In a joint effort by Malaysia and India to foster a robust startup ecosystem across the two nations and the broader ASEAN region, more than 600 local and international startups will converge in the inaugural India-ASEAN Startup Summit (IASS) 2023 from 12 to 13 December 2023 at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre.
A pioneering initiative by DEWI Wealth Accelerator, IASS 2023 is an opportunity for startups to showcase their groundbreaking ideas and solutions. With its focus on innovation, collaboration, and women empowerment, the summit will witness the participation of 50 local and international investors as well as 100 startup hubs, accelerators, and government agencies, including Startup India, Invest India, MDEC, and MDV.
Datin Malliga Subramaniam, founder of DEWI Wealth Accelerator, highlighted the exceptional opportunities the summit will present for Malaysian startups to delve into the extensive potential of cross-border collaborations with their Indian counterparts.
“At IASS 2023, we are excited to create a platform where Malaysian startups can gain insights from India’s thriving digital technology ecosystem. India’s expansive market and favourable incentives for businesses in emerging sectors offer a fertile ground for innovation. This summit will open doors for Malaysian startups to benefit from the Indian market, fostering a reciprocal exchange of ideas and strategies. We are setting the stage for a dynamic collaboration where startups from both regions can leverage on each other’s strengths, driving growth and innovation in the digital technology sphere.This event is about empowering entrepreneurs and catalysing growth across borders,” she stated.
A special focus of the summit is to empower women-led startups, addressing unique challenges and opportunities in this sector. “Our dedication goes beyond mere representation; we aim to create a nurturing and supportive environment tailored specifically for women entrepreneurs. We understand that women often encounter distinct hurdles in their entrepreneurial journey, and our summit is designed to address these issues head-on,” elaborated Datin Malliga.
She further added that this focus aligns with the broader goals of the summit to foster a diverse and inclusive startup ecosystem where all entrepreneurs, regardless of gender, can succeed and contribute to regional economic growth and innovation.
Highlighting the strategic importance of the summit in enhancing India-Malaysia relations, H.E. BN Reddy, the High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, emphasised the role of the IASS 2023 as a cornerstone for fostering economic and innovative ties between the two nations.
“India and Malaysia enjoy growing trade and investment ties. Bilateral trade has reached US$20 billion in FY 2022-23. Two-way investments have been growing significantly. Indian startups have been successfully expanding into Malaysia and further into the ASEAN region. Indian startup companies such as Oyo, Perfios, Pine Labs, Razorpay are now well-established in Malaysia and are exploring opportunities in the Southeast Asia region that presents a big opportunity,” he said.
He added that Malaysian startups can benefit from India as the latter offers a large market and several incentives for doing business in new and emerging sectors and is an optimal environment for tech startups to thrive.
“India has the third largest startup ecosystem in the world with a consistent annual growth of 12-15%. At present, there are over 115,000 startups in India recognized by the Government of India with 110 startup unicorns (with valuation of over US$ 1 billion). Indian startups are actively collaborating with Malaysian startups, for example, Razorpay – the leading fintech player in India has been working with Curlec (a Malaysian startup) and has acquired a majority stake in it. Curlec is now a leading player in the B2B digital payments space and has recently joined Paynet as a direct member with plans to expand significantly in Malaysia and into the ASEAN region. We believe IASS 2023 is setting the stage for more successful startup collaborations like these,” he added.
YB Adam Adli, Deputy Minister of Youth & Sports, advocates for such international collaborations, stating that cross-border events like the IASS 2023 are pivotal in encouraging entrepreneurial growth and innovation and vital for the holistic growth of our startup ecosystem.
“The Indian ASEAN Start-up Summit serves as a catalyst for collaboration and cooperation between India and Malaysia. By establishing a framework for start-ups in both countries, we can create a solid foundation that will allow entrepreneurs to leverage the potential of Malaysia as a springboard to expand into the ASEAN region and beyond,” he said.
The summit is backed by partners from both Malaysia (such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, Malaysian Investment Development Authority, Malaysia Debt Ventures, Majlis Belia Malaysia, Beyond4, SME Corporation, the Sunway Group, PubliCT.io and NisaBakri Gourmet) and India (including Ministry of Science & Innovation, Ministry of Commerce, India ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, Startup India and Invest India).
The event will feature keynote speeches by industry leaders, panel discussions, and networking sessions designed to foster collaboration and growth. Some notable speakers include YB Senator Saraswathy Kandasamy – Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperative, Sam Shafie, Co-Founder of PitchIN, Yeoh Chen Chow, Co-Founder of Fave, Chintan Vaishnav, Chair, G20 Startup India,Rahul Narvekar, Founder CEO – The India Network/Serial Entrepreneur / Investor amongst others. Topics like funding mechanisms, market access, and branding will be explored, along with discussions on cross-border expansion strategies.