Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases we received from July 24 till the end of the week.
OSIM Partners with Hyun Bin
Kuala Lumpur, July 24: OSIM, a leading innovator of Wellness Tech products, has enlisted South Korean actor Hyun Bin as the ambassador for its next-generation flagship product, the uDream Pro well-being chair. The uDream Pro features cutting-edge Wellness Tech innovations and is designed as a sophisticated style statement, representing OSIM’s commitment to providing top-notch well-being solutions.
Hyun Bin’s partnership with OSIM reflects the company’s expansion of its Wellness Tech ecosystem and is based on shared values of innovation and excellence. The acclaimed actor praised the uDream Pro, which incorporates AI analysis for personalized massage techniques and offers a ‘5-Senses Experience’ to enhance relaxation and manage daily well-being.
The uDream Pro is a step beyond traditional massage chairs, being the world’s first well-being chair to utilize AI in measuring, monitoring, and managing stress and fatigue. It offers an immersive stress relief experience through guided massage programs, relaxing imagery, soothing voice guidance, ambient lighting, and optional DreamScent Aroma Pods.
With 14 patented features and collaborations with renowned professionals, the uDream Pro delivers customized stress relief programs effectively. Anonymized data from uDream Pro users indicates significant reductions in both short-term and long-term stress levels and improvements in mental and physical health.
Hyun Bin, a highly influential actor in South Korea, embodies the vision of the sophisticated wellness technology offered by the uDream Pro. His partnership with OSIM strengthens the brand’s commitment to improving well-being for consumers worldwide.
MGRC Expands with Partners
Kuala Lumpur, July 25: Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad (MGRC) completes a Private Placement, raising approximately RM2.87 million for expansion plans. The Private Placement involved the issuance of 7 million ordinary shares at RM0.41 per share. The proceeds will support the Company’s working capital and cover the expenses of the Placement.
MGRC’s expansion plans include a proposed name change to “Rinani Life Sciences Berhad,” a reduction of the issued share capital, and the implementation of a long-term incentive plan. These initiatives aim to enhance the growth of MGRC’s business pillars, which encompass genomics sequencing and analysis, cell and gene therapy products, and retail expansion through pharmacies and clinics under their FMCG initiative.
Datin Sri Jacqueline Ngu Hia Kee emerges as a new substantial shareholder, acquiring a 5.10 per cent stake in MGRC through the Private Placement. Datin Sri Jacqueline’s passion for healthcare and sciences aligns with MGRC’s commitment to improving quality of life in life sciences, wellness, and beauty.
Azri Azerai, Executive Chairman of MGRC, expresses delight in welcoming Datin Sri Jacqueline and Rinani Group Berhad as valued individuals contributing to the Group’s growth. Rinani Group Berhad becomes a substantial shareholder, increasing its stake in MGRC to 10.64 per cent.
Recent developments also include collaboration agreements with DLF Engineering Pte Ltd and Toticell Ltd, broadening MGRC’s reach in Singapore and Bangladesh, respectively. These investments and agreements demonstrate confidence in the Group’s transition towards biopharmaceuticals and geographical expansion.
Intel-Ericsson 5G Collaboration
Sydney, July 25: Intel and Ericsson collaborate on 5G infrastructure, utilizing Intel’s 18A process. Intel will manufacture custom 5G SoCs for Ericsson, driving innovation.
The companies will optimize Intel Xeon processors for Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solutions.
The 18A process elevates Intel’s position, reinforcing their commitment to future offerings.
Ericsson values the sustainable supply chain with Intel’s 18A process. Both companies work towards open and scalable networks. Industry-scale open RAN remains a focus.
Malaysia Embraces Alternative Financing
Kuala Lumpur, July 26: Alternative financing gains popularity in Malaysia as a viable option for local businesses to raise funds. Total funds raised in Equity Crowdfunding stood at RM560.34 million via 330 campaigns, per the Securities Commission of Malaysia.
1337 Ventures and Leet Capital host the ECF Accelerator Programme, guiding up to 20 growth-stage entrepreneurs on fundraising methods through venture capital, private equity, and ECF. The bootcamp covers stakeholder mapping, go-to-market strategy, financial modelling, marketing, pitching, and more for a successful ECF campaign.
Top three companies gain an exclusive opportunity to showcase potential at Leet Angel Club, a prestigious, invite-only gathering of discerning angel and sophisticated investors.
Bikesh Lakhmichand from 1337 Ventures stresses the need for solid financial models, a bulletproof fundraising strategy, and effective pitching in the journey of fundraising.
In 2022, the ECF Accelerator programme had two successful cohorts, including homegrown companies from various sectors. Cohort 1 winner, QMED Asia, raised over RM5 million in ECF from 110 investors on Leet Capital. Cohort 2 success story, Arus Oil, was recently invested in by Shell.
Cohort 3 begins in August 2023 at WORQ, Menara UOA, Bangsar. Malaysian SMEs and pre-IPO companies can apply on https://bit.ly/ecfaccelerator until July 28th. The programme is supported by WORQ, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and Digital Penang, fostering growth and innovation within the Malaysian business landscape.
CBA Launches Next Chapter Innovation
Sydney, July 27: CBA CEO Matt Comyn introduced Next Chapter Innovation, a program to combat financial abuse.
Partnering with not-for-profit and social enterprises, it supports victim-survivors’ long-term recovery. The initiative aligns with The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, focusing on at-risk Australians.
Grants of $50,000 to $200,000 will be provided, along with executive support and mentoring. Applications are open until August 25, 2023.
Education Ransomware Surge: Report
Kuala Lumpur, July 27: Sophos, a global leader in cybersecurity, released its “The State of Ransomware in Education 2023” report, revealing that the education sector experienced the highest rate of ransomware attacks in 2022. The survey found that 79 per cent of higher educational organizations and 80 per cent of lower educational organizations were targeted, marking a significant increase from the previous year. The sector also reported one of the highest rates of ransom payment, with 56 per cent of higher educational organizations and 47 per cent of lower educational organizations paying the ransom.
Paying the ransom resulted in higher recovery costs and prolonged recovery times. For higher educational organizations, recovery costs were $1.31 million when paying the ransom versus $980,000 when using backups. For lower educational organizations, costs were $2.18 million when paying the ransom versus $1.37 million when not paying. Moreover, 79 per cent of higher educational organizations using backups recovered within a month, while only 63 per cent of those that paid the ransom recovered within the same timeframe. For lower educational organizations, the numbers were 63 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively.
The report highlighted the need for improved cybersecurity measures, including the adoption of multifactor authentication (MFA) technology to prevent attacks involving compromised credentials. Sophos recommends strengthening defensive shields with security tools, adaptive technologies, and 24/7 threat detection and response. Optimizing attack preparation, maintaining backups, and practicing incident response plans are also crucial.
The survey polled 3,000 IT/cybersecurity leaders, including 400 from the education sector, across 14 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific.
Qatar Airways Group Reports Record Revenues
Kuala Lumpur, July 27: Qatar Airways Group announced strong financial results in its 2022/23 annual report as the Official Airline Partner of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The airline reported a net profit of QAR 4.4 billion (US$ 1.21 billion), with revenue reaching QAR 76.3 billion (US$ 21.0 billion), up 45 per cent. Passenger revenue rose by 100 per cent due to higher yields, an 80 per cent load factor, and a 31 per cent capacity increase. Qatar Airways carried 31.7 million passengers, up 71 per cent from the previous year. The Privilege Club loyalty program saw significant growth, and Qatar Airways Cargo retained its position as the world’s leading air cargo carrier. The airline’s network expanded to over 160 destinations, including the FIFA World Cup event.
Micro-Funding Empowers Women!
Kuala Lumpur, July 28: Madcash Sdn. Bhd. has announced its partnership with Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC) to support women entrepreneurs through their fintech platform called MADCash. The initiative aims to provide micro-funding of RM1500 to each of 60 B40 women entrepreneurs participating in the Wanita Jana Rezeki upskilling program. The program, scheduled from September to November, offers courses in culinary, tailoring, and confinement, enabling these entrepreneurs to acquire essential skills from qualified instructors.
Interested women entrepreneurs can apply for the interest-free funding through MADCash’s online platform. The recipients of the funding will be required to repay it over a period of ten months. The objective of the Wanita Jana Rezeki program is to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet market demands, allowing them to compete effectively in the business world.
Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin, the Managing Director of MADCash, expressed her enthusiasm for supporting the B40 community in Penang and helping women improve their livelihoods through proper education and skills development.
Ong Bee Leng, the Chief Executive Officer of PWDC, highlighted that the program is designed to empower women from lower-income groups and create their own sources of income. The collaboration with MADCash enables PWDC to extend support to more women entrepreneurs, promoting financial stability and reducing conflicts in households due to financial constraints.
MADCash will actively monitor the progress of the women entrepreneurs, providing additional support, including financial assistance of RM3,000 per person, business upskilling, networking opportunities, mentoring, and peer support, all geared towards ensuring their continued growth.
Sustainability Trends 2023
Kuala Lumpur, July 28: According to “The Sustainability Trends Report 2023,” a vast majority of consumers (73 per cent) are interested in living more sustainable lifestyles, with even higher numbers among those in emerging Asian markets (87 per cent). However, the main obstacles to adopting sustainable practices are inconvenience and high costs. The report, commissioned by Alibaba Group and based on a survey of over 14,000 consumers in 14 markets across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, highlights that convenience (53 per cent) and affordability (33 per cent) are critical factors in driving behavioral changes toward sustainability. To encourage sustainable choices, businesses must make it easier for consumers to access sustainable options.
Nevertheless, there is some skepticism among consumers (38 per cent) about businesses’ claims regarding the sustainability of their products, with only 15 per cent expressing complete trust in these claims. Building trust among consumers, especially in European markets, is crucial for businesses. Alibaba Group aims to address the “say-do” gap by reducing inconvenience, expanding sustainable choices, and optimizing supply chains to maintain reasonable costs for consumers. The company’s latest Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report also discloses its decarbonization progress.
The report reveals that consumers in emerging Asian markets (88 per cent) are most willing to learn about making sustainable purchases online, compared to developed Asian markets (66 per cent) and Europe (66 per cent). Around three-quarters of consumers (76 per cent) globally welcome more information about how to be more sustainable. Businesses can play a significant role in promoting sustainability by making products more affordable (61 per cent), reducing single-use plastics and packaging (55 per cent), and offering a wider selection of sustainable products and services (47 per cent).
In conclusion, the report emphasizes the importance of making sustainable choices convenient and affordable for consumers. Businesses must be transparent and committed to their sustainability claims to build trust among consumers, ultimately fostering a collective journey toward sustainability.
FedEx Wins Sustainability Award
Kuala Lumpur, July 28: FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has received the prestigious ‘Sustainability and CSR Malaysia Awards 2023’ in the ‘Best in Community Engagement Support’ category. This marks the third consecutive time FedEx has been honored with this award. The recognition is a result of FedEx’s efforts in nurturing young talent and promoting an entrepreneurial mindset through the FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (FedEx/JA ITC), benefiting over 8,600 students in Malaysia to date. Additionally, FedEx was commended for its sustainability initiatives, including collaborating with Treat Every Environment Special (TrEES) and the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) to rebuild a perimeter wall using sustainable recycled materials. These initiatives are part of FedEx Cares, a global community engagement program aimed at creating a better world.
Tien Long Woon, Managing Director of FedEx Express Malaysia, expressed gratitude for the ability to positively impact local communities in Malaysia through their logistics network and passionate team members. Empowering young leaders and promoting sustainability align with FedEx’s purpose of connecting people and possibilities.
The ‘Sustainability and CSR Malaysia Awards’ recognize corporations’ unwavering commitment to creating a positive impact through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, contributing to socio-economic transformation in Malaysia. The nominees were evaluated based on several criteria, including CSR purpose, program impact, transparency in reporting, creative implementation, and effectiveness of each initiative.
FedEx Malaysia has taken steps towards carbon neutrality by introducing electric vehicles (EVs) to its fleet, with the goal of achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2040. The company recognizes that sustainability efforts are rooted in its culture and investments in people and the communities it serves. For more details on FedEx’s global sustainability initiatives, refer to the recently released FedEx 2023 ESG Report.
MR D.I.Y. Celebrates World Environment Day
Kuala Lumpur, July 28: Malaysian home improvement retailer, MR D.I.Y. Group [M] Berhad, marked ‘World Environment Day’ with two exciting environmental initiatives. MR D.I.Y. Cares volunteers joined forces with the community and Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam (KUASA) to plant 1,000 mangrove saplings along the Mangrove Riverbank Park in Changkat Keruing, Perak. In Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor, volunteers participated in Tapir conservation efforts, painting a mural and planting flowers at the Sungai Dusun Wildlife Conservation Centre.
A spokesperson from MR D.I.Y. emphasized the company’s commitment to preserving Malaysia’s natural beauty and promoting sustainable practices. The retailer also organized a ‘Walk with Style’ workshop at MR. D.I.Y. PLUS, allowing children and adults to upcycle white school shoes, canvas tote bags, and mirrors. Additionally, 15 children from Rumah Aman Children’s Home were invited to join in this creative activity.
MR D.I.Y. has a strong track record of supporting environmental initiatives, including upgrading recreational areas and participating in tree planting projects. The retailer’s efforts have been recognized, as evidenced by its inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index 2021 and receiving an ESG award from The Edge for its sustainability endeavors.
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