Juwai IQI, the Asian real estate technology group based in Kuala Lumpur, plans to build a data and tech team locally. The team is expected to have more than 1,000 employees eventually.
Malaysia was chosen as the R&D headquarters due to its larger workforce compared to Singapore, universal English proficiency and “a far-sighted outlook on its digitalisation trajectory”, Juwai IQI co-founder and group executive chairman Georg Chmiel said.
“Malaysia has what it takes to be the digital heart of ASEAN. There are 400 million mobile users in ASEAN, which is important because mobile is the platform for building advanced services that will power our future growth. The United States has just 276 million mobile users,” Chmiel added.
According to Chmiel, ASEAN and China have significant penetration in super apps such as WeChat, Gojek and Grab. He added that Asia is the new global economic centre of gravity and home to more high net worth individuals than any other region in the world. Therefore, all these factors make Malaysia “the perfect environment” for building a technology and R&D team.
The team currently has another office in Shanghai which will remain its base for R&D in Greater China. With both office locations, co-founder and group CEO Kashif Ansari, said the company has its roots “firmly embedded in two of the deepest pools of technology talent in the world”. Following the pandemic outbreak, Juwai IQI thought carefully about where to build its data team and eventually decided on Millerz Square at Old Klang Road.
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) welcomed Juwai IQI’s plans and CEO Surina Shukri said this is “a clear endorsement of investors’ confidence in Malaysia”. “The company’s commitment to create more than 1,000 new job opportunities – in areas ranging from platform and mobile app developers and data scientists to social network community specialists – is testament to the high level of digital skills and capabilities of our Malaysian workforce,” she said. Surina added that MDEC is anticipating increased momentum from its efforts to land quality digital foreign direct investments which will support MyDigital.
“To date, Malaysia has attracted RM345 billion investments, creating close to 185,000 jobs.” MDEC’s chairman Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff said. The investments are mainly from MNCs that have started their global business services and regional operations in Malaysia.
“This achievement showcases Malaysia’s solid fundamentals which includes a diversified multilingual and digitally-skilled talent pool, ready infrastructure, as well as a mature ecosystem for the digital economy to thrive,” he added.
The company plans to help lead the next wave of digital transformation, starting first in Malaysia and expanding to other ASEAN countries and Asia.