Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin, 40
Owner and Managing Director of MadCat World
By any measure, Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin has done extremely well.
Madcat World, the company she heads which aims to transform Malaysia into a hub for mobile content, has won a string of accolades including awards from ITEX 2010, 9th Invention & Innovation Awards 2010, represented Malaysia in 2010 Mobile Premier Awards in Barcelona and 2011 MEFFYS Awards in France and winner of the MSC Mobile Interactive Content Competition 2007 and APICTA Awards 2007.
But Nuraizah believes success is not about the individual, and this shows in her willingness to share, collaborate and mentor others.
“The pie is big enough for competitors to collaborate and work together. We need new people and new ideas to seed and generate the growth in mobile content and mobile industry,” she asserts.
With this spirit in mind, she proactively helps young and new entrepreneurs to market their ideas and content through MADCAT’s channels.
Since 2009, her team managed the Mobile Content Challenge where they scout for new ideas in universities and provide guidance in commercializing these ideas. “In 2010, we helped five teams become entrepreneurs,” she shares excitedly.
Nuraizah is also an EXCO member in WENA (Bumiputera Women Entrepreneur Network Association), which helps women build business networks, and a mentor with the Cradle Investment Program, where good ideas get the funding to help with the development of a prototype.
Though girls are leading the scholastic achievements in colleges and universities, they lack the courage and role models to be entrepreneurs, she points out. “Becoming an entrepreneur is a very difficult step for graduates to take and goes against what parents advocate for their children, unless we can create pathways that make it simpler – this includes having mentors and associations that help entrepreneurs.”
She points out, “We are lucky to be in Malaysia – anyone can be an entrepreneur here, regardless of your age, ethnicity and social status. The consumers and corporate world are very supportive of entrepreneurs and being a woman gives you an added advantage since women entrepreneurs are generally seen as honest and reliable people!”
At her alma mater Bukit Bintang Girls School, it was drilled into her head that young women could make a significant difference in our society. She still takes this to heart: “I’ve always believed that if you want to make a difference or feel that things could be done better, then step up and do it, don’t just complain!”