How did you start joining Amanz Media in the first place?
I have previous experience running a few start-ups prior to joining Amanz Media. I found out that Amanz Media was hiring a CEO, and I saw a lot of potential that lie beneath Amanz as a Malay tech-based website at that time. Most of the tech sites were in English, and I felt like it was indeed my call to take up the position. To date, I am already spearheading the company for nine years.Could you briefly share us more about Amanz Media’s offerings?
We have seven publications now, and most of them deliver news and content in Malay except for Nextrift
, which is dedicated to long-form tech stories in English. The uniqueness lies in presenting niches that are not frequently discussed in Malay language. Amanz.my
delivers all things tech and computing in Malay language, Tzkrh
revolves around Islamic content from a different angle, and Aksiz
focuses mainly one the gaming scene. Rnggt
’s niche is business and finance, and as for Tajria,
it revolves around female lifestyle. Qibod
on the other hand is an interactive learning platform by providing tutorials in Malay language. Essentially, Amanz Media’s foundation is to shape an informed community through the layman’s term approach.
We also have AmanzNXT, which is our future investment platform. We have seen a lot of start-ups come and go, but sometimes all a start-up needs is a small investment to project them into success. We have invested on few bold start-ups, which strive to deliver ideas that we deem to have the potential in shaping the future. These are our ways to give back to the community and high potential start-ups.What drives you to diversify the offerings of Amanz Media?
Diversifying the offerings has always been in my blueprint, but the planning needs to align with the tech advancement, one step at a time. We are indeed lucky as we started laying out our planning early, and the process has been executed rapidly in the past two to three years thanks to tech advancement and more mature audience.
Amanz Media mainly operates in Malay. Are there challenges that come with that?
A lot of tech terminologies are in English. As a Malay-centric publisher, one of our early challenges was translation. We refer to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka a lot, and we were facing difficulties to find the appropriate term that reflects the context accurately. However, a lot of PRs nowadays have begun to supply press releases in multiple languages, which signifies their acknowledgement of the necessity to reach out to respective audiences in their own tongues. Language-wise, the challenge is not that significant, however in our earlier days, there were people who were sceptical of our work by reducing our efforts to merely translating rather than ensuring the audience to be well-informed.
How does Amanz Media stand out from other tech media?
One of our fundamentals at Amanz Media is to write from our hearts. We indulge in press releases and reflect our understanding on the topics to resonate with the audience, as well as delivering more accurate information with a deeper context. We have our ways of explaining things in a simplified manner — it is a prerequisite for our writers. We fit ourselves in consumers’ shoes when it comes to our work by understanding the importance of the topics before writing them down. This is the golden standard that we practice as ultimately, this can help us to engage the audience and get them hooked to our content.
How can PRs explore possible collaborations with Amanz Media’s offerings?
We do welcome opportunities to connect the consumers with more brands, as they would love to explore new, updated choices of products. It can be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Malay language is understandable by almost everyone in this country, and currently we are able to penetrate more than 50% of market share through our approach. We are indeed more than happy to welcome them all.
You are a start-up advocator. What are your thoughts on local start-ups scene?
I think one of the biggest challenges is the size of the consumers. We are a small country with only approximately 30 million citizens, but we undeniably have our distinct uniqueness where we can sell abroad as well. Taking animation start-ups for example, they are successful even in international leagues. Another challenge would be the limited funding avenue, which we can see some start-ups need to branch out to be bigger. There are some ‘blank period’ in our scene, and it is tougher to secure investments. Back then, we used to have grants worth RM100,000 for budding start-ups, but it was no longer in sight which is a new challenge for upcoming start-ups. It will be great to see bigger start-ups to give back to the community by investing in smaller start-ups in the long run.
What are your hopes for Amanz Media in the new decade?
It is going to be an interesting decade as there is always a new tech coming up every decade. I think it is not too far-fetched to say that phones are no longer as exciting as in the previous decade, but time will tell I suppose. However, we are seeing more artificial intelligence and industrial revolution 4.0 to take place, and there is a huge possibility to see more affordable smart houses and smart cars. Above all, for Amanz Media we are anticipating a bigger audience and recognising a new kind of audience in delivering better media consumption experience.