Cisco promotes strategy and ops lead to Malaysia MD

Cisco has appointed Hana Raja (pictured) as managing director for its Malaysia business ops. Raja brings with her 12 years’ experience in strategic planning, business management and leadership roles across various sectors. In her new role, Raja will focus on accelerating the digital transformation of customers across the country, working closely with Cisco’s partner ecosystem. She replaces Albert Chai, who is leaving Cisco after nearly 10 years with the company.

Prior to her new appointment, she was Cisco’s strategy and operations head for ASEAN for the past two years since 2019, while based in the Kuala Lumpur office. The company said that Raja has played a key role in driving Cisco's growth across the region in recent years, through a structured approach in strategy development, commercial excellence, performance improvement and behaviour change. Before Cisco, Raja was with Bain & Company, facilitating strategic transformation for companies in oil and gas, industrial goods, retail and automotive sectors across ASEAN, said Cisco.

Her time with Bain & Company as senior manager saw her leading project teams to drive transformations, such as the frontline transformation of a large retail organisation of about 1000 stores in Malaysia, as seen on her LinkedIn profile. She focused on enhancing customer experience and driving sales performance across each trade area, and also led the development of strategies and commercial excellence blueprints for clients, among other responsibilities.

Raja said she aims to drive sustainable long-term growth for Cisco Malaysia. “With the country’s increasing technological maturity, we have a unique opportunity to transform the way people, technology and partners connect, collaborate, and innovate,” said Raja, adding that she hopes to advance Malaysia into a secured, trusted digital economy where businesses, investors, and communities can seize the full potential of technology and its benefits.

Naveen Menon, president for Cisco ASEAN, thanked Chai for his close to a decade worth of contributions. He said that Raja’s appointment highlights its long-standing commitment to “retain top talent in the industry and getting the best leadership team on board”. He also said that Cisco is “best placed to partner with customers and help them succeed in their transformation” amidst the technology shift in Malaysia, adding that with Raja’s experience in Cisco and the ASEAN market, she is set to “bring a new wave of energy that strengthens Cisco’s vision to advance Malaysia’s digital economy vision.” 

Earlier in July, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation outlined its “Digital Investments Future5 (DIF5) Strategy”. The initiative comprises a five-year plan focusing on five key thrusts to attract investments and advance Malaysia’s digital economy in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint . In line with this, the MDEC has launched its Go-eCommerce Onboarding and Shop Malaysia Online campaigns as part of the Belanjawan 2021. This aims to help businesses to onboard onto eCommerce and ePayment platforms and hand out incentives to the rakyat t to encourage more online purchases from local businesses.

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