Diana Boo has joined Boost Holdings as executive director of marketing, reporting to CEO Sheyantha Abeykoon. This is a newly created role under Boost Holdings which was formed last June through a partnership between Axiata Digital and Great Eastern. The insurer invested US$70 million in Axiata Digital's financial services business through the newly formed holding company named Boost Holdings, taking a 21.875% stake in it while Axiata Digital holds the balance.
She joined from Lazada Malaysia where she was CMO for two years and told A+M previously that there was "an interesting job offer which [she] wanted to try out". During her time there, she won gold for Marketing Innovator of the Year and silver for CMO of the Year at A+M's Marketing Excellence Awards 2020. Before Lazada, she was with iflix and CtrlShift.
Boo told A+M this time round that the Malaysian and regional fintech space has been growing at a lightning pace over the past few years. Hence, it is an exciting industry to be in at the moment and there is so much the company can do to innovate and disrupt the status quo through an AI- and technology-backed finance ecosystem.
"Boost is a homegrown company built by Malaysians, for Malaysians and we are creating something special here. Being part of the larger Axiata family, we understand local pain points and have a unique perspective on Malaysian issues. This puts us in a strong position to do the most good and build solutions that have a positive impact on local communities. I’m thrilled to contribute and be part of this journey," she added.
When asked about the type of talent and skills she is hiring, Boo said while experience in the fintech industry is essential, most importantly, she is seeking individuals with the hunger, passion and drive to build a legacy. "There is a long road ahead with so much to accomplish and I hope to have a team of highly motivated people working collaboratively towards that goal," she said.
Abeykoon said he is delighted to welcome Boo on board to the senior leadership team at Boost Holdings. "As we look to grow our regional franchise as well as cement our position in the Malaysian market, with plans around digital banking and expanding our merchant proposition, Boo brings on board an invaluable set of experiences," he added. He also explained that Boo's track record as a well-known industry professional having worked with some of the largest regional digital brands was exactly the kind of leadership Boost Holdings was looking to bring into its marketing function.
Meanwhile, Boost Holdings will play a crucial role in Axiata Group's race for a digital banking licence. Last month, the Group formed a consortium with RHB Banking Group the licence with Boost Holdings owning 60% of the digital bank and RHB owning the remaining 40%. Celcom Axiata also signed up as a major commercial partner on joint go-to-market activities with the digital bank on products and services which will benefit the customers of both parties.
Axiata said previously that Boost Holdings' knowledge of customers via analytics and artificial intelligence will provide better customer solutions, product personalisation and risk-based pricing. Both parties also aim to expand on Boost Holdings' fintech experience developed through Aspirasi and the Boost eWallet.
According to Boo, a digital banking licence would allow the company to bring its financial services to more people and drive inclusivity particularly for the underserved segment. While Malaysia is a largely banked population, she explained that the underserved segment, individuals and MSMEs that the traditional banking system cannot cater to is significant. "With a digital banking licence, we can fill that gap and bring more people into the formal financial system," Boo added.
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