Kuala Lumpur, 6 September 2018 – Productivity Nexus for Retail and F&B has officially announced Technology, Ecosystem & Culture (TEC) Immersion Programme a partnership with the University Of California, Berkeley specially designed for business owners and entrepreneurs to take a leap to embrace a productivity mindset.

This is another Flagship Programmes in line with its third and fourth productivity initiatives highlighted in the productivity blueprint. These productivity initiatives are to strengthen Retail and F&B competencies and provide assistance to Retail and F&B players to grow internationally.

The announcement and press conference was held at Sime Darby Convention Centre led by YBhg Dato’ Bruce Lim, Champion of Productivity Nexus for Retail and F&B, and witnessed by Dr Ong Kian Ming, the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry and YBhg Dato Mohd Razali Hussain, Director General of Malaysia Productivity Corporation. Participants will have direct interaction with the faculty members and professors at University of California, Berkeley led by Professor Mark Coopersmith, who has vast experience in entrepreneurship, innovation and leading change to business executives around the world. An exchange and sharing of best practices with enterprises in the Valley that have benefitted from tech adoption and innovation is also in the cards.

The TEC Immersion Programme includes a corporate visit to 4 large organisations in the Silicon Valley known to be a hotbed for technology start-ups and successful companies that has experienced rapid growth. Amongst the places planned is Googleplex, the headquarters of Google and Target Stores’ Livelab. It is here the eCommerce and its ecosystem and culture was founded. “The mission will be focused on learning best practices in business and current trends in retail and F&B industry. We have established a close relationship with the Managing Director of University of California, Berkeley, Asia, Mr. Dana Magenau in this programme hence it is a stepping stone for local business owners to gain knowledge and bloom in retail and F&B industry”, expressed Productivity Nexus Champion, Dato’ Bruce Lim.

One of the fundamental challenges in the retail and F&B industry is that investing in technology, innovation and people development are considered as cost rather than investment by the business owners and entrepreneurs especially the SMEs. As a result, the retail and F&B industry remain as one of the lowest productivity industry, low adoption on technology and highly relying on low skilled foreign workers.

Labour Productivity of the Retail and F&B subsector remains low at RM38,797 in 2017 as compared to other services subsectors such as ICT at RM305,942; Professional Services at RM79,192; Private Healthcare at RM71,879 and Tourism at RM50,914. Dato’ Mohd Razali Hussain, Director General of MPC, who was also present at the press conference was thrilled and looked forward for Productivity Nexus members to be inspired and working closely with the University of California, Berkeley, which has produced major global entrepreneurs such as Andy Grove of Intel, Steve Wozniak of Apple, Eric Schmidt of Google, Masayoshi Son of Softbank, Marc Tarpenning of Tesla, Donald Fisher of Gap, and many more. “I am very delighted to be a part of the discussion about the future of retail and F&B industry and the initiatives of Productivity Nexus to manoeuvre the expansion of the industry as a whole. I believe that we can have a better industry with higher productivity and lower dependence on foreign labours in order to drive our productivity upwards in the near future,” Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of

Ministry of International Trade and Industry said.

The Technology, Ecosystem and Culture Immersion programme is designed to address current situation of local industry and turn them around to create sustainable productive enterprises from Retail and F&B. The programme is designed to tackle and improve the efficiency of day to day operation for SMEs, nurture productivity mindset, sustain and witness long term effects on bottom line, build a dynamic ecosystem and produce success stories amongst business leaders and key decision makers. Through this programme, the delegates will enhance their learning experience with the world’s best enterprises and gain constructive tools to expand their businesses.