Vulcan Submit Malaysia’s Prime-Performing Articles Of 2020

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With the 2020 chapter ending and the roller coaster of events going on, we thought it would be nice to take a look back at some of the top Vulcan Post headlines this year.

With the trends, the focus of our content has changed too, to keep you all up to date with relevant and interesting stories.

In 2020 we selected 15 articles from our pool with the best articles to give you an overview of the year that had the most response from our readers.

Disclaimer: These articles are not arranged in any particular orderand each of these articles is not sponsored.

30 Under 30 Asia is one of Forbes’ annual lists, featuring 300 outstanding individuals and entrepreneurs across the APAC region.

This year, 14 Malaysians, mostly from the finance and venture capital sectors, were on the list. Since it came out in April, when the pandemic peaked and negative news was all around us, content has been as inspiring and lighthearted as a breath of fresh air.

When companies realized that sticking to the status quo was an outdated step in the face of the pandemic, they were pushed to innovation and pivotal points.

Early on, we spotted seven companies sharing their quick linchpins – whether it was launching a new product, changing markets, or adding a new business strategy.

We then reached out to them to learn what their turning points were, how they quickly transitioned from idea to execution, and how they smoothed out the kinks in the pivot point.

The story of Ryan and Karine reminded us that even if unfortunate events can bring you to a halt, a simple change in mindset coupled with a strong support system can be all we need to recover.

They are evidence of when they rebuilt their lives and found a new purpose in helping other people improve their own lives through a fitness community.

Wage cuts, layoffs, inability to find a job – three of the biggest problems Malaysia’s workforce has faced this year. Inspired by Audrey Mah, Klook’s ex-community leader, and how she made a spreadsheet for her former colleagues to get hired, Allan Phang, a former AirAsia employee, did the same.

For him, it was a small but powerful initiative as only one person who shared the list could influence the lives of over 170 former employees on the list (at that time).

Faizul Ridzuan’s decision to purchase the 50+ AirAsia RM399 Unlimited Pass Cuti Cuti Malaysia was made in 10 minutes. At a time when many companies were cutting their workforce, initiating or closing wage cuts, it was a shock.

“A company that gave its employees an interesting and great advantage in the midst of a pandemic?” We thought in disbelief. But there was more to the story than we expected when we interviewed him.

Immediately after the MCO was announced, the more privileged Malaysian population quickly advocated measures to help our less privileged colleagues. Countless campaigns have been carried out to raise funds, groceries or PPE supplies.

For our part, we wanted to reinforce these causes and created this list after first checking that each campaign was transparent about its goal, how much it would raise for how many beneficiaries, who its organizers, etc.

In the middle of the year, our government announced the types of help it would extend to different communities, and this article highlighted those that were relevant to our readers.

Many of our readers come from the startup and SME ecosystem. So we wanted to pass this information on to you so that you can quickly decide which initiative to apply for.

Should You Start A Business With Your Spouse? It’s an age-old question that many business owners ask, but there is still no definitive answer. After all, it’s personal.

But we’re no strangers to couple-run businesses in Malaysia. Some have lasted for years and become popular brands, proving that it is indeed possible to manage personal and professional affairs even when their lines are blurred.

How many young millennials do you know who would say they want to run a street vendor business? Most likely none, I’d bet. However, Shian is different. She had always known that the future of cooking was ahead of her.

After graduating from high school, she worked full time at Uncle Soon Fried Rice and took over the business from her parents. A few years later, she opened several branches of the brand in areas saturated with students, her main customers.

Same Tham knew the modeling industry needed to change when 12 years later they were still faced with archaic and slow hiring processes. To fix this, he launched an app called Modello.

This gives the brands full control over the hiring process themselves, and talents who match the job requirements are notified immediately. The pandemic has slowed its progress a bit, but at the time of this writing they expect it to break even very soon.

With 8 more years to go before it reached a century of operations, Yut Kee has a rich history and solid fan base behind it. Formerly located in Jalan Dang Wangi, it is now along Jalan Kamunting.

One thing that has remained constant is the chicken chop family recipe that has been passed down and has fed several generations of Malaysian families. However, when we interviewed Mervyn Lee, the current owner of Yut Kee and grandson of its founder, we learned that this business may end upon his retirement.

If you’re an avid café-hopper, you would no doubt have been to, or at least heard of, Pokok.KL. It is an extremely Instagrammable greenhouse café that can serve up to 400 people / weekday and 1,000 people / weekend (before the pandemic).

The popularity soared and actually gave the founders an opportunity to expand their reach in the Malaysian F&B scene. They ended up forming the Brickhouse Group to manage their various brands, including Pokok.KL.

Think of fried rice and eggs and now the face, voice, and orange shirt come to mind. Uncle Roger is Nigel Ng outside of these YouTube videos and he’s a busy Malaysian comedian in the UK.

Vulcan Post got the chance to interview him despite his schedule, and we have learned that while he is in doubt that he will reach such virality again anytime soon, he is content with the steady growth of his career.

For a startup that only started in late 2019, 2020 must have been terrifying. With a concept quite unique in Malaysia, we had some doubts about its viability that co-founder Kim was confident of countering.

As proof of its strength, the brand has since celebrated its first anniversary in the midst of the ups and downs that stationary companies and companies in close contact had to face – an achievement that is no small feat.

To help Malaysians with the availability of cash, the government allowed employees to cut their EPF contributions for a period of time if necessary. Some of us were undecided and unsure what to look for before deciding to keep it or cut it down.

So we asked some well-known Malaysian financial bloggers for advice on how they personally handle their EPF contributions. Given how the government has re-announced this for 2021, we expect this information to be relevant for a while.

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As far as we can see, our best performing articles this year had topics that were inspirational or had practical advice / examples that others could emulate.

While we were constantly bombarded with bad news, it was nice to see stories that were uplifting or informative that put us at ease with certain decisions.

At Vulcan Post, we thank our readers for staying with us this year and hope that we have influenced their everyday lives. We’ll work hard to bring you even better content in 2021.

For now, take care and Happy New Year in advance!

  • You can find more articles on Malaysian startups here.

Selected image source: COCOdry / Anja Chong / Brickhouse Group

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