INFINITIUM VALUES CAMPAIGN - INNOVATION COMMUNIQUE

29 Sep 2019

The #InfiniteHACK T-Shirt that organisers, judges and participants wore for the day

Walking into the Inifinitium Malaysia office just before the #InfiniteHACK Shark Tank session started proved to be stimulating. The main meeting room did resemble a shark tank of sorts – with its large glass doors and people in black T-shirts emblazoned with “#InfiniteHACK” moving in and out of it in preparation of the much-anticipated pitching session with the “investors” cum judges.

A kickstart to a series of initiatives on the Inifinitium values, the month-long Innovation Value Campaign across the 3 country offices was now at its peak that afternoon. The first of its kind in Infinitium, the #InfiniteHACK hackathon saw 10 teams coming together to stand a chance at winning the highly attractive prize money and a trophy. The six Malaysian teams, three Indonesian teams and one Singaporean team were formed on their own with the condition that it has to be cross-departmental.

Mr Mohd Hafidz a.k.a. Mo, the driving force behind the Innovation Value Campaign

As the Value Champion, Mr Mohd Hafidz a.k.a. Mo explained, this was to get out of developer-centricity and inculcate the participants with a new set of skills. Skills to identify, to think like a new millennial, to do design thinking, and to innovate were taught over the three weeks leading up to the hackathon. The three weeks had also allowed for participants to discuss ideas in finding solutions for real-life problems, and to also bond within their teams.

Toby, one of the organisers assisting Mo, shared that what he wanted participants to take away from the entire campaign was that teamwork is key. “No matter how tough you are, you cannot work things alone. Working in a team brings great results.” This was in line with Mo’s sentiments – the idea was for team members, even the quieter ones, to speak up, support each other, and know the subject matter. He added, “We want them to come up with new ideas that we could bring into the market, because it’s their ideas, it will bind the company to the staff much better because of the ownership.”

Mr Ho Ching Wee, Group CEO of Infinitium speaking to participants during their turn to pitch.

With having only 10am – 3pm to “hack” – developing final pitch and solution for submission by 3.30pm, the teams were high on adrenaline, and probably junk food and pizza courtesy of Mo and his team. A quick glance at the #InfiniteHACK agenda explained the added tension. Each team only had 10 minutes to pitch to the judges, who were none other than Mr Ho Ching Wee, Group CEO, Mr Shawn Tan, Director of Branding and PR, and Mr Chew Yee Long, COO. Even the Indonesian and Singaporean teams, who were presenting through video calls were subjected to the same strict timing rules.

Indonesian team Bizchannel_Lover$, take a wefie after pitching their idea on menu customisation

In an unconventional fashion, the hackathon was designed to not limit participants to Infinitium’s usual scope of payments. Some of the presented payments-related ideas included a fraud monitoring system, a consolidated e-wallet system, and an organiser for various bills payments. While ideas that were not within payments included human resource management, menu customisation for home cooking, and an AI-integrated queue management system.

Malaysian team Xlarge pitching their idea on AI - integrated queue management to the judges

Despite the various ideas that the different teams brought to the judges, each team was not spared when it came to the judges’ questions. The questions ranged from “Can this make money?” to “Are all of you from different departments?”, and sometimes a straight-up “How can this work?”. And yet, participants were not afraid to share and explain more about their ideas, emboldened by their once-in-a-lifetime platform to pitch their ideas to the C-suite of Infinitium. In between the seemingly daunting exchanges there was still in fact, generous amounts of friendly banter and encouragement from all around the judges’ table. The junk food-filled spectators seated at the back could attest to that.

Malaysian team Innovatium before their pitching session with the judges

A quick chat with Malaysian team Innovatium which came up with the idea of a consolidated e-wallet system, an app called BUTTR (to make payments as smooth as butter, mind you), gave a little more insight on their experience as participants. When asked to share their experiences as a team throughout the entire process, there was a unanimous agreement that working with each other was enjoyable, especially since they do not usually work with others outside their departments. However, they felt that they struggled in the business aspect of their pitch as they were lacking insight on the market, given their scope of day-to-day work.

The winning team, Srikandi Indonesia proved they had the largest bite

After much deliberation between the judges, the Indonesian team, Srikandi Indonesia won the Shark Tank session, earning them the highly attractive prize of RM3,000 and a trophy. Sticking to familiar ground, their knowledge and expertise working in Infinitium gave them a comprehensive understanding of the existing challenges in the industry which enabled them to ideate an innovative solution via their fraud monitoring system with Agile Methodology. Team XLarge on the other hand had a special mention for their ingenious idea to solve an everyday pain point of ticketing queue systems.

According to Ching Wee, innovation is beyond just the end-result. “It’s the journey that they go through together. Innovation is a culmination of a lot of things coming together to make it happen.” He added, “In my learnings, innovation is not always coming up with something from ground zero. It is the ability to reinvent the wheels by putting on a solutions-driven mindset. At Infinitium, we are committed to doing things with a difference.”

Mr Shawn Tan, Director of Brand and PR of Infinitium speaking to Indonesian participants via video call

Fellow judge, Shawn said that the kind of ideas that excited him during the session were the ones that bring real-life impact that even he could see himself and his peers using. Chew said that whereas for him, it was ideas that are relevant to the company, but he still appreciated the fresh and interesting ideas that were beyond Infinitum’s usual scope. As the evening came to an end, the organising team and judges finalised the scores which would be announced the following week.

Mr Chew Yee Long, COO of Infinitium, engaged in a teams’ presentation being done via video call

Innovation is a result of a solutions-driven mentality and a pioneering spirit, in response to the seasons and its changes. However, being an innovator is not just adapting to current trends. It is about coming up with potential ideas and solutions that will impact society and the marketplace. An innovative Infinitian thinks about setting the path, further widening and improving it for fellow Infinitians to collectively progress forward.


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