Challenges of Building an IoT Solution (Raqib) for Hajj

We noticed that pivoting to a different market segment is not as straightforward as expected. The challenges are:

  1. Device – What are the main parameters that we should monitor? Is it health vital signs or safety (tracking locations)? For some, measuring the blood pressure level is more important, whereas others want to know the whereabouts of their spouse. 
  2. Network and Roaming – The model we offered only supports 2G networks and voice capability. Not many M2M sim cards provided by telcos have the roaming capability, and the cost can be high too due to the data roaming charges. Since we are bundling Raqib only for simple monitoring, we only limit data usage for wearable purposes and not for web browsing (users can detach the sim card and misuse it for other purposes). Enabling the right APNs of the device for different network operators in Saudi is also a challenge.
  3. Trial Period – Since Hajj is seasonal (once a year), we must find a way to trial at the Hajj site itself. The first option, we gave the device to our partners and customers who are performing their Umrah. We received a lot of issues during this trial, but we overcame it when we offered to our Saudi partner and our Malaysian trial customers to test during the 2018 Hajj. I also have personally tested Raqib during my Umrah in early 2019.
  4. User Behavior – It is also one of the biggest challenges because a user must always wear the Raqib watch to work as expected. If a person leaves the Raqib watch at their hotel, then the data on the Raqib app will not be accurate or consistent. The device must also be robust enough to withstand water during wudhu or bath. The user needs to charge the battery consistently, which is very challenging when the source of power is scarce in places like Arafat and Mina.
  5. Go-to-Market Strategy – Who will buy or subscribe to Raqib? Do we sell this to the Hajj authorities, or should we sell this to Hajj Travel Agencies? Or should we sell directly to the end-users? What’s the business model? It’s pretty challenging to sell as a CAPEX-based model because the Raqib requires sim cards, and the data need to be activated. Since this is a Hajj solution and it only happens once a year, what happens when a user returns home – do they want to continue using them. Or should it be a rental model for the travel agents – they can re-use the device for another group of Umrah pilgrims. Unfortunately, this rental doesn’t work because of the tedious logistics process – collecting the devices, cleaning them, and managing the stocks.
  6. Going Beyond Malaysian Market – For Raqib to be successful, it must capture a global market because the Hajj market is small and seasonal. However, to do this, we need to test the roaming capability of the sim cards – and we have done it successfully in Saudi Arabia, India, Maldives, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

This article is the first part of our Raqib journey. The experience that we have learned from building such a solution is priceless. We must always be prepared to overcome the technical challenges and go-to-market strategy. 

Have you encountered any IoT solutions similar to Raqib? Please leave your comments below.

RAQIB Crowdfunding – Launchgood

Articles worth reading:

  1. TaqwaTech – RAQIB for Hajj
  2. Raqib Is The Companion You Need During Your Hajj & Umrah
  3. Raqib – Solution to Care and “Watch” The Pilgrims During Hajj and Umrah
  4. RAQIB Raising Donation Campaign With LaunchGood – Peace of Mind for Hajj Pilgrims in 2019

How We Build a New Generation-IoT Movement

How do we build enough momentum to accelerate the growth of IoT talents? One of them is to develop a movement called “Generation-IoT”. This is the story.

The original article of the blog was posted here.

I am not sure, but maybe it’s always in my blood or DNA to share knowledge, build talent, or teach others. I started my journey in IoT as early as in the Year 2001. At that time, the telco was called M2M (or Machine-to-Machine). The data are kept in silos; systems are called Telemetry, and Scada is a common name. Applications are limited to remote meter reading and vehicle tracking.

We can rarely see any fancy IoT applications because technology is in infancy stage. Cloud services are not available, devices are still expensive, no smartwatches, no open API IoT applications and many other missing components.

The Early Days of IoT

LinkedIn is my main channel to communicate with friends from overseas. And when I fully embarked on IoT in 2014, I couldn’t even find enough friends to exchange ideas. You can barely see any jobs with the title “IoT” at that period (unlike today, “IoT” is ubiquitous in many job positions).

I was part of the team that developed the Malaysia National IoT Strategic Framework, and one of the missions was to create an IoT ecosystem. We don’t see this materialize a couple of years down the road. Very frustrating after the hard work.

The Beginning of Generation-IoT

Thus, we offered our FAVORIOT platform as an IoT ecosystem for Malaysia and created a Generation-IoT movement. And …oh boy! It was a lonely journey. And very tiring too. No one believed in the mission to become a ProducerNation by building our IoT products. Talents are lacking.

Luckily, I was invited by many local Universities to be part of many Industrial Advisory Panels. For four years, we re-look back at the University’s contents and syllabus to include IoT and make it more structured. We hoped to have more IoT talents in the market with this refreshed syllabus.

Who are the Generation-IoT?
How We Build a New Generation-IoT Movement Click To Tweet

Bearing Fruits and Skepticism

Now we are seeing the fruits of the labor; there are many courses in IoT, Masters in IoT (UTHM), Diploma in IoT (KKTMPJ), and even a Certificate in IoT (Kolej Komuniti Seberang Jaya).

But I also received many comments from people who mocked me, saying why am I helping the local Universities because they are not giving you any projects or becoming your primary revenue streams. Well, that’s another story for me to tell another day. Actually, as of today, education is my second highest revenue contributor.

I am happy to say that I have helped build a Generation-IoT that will become the future technology leaders of IoT.

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Articles worth reading:

  1. Generation-IoT is Set to Become a Global Movement
  2. Who Are the New Generation-IoT
  3. Expert Advice for Generation-IoT
  4. Generation-IOT That Will Disrupt The World
Source: 5 Traits of Generation-IoT