MDEC and Schott AG announce international IT competence centre

Strategic geographic location, multi-lingual and multi-cultural talents.

German multinational glass company Schott AG has announced the establishment of its newest international IT competence centre, Schott Asia IT Services Sdn Bhd (SAITS). The formation of the new IT competence centre is greatly supported by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead agency in digital transformation.

Located in Kuala Lumpur (KL), SAITS will take on a significant role within Schott IT, with a focus on consolidating the company’s IT services currently spread across different providers by bringing them under one roof. During the startup phase, the new IT competence center will help steer IT activities like virtualisation and cloud platform management, network and modern workplace services across 45 production plants and seven business units worldwide.

MDEC provided tremendous support in the establishment of SAITS in Malaysia, which was initially met with challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kamelinder Singh, Manager, New Investment, Investment and Grants Development at MDEC, assisted with mitigating the constraints and complexity caused by the pandemic and fast-tracked SAITS’ establishment.

Schott AG is a German multinational glass company specialising in the manufacturing of glass and glass-ceramics. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany and with a presence in 34 countries, the company is a highly-skilled partner of high-tech industries that range from healthcare and consumer electronics to optics, automotive and aerospace. In 1974, they established a production site in Penang.

As of the fiscal year of 2020, Schott has 16,500 employees worldwide, generating sales of €2.24 billion. The entity is owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the oldest foundations in Germany.

During his talk in the ongoing Malaysia Tech Month 2021 (MTM’21), Mirko Goetze, Vice President & Head of Regional Information Solutions, Schott AG, cited Malaysia’s strategic geographical location in the centre of Asia as one of the core factors the company chose to establish SAITS in KL.

Goetze added that Malaysia fulfils many requirements Schott needed as an ideal location, especially in the areas of IP and privacy law, staff turnover and loyalty, English skills, and familiarity with Western culture. The country’s multi-cultural, multi-lingual workforce is also listed as deciding factor, which is essential in supporting Schott’s global operations and SAITS’ diverse project team.

According to Goetze, Malaysia’s many digital investment incentives and initiatives are significant drivers. He cited the MSC Status – which offers tax incentives to foreign companies looking to start IT competence centres in Malaysia – as an example of Malaysia’s strong investment initiatives.

Additionally, Malaysia has stable and inexpensive infrastructure that facilitates the establishment of SAITS. The country also has a robust innovation sector that has cultivated regional unicorns such as Grab and Carsome.

As an indication of Malaysia’s strengths in digitally-skilled talents, Schott’s IT talent drive for SAITS saw more than 2,000 applicants and over 200 interviews conducted. Of that amount, 50 are related to T-Systems, 30 are to IBM systems, while 130 are on “others”. SAITS currently has a headcount of 30 highly-skilled IT staff and will grow to as many as 150 over the next 2-5 years, said Goetze.

“Our experiences in the last five to six months here in Malaysia owes a lot to MDEC and organisations like MIDA (Malaysia Investment Development Authority). Without their exceptional help, we could hardly make this happen,” he added.

Germany is Malaysia’s largest foreign investor from the European Union, and the establishment of SAITS shows continuous confidence of German companies in Malaysia. As of June 2020, a total of 461 manufacturing projects with German participation have been implemented in Malaysia, with investments totalling US$9.36 billion (RM33.31 billion), according to MIDA. These projects have created 47,277 jobs.

As of now, there are 27 active MSC Companies from Germany, providing IT and global business services (GBS). These include internationally renowned companies such as DHL, T-Systems and BMW.

“The establishment of the cutting-edge Schott Asia IT Services in Malaysia is testament to the continuous confidence German companies have for Malaysia as a premier destination for digital investments. This is also a step forward for MDEC’s ‘Digital Investments Future5 (DIF5) Strategy’, our five-year plan focusing on five key thrusts aimed at attracting investments and advancing Malaysia’s digital economy in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL),” said Raymond Siva, Senior Vice President (Investment) and Chief Marketing Officer, MDEC.

DIF5 seeks to unlock new drivers of growth in the digital economy by securing high-quality digital investments, and the formation of SAITS here has not only solidified Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN, but also brings the opportunity to develop and expand the country’s talent pool in line with MDEC’s vision of Malaysia 5.0, enabling a nation that is deeply integrated with technology, providing equitable digital opportunities to the people and businesses.










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