Early 2002 I was invited by NITC (The National IT Council, Malaysia) to participate in a national level project called Knowledge Asia
Youth Network (KayNET) designed to create online programs and killer applications and foster a new generation of local technocrats and online entrepreneurs. I assembled a team and we pitched a project in a very short timeframe.
Our contribution was a project called ‘Kerjaya.com’, a complete youth career development programme built on cutting-edge psychometric profiling technology that streamlines youth into suitable higher education courses and careers based on their measured interest and aptitude.
The system was to be interfaced through a web page, matching talent to corporations and academic institutions.
NITC was concerned to address the following issues through the Kaynet Project;
- Youth social problems and vices caused by social estrangement and or lack of purpose
- Dissatisfied youth and working adults in careers unsuitable to their personalities, aptitudes or psychological make-up which they choose out of ignorance or peer pressure
- Inculcating an IT culture that was modern, progressive and yet reflective of Malaysian values
Kerjaya.com met all the technical and commercial requirements and qualified as a community service while being fundamentally a government initiative and had a sustainable long term business model after the initial injection of RM 4.5 Million from the grant. The grant required us to raise the additional capital needed ourselves, and we we successfully raised RM 1.5 Million from private investors. Investors were sought and they committed almost immediately after a full presentation, recognizing the tremendous potential of the project.
As a young man just starting his career I got allot of valuable experience balancing a P&L and cash flow, making sales projections for 5 to 10 years to convince private investors, running an IT department and putting together the solution architecture on a J2EE framework from the original UML blueprints.
The Kerjaya Project qualified all aspects for the Demonstrator Application Grant Scheme (DAGS) and these were my fellow directors
- Joe Thurai (former GM of KFC Holdings) – Managing Director
- Leon Jackson (then junior Software Engineer) – Technical Head
- Allan Asir (from Talam Tractors) – Operations Head
- Khoo Chee Wai (Accountant) – Finance Head
- Simon See (Senior Software Engineer from AIG) – Consulting Architect