FedEx Empowers Future Entrepreneurs of Malaysia

by | Sep 8, 2023 | EDUCATION | 0 comments

Instilling an entrepreneurial spirit among students has numerous benefits for the future. It fosters innovation, problem-solving skills and an entrepreneurial mindset, equipping students with invaluable tools to embrace opportunities. This approach cultivates self-reliance, independent thinking and proactive problem-solving. Ultimately, it empowers students to become proactive, innovative and adaptable individuals, and well-prepared to seize future opportunities. 

Recently, FedEx Express / Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (FedEx / JA ITC) Malaysia concluded its local finals on June 20, advancing six winners to the upcoming regional finals in August to collaborate and compete with students from other Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) markets. 

Now in its 15th year, the FedEx / JA ITC empowers students with essential knowledge, hands-on experience, critical business and project management skills, nurturing them into visionary entrepreneurs ready to explore future opportunities. The programme has positively impacted more than 6,200 students in Malaysia. 

“Participants gain long-term benefits for future career prospects and the development of a global mindset through their involvement in the FedEx / JA ITC,” said Tien Long Woon, Managing Director, FedEx Express Malaysia. “The experience teaches them the importance of selflessness and creating something impactful for future generations. I feel immense personal satisfaction witnessing the impact and growth of the FedEx / JA ITC programme over the years. Inspiring the younger generation to surpass the limits of the previous generation and witnessing their passion brings me great joy in my work.” 

Tien Long Woon, Managing Director, FedEx Express Malaysia

In this year’s challenge, students were tasked to develop sustainable alternatives to single-use products for the South Africa market. This theme in the competition aligns with initiatives at FedEx as it works to achieve carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040. The six students representing Malaysia at the regional finals are MushroFoam DUO (Audric Kwan and Foong Sharlyne), THE PAPADAM ADDICTS (Lim Ann Nee and Phoemie Tan Sin Lin) and OrbGuard (Shavetha Gopi Chander and Aveenash Kumar). 

Let’s hear directly from the winning students about their experiences in the competition and beyond.

  1. Can you tell us about your experience participating in the FedEx / JA ITC? 

MushroFoam DUO (Foong Sharlyne): Participating in the competition was challenging yet enjoyable. We gained valuable insights into international trade and market entry strategies.

OrbGuard (Shavetha Gopi Chander): The challenge was exhilarating. We showcased our innovative product and strategies, competed with talented students and learned the importance of adaptability, critical thinking and effective communication.

THE PAPADAM ADDICTS (Phoemie Tan Sin Lin): The competition motivated me to put forth my best effort, develop new skills and challenge myself. 

  1. How did the FedEx / JA ITC contribute to your understanding of international trade and entrepreneurship?

MushroFoam DUO (Audric Kwan): The competition gave me an appreciation for the planning involved in the production and shipping of everyday items. It also made me realise the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, which increased my respect for them.

OrbGuard (Shavetha Gopi Chander): We gained hands-on experience in market research, global trends analysis and business strategy development. We learned about trade regulations, cultural differences and market competition. The challenge emphasised the importance of innovation, adaptability and problem-solving in entrepreneurship. Interacting with industry experts and receiving valuable feedback enhanced our knowledge and skills. Overall, the competition deepened my understanding of the global business environment and the qualities needed to succeed.

  1. What skills did you develop or enhance through your participation in the competition?

MushroFoam DUO (Foong Sharlyne): The competition allowed me to develop and enhance my entrepreneurial skills. Intensive research improved my ability to gather and analyse information. It fostered my communication skills, both in collaboration with my teammates and presenting ideas. It also encouraged me to think holistically and consider multiple perspectives simultaneously.

THE PAPADAM ADDICTS (Phoemie Tan Sin Lin): Participating in the competition enhanced my math skills, especially in calculating formulas like return on investment during the financial analysis. I also gained deeper knowledge in product distribution, sales, pricing, promotion and competition.

OrbGuard (Shavetha Gopi Chander): Participating in the competition enhanced my skills for personal and professional growth. I gained essential business knowledge, including market research, product development and financial analysis. The challenges we faced honed my analytical and problem-solving abilities. I improved my communication and presentation skills by effectively conveying our ideas. Working in a team improved my collaboration and teamwork skills. Overall, the competition provided me with a comprehensive skill set to help me embar on future endeavours in the business world.

  1. Can you share any memorable moments or highlights from your journey in the FedEx / JA ITC?

MushroFoam DUO (Foong Sharlyne): Winning the competition was the standout moment from my journey. However, the most cherished memories were the collaborative moments with my teammates, brainstorming ideas, calculating financials and constructing our presentation.

OrbGuard (Shavetha Gopi Chander): Presenting our product to the judges was a memorable highlight of the competition. The feeling of confidently explaining our idea and seeing their positive reactions was exhilarating. Interacting and collaborating with talented students from different schools was another rewarding experience. The intense brainstorming sessions, discussions and camaraderie within our team created unforgettable memories. Overall, the journey for me was filled with thrilling challenges, personal growth and cherished moments. 

  1. What advice would you give to future participants of the FedEx / JA ITC?

MushroFoam DUO (Audric Kwan): My advice would be to always persevere, as the process from concept to presentation requires a significant amount of time to develop. Additionally, it is important to have confidence in yourself and the product ideas you conceive.

OrbGuard (Aveenash Kumar): First of all, do not be afraid of the uncertainties the journey may bring, as fear can hinder your ability to excel. It is crucial to think outside the box and cultivate unique ideas. Embracing risks is an integral part of the journey. Nevertheless, working as a team will create beautiful memories and provide you with extensive knowledge of the business world that will be applicable in the future.

THE PAPADAM ADDICTS (Lim Ann Nee): My partner and I have always embraced the mentality that “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. To achieve victory in this competition, it begins with finding the right partner. Furthermore, conducting extensive research about the competition is crucial. For example, streaming previous year’s regional finals on social media provides a deeper understanding on best practices from the winners and connecting with experienced participants offers valuable insights. It is important to remember that even if you don’t succeed, you gain valuable knowledge throughout the entire journey. Failure is not a loss; it is a stepping stone to success.

  1. How do you plan to utilise the knowledge and skills gained from the competition in your future endeavours?

MushroFoam DUO (Audric Kwan): I intend to utilise the skills and knowledge gained from the competition as a guide for future entrepreneurial endeavours and product development.

MushroFoam DUO (Foong Sharlyne): The knowledge and skills acquired from the competition will be applied in various aspects of my future pursuits. I aim to utilise this knowledge in club activities, university projects and my professional development. Sharing these insights and skills with others, as well as future generations, is a priority to create a positive impact in international trade and entrepreneurship.

OrbGuard (Shavetha Gopi Chander): I plan to utilise my understanding of international trade to explore business opportunities globally and expand my network. The entrepreneurial skills acquired will guide me in launching ventures and embracing innovation. The experience has ignited my passion to create sustainable solutions and make a positive impact on society, which in turn will drive my future goals.

OrbGuard (Aveenash Kumar): I will apply the skills gained to develop my own profitable business and create sustainable products to combat global climate change.

THE PAPADAM ADDICTS (Phoemie Tan Sin Lin): I hope to participate in more of similar competitions and share what I have learned with friends and family to deepen their knowledge in international trade and entrepreneurship.

THE PAPADAM ADDICTS (Lim Ann Nee): I plan to seek more opportunities for practice and learning, including participating in similar competitions in the future.

At the ITC regional finals in August, students representing Malaysia collaborated and developed new business ideas in pairs with students from other randomly selected countries. This experience enhanced their comprehension of international trade and facilitated the exchange of ideas and experiences with teams from different backgrounds, thereby improving their international communication skills and approach to their work. Senior Executives from FedEx and programme facilitators provided invaluable insights and learnings, enriching the students’ understanding of the industry.