In­no­vate and pi­o­neer

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - POST GRADUATE -

DR Tan Teik Kheong, grad­u­ate of AeU’s In­dus­trial Doc­tor­ate pro­gramme, is a techno­preneur and ed­u­ca­tor.

His pas­sion for big data sci­ence from en­gi­neer­ing dis­ci­plines to fi­nan­cial mar­ket anal­y­sis won him an award in 2014 and sev­eral nom­i­na­tions.

Most re­cently, he was con­ferred the ti­tle of se­nior cor­po­rate fel­low from AeU for his many achieve­ments.

Here, he shares his views on techno­preneurism and in­no­va­tion:

“I rep­re­sented Asia e Univer­sity ( AeU) and was the only Malaysian par­tic­i­pant com­pet­ing glob­ally against many oth­ers at the Lon­don Hedge Fund Com­pe­ti­tion in 2014.

This com­pe­ti­tion was my first at­tempt to ap­ply quan­ti­ta­tive skills com­bined with the Bayesian anal­y­sis for big data in the fi­nance in­dus­try.

I man­aged to build the port­fo­lio of com­pa­nies that led to the top se­lec­tion in the fi­nal rounds. It was an eye- open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me be­cause I de­vel­oped a method­ol­ogy of port­fo­lio se­lec­tion that en­abled the fund to main­tain its high net re­turn in both bullish ( a mar­ket in which share prices are ex­pected to rise, en­cour­ag­ing buy­ing) and bear­ish ( a mar­ket in which share prices are fall­ing, en­cour­ag­ing sell­ing) mar­kets.

Since then, I have fur­ther re­fined the tech­nique for ro­bust­ness and risk mit­i­ga­tion for op­ti­mum cap­i­tal al­lo­ca­tion.

Part of this work was pre­sented last year and this year at the re­cent IEEE con­fer­ence ( or­gan­ised by the In­sti­tute of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tronic En­gi­neers, the world’s largest pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion for the ad­vance­ment of tech­nol­ogy).

Af­ter win­ning the top three hedge fund com­pe­ti­tion in Lon­don, I was psyched up and en­cour­aged to ap­ply high- prob­a­bil­ity Bayesian tech­niques to stock se­lec­tion, thus driv­ing my pas­sion for fi­nance.

Be­ing a techno­preneur at heart, I founded sev­eral star­tups and ex­pe­ri­enced prod­uct de­vel­op­ment life cy­cles mul­ti­ple times in net­work­ing equip­ment and semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try.

En­trepreneur­ship was part of my busi­ness phi­los­o­phy from young. I be­lieve the key to suc­cess­ful en­trepreneur­ship rests in the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the in­di­vid­ual, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to spot op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The se­cond trait is con­fi­dence, sub­stan­ti­ated by pas­sion, de­sire and prepa­ra­tion. In­no­va­tion fo­cuses on cre­at­ing new ideas and is of­ten used by busi­ness as a tool to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity or cre­ate a new prod­uct to gain com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

En­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion work si­mul­ta­ne­ously in fur­ther­ing the suc­cess of the en­tre­pre­neur. Through­out my 30 years of be­ing in pri­vate and pub­lic or­gan­i­sa­tions, declar­ing my­self as an en­tre­pre­neur has been easy but it is not as easy to con­vince in­vestors, your team and cus­tomers that you are some­one spe­cial to fund and fol­low.

If you do not con­sis­tently dis­play the mind­set and traits of an en­tre­pre­neur, peo­ple will not fol­low you and you are in dan­ger of not suc­ceed­ing in your busi­ness ven­tures.

Run­ning a busi­ness in­volves a com­bi­na­tion of suc­cesses and fail­ures al­though I be­lieve fail­ing as a re­sult of cal­cu­lated risk- tak­ing should be em­braced pos­i­tively.

An ex­am­ple was the ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing ( IPO) process for a semi­con­duc­tor firm I was in­volved in for four years.

Even though I had planned and pre­pared well, the cir­cum­stances did not al­low the IPO process to hap­pen.

How­ever, prior to that, I had suc­cess­fully helped sev­eral com­pa­nies in their fund­ing se­ries, one of which re­sulted in the sale of their mo­bile broad­band as­sets to Qual­comm.

Be­ing trained in elec­tri­cal and soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing and be­ing the founder of sev­eral star­tups, I have de­vel­oped a strong in­tu­ition on how to start and run a tech­nol­ogy busi­ness and there are many op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able.

Ev­ery­thing from mo­bil­ity to wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions to con­sumers’ re­la­tion­ships with tech­nol­ogy is be­ing dis­rupted.

Pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics, cloud com­put­ing, big data sci­ences and next- gen­er­a­tion wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions will be key en­ablers for the next gen­er­a­tion of en­trepreneurs to cap­i­talise on.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. aeu. edu. my.

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