Vulcan Post Malaysia’s Top-Performing Articles Of 2020
With the 2020 chapter and its roller coaster of events drawing to a close, we thought it would be nice to pick up on the major Vulcan Post headlines this year.
As trends change, the focus of our content has also changed in our attempt to keep you all informed with relevant and interesting stories.
We’ve picked 15 from our list of Top Performing Articles for 2020 to give you a look at the year through what our readers resonated most with.
Warning: These articles are not arranged in a particular order, and each of these items is not sponsored.
30 Under 30 Asia is one of Forbes’ annual lists and highlights 300 exceptional individuals and entrepreneurs in the APAC region.
This year, 14 Malaysians from the finance and venture capital industry made the list. Since its release in April, when the pandemic was at its peak and negative news surrounded us, content as inspiring and light as it was a breath of fresh air.
As companies began to realize that sticking to the status quo was an outdated decision in light of the pandemic, they were pressured to innovate and pivot.
Right from the start, we spotted 7 companies talking about their quick pivots – whether it’s rolling out a new product, changing markets, or adding a new business strategy.
We then reached out to them to find out what their tipping points were, how quickly they went from ideation to execution, and how they were smoothing out the creases in the pivot.
Ryan and Karine’s story reminded us that even when unfortunate events can break you down, a simple change of mindset paired with a strong support system can be all we need to start to get back on our feet.
They are proof of this, as they rebuilt their lives and found a new purpose in helping other people improve their own lives, through a fitness community.
Pay cuts, layoffs, inability to find a job – three of the biggest problems plaguing the Malaysian workforce this year. Inspired by Audrey Mah, the ex-Community Lead of Klook and how she created a spreadsheet for her former colleagues to be hired, Allan Phang, a former employee of AirAsia, did the same.
For him, it was a small but powerful initiative, as a single person sharing the list could impact the lives of over 170 former employees on the list (at the time).
Faizul Ridzuan’s decision to purchase his AirAsia Cuti Cuti Malaysia unlimited RM399 pass was made in 10 minutes. At a time when many companies were downsizing, triggering pay cuts or closing their doors, it came as a shock.
“A company that offered its employees an interesting and quite impressive advantage in the midst of a pandemic?” We thought in disbelief. But there was more to the story than expected when we interviewed him.
Immediately after MCO’s announcement, Malaysia’s most privileged population quickly took action to help our less privileged counterparts. Countless campaigns have been put in place, whether it’s to raise money, food or PPE.
For our part, we wanted to amplify these causes, so we created this list after having first verified that each campaign was transparent with regard to its objective, how many would be collected for how many beneficiaries, who were its organizers, etc.
Midway through the year, our government announced the kinds of help it would provide to different communities, and this article highlighted which ones were relevant to our readers.
The majority of you are from the startup and SME ecosystem, so we wanted to share this information so you can make quick decisions on which initiative to apply for.
Should you start a business with your spouse? It’s an age-old question that many entrepreneurs ask themselves, but there is still no definitive answer. It’s personal, after all.
But in Malaysia, we are no strangers to couple-run businesses. Some have lasted for years and become popular brands, proving that it is indeed possible to run personal and professional affairs even when their boundaries can be blurred.
How many millennials do you know who would say they want to run a hawking business? Most likely none, I bet. Shian, however, is different. She had always known that a future of cooking awaited her.
Fresh out of high school, she worked full time for Uncle Soon Fried Rice, taking over the business from her parents. Several years later, she opened several branches of the brand in areas saturated with students, their main customers.
Same Tham knew the modeling industry needed a change when 12 years later they still struggled with archaic and slow recruiting processes. To solve this problem, he launched an application called Modello.
This gives the brands themselves full control over the recruiting process and talent who match the job requirements will be instantly notified. The pandemic has slowed their progress a bit, but they expect to break even very soon.
With 8 more years to go before he reaches a century of operations, Yut Kee has a rich history and a strong fan base behind her. Previously located at Jalan Dang Wangi, it now sits alongside Jalan Kamunting.
One thing that has remained constant is his family recipe for chicken chops which has been passed down and fed to several generations of Malaysian families. But when we interviewed Mervyn Lee, the current owner of Yut Kee and grandson of its founder, we learned that this business may end with his retirement.
If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you undoubtedly would have been to Pokok.KL, or at least heard of it. It is an extremely Instagrammable glass cafe that can serve up to 400 people / week and 1000 people / weekend (before the pandemic).
Its popularity skyrocketed and in fact opened up the opportunity for its founders to expand their reach into the Malaysian F&B scene, and they ended up creating Brickhouse Group to manage their multiple brands, Pokok.KL included.
Think egg fried rice and now his face, his voice and his iconic orange shirt come to mind. Uncle Roger is Nigel Ng outside of those YouTube videos, and he’s a very busy Malaysian comedian in the UK.
Vulcan Post was fortunate enough to interview him despite his schedule and we learned that while he doubts he will reach such virality again soon, he is happy with the steady growth of the career he enjoys doing. .
For a startup that had just launched at the end of 2019, the start of 2020 must have been terrifying. With a concept rather unique in Malaysia, we had several doubts about its ability to survive, which co-founder Kim could confidently counter.
As a testament to its courage, the brand has since celebrated its first anniversary amid the ups and downs that physical and close-contact businesses have faced, an achievement that is no small feat.
In an effort to help Malaysians have available cash, the government allowed employees to reduce their contributions to the EPF for a period of time if necessary. Some of us were undecided, did not know what to consider before opting to maintain or reduce it.
So we reached out to known Malaysian financial bloggers for advice on how they personally handle their contributions to the EPF. Given how the government has announced the same again for 2021, we expect this information to be relevant for some time to come.
– // –
From what we can see, our top performing posts this year had inspiring themes or practical tips / examples to emulate.
While we were constantly bombarded with bad news in every way possible, it was nice to see uplifting or informative stories that reassured us in specific decisions.
At Vulcan Post, we sincerely thank our readers for staying with us throughout this year and hope we have made an impact on your daily life. We will work hard to bring you even better content in 2021.
For now, beware and happy new year in advance!
- You can read more articles on Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: COCOdry / Anja Chong / Brickhouse Group
Our sincere thanks to