24 July 2018

On the 14th of July, AUSMAT Sunway’s Business Management & Enterprise (BME) Subject team organized their inaugural Innovation & Production Management Seminar 2018 for over 330 students taking this subject. This seminar was held in conjunction with a BME assessment whereby students would prepare a report based on what they have learnt from the invited speakers during the parallel sessions, promoting critical thinking skills in a real case situation. The esteemed invited speakers came from prominent Malaysian and multinational companies. They are Ms Aida Azmi (Director of Strategy & Operations from Teach for Malaysia), Mr Sashi Ambi (Head of Corporate Communications from BMW Group Malaysia), Mr Benny Wong (Deputy Head of Group Manufacturing Strategy of Daikin Malaysia), Ms Chen Wei Jia (Product & Engineering from Fave Malaysia) and Mr Sathish Komar Subramanian (Head of Operations, APAC from Petronas). Each speaker brought with them invaluable years of experience and knowledge from various industries ranging from automotive to oil and gas, e-commerce and HVAC, contributing to students’ practical learning experience.

Ms Aida was invited to conduct a Presentation Skills Workshop prior to four separate parallel sharing sessions by the other four speakers. Her experience in management consulting as well as external relations shone through as she emphasized the importance of drawing the audience towards the speaker rather than presentation aids. To be able to keep students fully engaged through the entire hour is a testament of her public speaking skills.

Meanwhile Mr Sashi of BMW Malaysia gave a rousing display of the history as well as innovative aspirations of this prominent automotive company to be the solution provider of future transportation. Students were educated about the tremendous culture of innovation and how important strategic alliances are rather than pure competition in a tech-based industry.

Mr Benny Wong of Daikin Malaysia spoke about many Japanese concepts of quality management and discipline. An example was the idea of Poka Yoke that emphasizes on mistake prevention while Karakuri carries the value of automation with wisdom. It was then no surprise (even though students were understandably impressed) when Mr Benny said that it took about 22 seconds to put together 1 unit of residential air-conditioning unit!

In the Fave session, Ms Wei Jia looked into digital media as a major platform for innovation. She stated, “It's about digitising payments, rewards, and everything you do.” Fave was the only company of the four that focused on digital content and after the session, students swarmed around Ms Wei Jia to ask all sorts of questions ranging from “Would you say the work place environment drive innovation?” to “How do you vet shops?”

As for Mr Sathish of Petronas, he spoke about their process based Quality Management System with a focus on being the supplier of choice. He introduced students to Petronas’ product range, more specifically on lubrication as well as its current and future plans. Being one of Malaysia’s largest brands, this opened students’ eyes to this prominent local industry.

Feedback from students (and lecturers!) demonstrated that this event was a tremendous success as it brought the subject matter to life and enabled learning through a flipped “classroom”. We are greatly appreciative of all the time and effort (and merchandize from some companies) generously offered by these invited speakers. We hope to make this a yearly event, to stay true to Sunway College’s motto by making this experience a Pathway to a Brighter Future!