The objective is to provide the students an opportunity to hear first hand and gain insights from a successful top leader. The past ILS speakers are Managing Director from IBM Malaysia, Partner & Asia Pacific Managing Director of Frost & Sullivan, Country Head of Google, President and CEO of Siemens Malaysia, Managing Director of IDC Asia/Pacific.

Zalora Malaysia – Luca Barberis

Sharing top tips on starting and running a successful online business during the INTI Leadership Series was Luca Barberis, Managing Director of ZALORA Malaysia – easily one of the most recognisable online fashion boutiques among young fashionistas today.

ZALORA, which is only three years old this year, is already one of the leading online fashion destinations in Asia, operating in eight countries across the region. It boasts an extensive fashion collection of over 500 brands and designers.

Apart from bringing international brands to Malaysia, Barberis also ensures that local brands are included in their wide range of trendy clothing for men and women, by promoting fashion that combines Western and Eastern designs by top Malaysian designers.

Barberis shared that one of the most crucial factors to ensure success in the world of e-commerce is customer engagement.

“Our customers spend approximately 10 minutes shopping on ZALORA, which is significantly higher than the average time people spend on other websites, which is only 1.2 minutes. Our high level of engagement with our customers has enabled us to maintain our market share at a high 98%, and also provided us with the confidence that we are able to expand our market even further to make our brand accessible,” he said.

Barberis also stressed the importance of adopting the right marketing approach for the relevant target market based on customer behaviours, in order to build and sustain customer loyalty.

Understanding the growing trend among Gen Z to become entrepreneurs, Barberis’ advice to students who want to start their own online business is to focus on a niche market, as this narrows down competition and increases the chances of success.

When questioned about the future of online shopping in Malaysia, Barberis commented that it is an exciting time for e-commerce in the country, as the industry is still fairly new here and hence is poised for rapid growth.

Astro Malaysia – Jakeman Abdullah

“What are you willing to sacrifice for your dreams to come true?”

Jake Abdullah, better known as Jakeman from Hitz.FM, posed this question to students during the INTI Leadership Series.

Jake, who once started off as a regular announcer with Astro Radio, is now a symbol of success. He rose through the ranks to become the CEO of Malaysia’s largest satellite entertainment provider and is today dedicated to helping people grow – whether through mentoring the Martial Arts or as a life coach.

In sharing his experiences with INTI’s students, Jake spoke about individual and professional development, and the attributes of leadership necessary in today’s generation. He also shared his own personal experiences, highlighting how he overcame the challenges of seemingly invincible forces that hold us back from achieving our dreams.

“What value can you bring to your future companies? How resourceful are you in overcoming challenges at your workplace?” he asked, prompting students to think ahead about their future careers.

As a well-experienced professional who’s seen it all, Jake reminded students of the value of learning from one’s mistakes, and that practice makes perfect. He also emphasised the importance of building a strong network, leading by example, and empowering others to find their strengths and use it to their advantage.

General Electric Malaysia

To provide students an opportunity to gain valuable industry insights, INTI hosted a networking session between selected students and key talents from General Electric International Inc (GE) – a company that requires no introduction, as it ranks among the top 10 most valuable brands in the world for 2015, according to Forbes .

The session brought together 30 of GE’s outstanding leaders from various industries, including healthcare, oil and gas, aviation, as well as power and water supply services, from across the ASEAN region. They represented RISE, GE’s global leadership programme aimed at developing its highest performing people. Together with 50 of INTI’s brightest students from its Subang, Nilai and Kuala Lumpur campuses, these leaders spent half a day sharing their experiences and ideas, while opening up potential career pathways to the eager students.

In addressing the students, Vignesh Baboo, the ASEAN leader for University Relations & Programmes for GE’s Global Growth & Operations, shared, “We are in the business of building big things; your career could be one of them.”

Students were also introduced to the scale of GE’s operations spanning 170 countries, and learnt how each division was not only a business, but a major contributor to global development.

“Imagine when answering the question ‘what do you do?’ you say that you are part of a team that saves 3,000 lives a day, or launches an aircraft every two seconds, or provides more than 100 countries with cleaner and more efficient ways to power themselves?” Baboo further encouraged the students.

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