MDEC appoints head of newsroom to boost brand partnerships

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) appointed Dashika Gnaneswaran as senior manager, newsroom to bolster the brand and strategic partnerships department under the digital investments division. Gnaneswaran (pictured) brings local and international experience through driving strategic communications and building brands by working in areas such as public affairs, social impact projects, crisis communications and social media strategy. She will report directly to Raymond Siva, CMO and head of digital investments division.

She was most recently leading communications and nation building campaigns at Microsoft. Her job scope there included managing corporate strategy, championing brand advocacy and internal advisory, besides building media relationships and philanthropies plans. Prior to that, Gnaneswaran was at Kenanga Investment Bank where her responsibilities included brand management, marketing, digital communications and investor relations.

Gnaneswaran said she is driven by a passion to help bridge the digital divide through transformative mindsets, innovation and inclusivity. "I look forward to leveraging my experience to bring positive impact to those who can benefit with digital enablement and intervention most and I will give my fullest to support and accelerate the high impact work that MDEC does to transform the digital economy," she added.

Siva said Gnaneswaran brings 16 years of public and private sector experience spanning international and local organisations with her, and he is sure she will be an inspiration to the talents it currently has. "At MDEC we practice a continuous-learning mindset, enabling us to successfully drive high impact digital outreach for the society and economy. I am excited to have her lead our newsroom team and reshape the way we approach outreach and engagement with the people and industry," Siva added.

The digital investments division that Gnaneswaran is under was formed after a restructure carried out by MDEC last year, which honed in on four focus areas - digitally-powered businesses, digital investment, and digitally-skilled Malaysians. It also unveiled an operating council focusing on five divisions - strategy, adoption, industry, investment and brand, and skills and jobs. Following the restructure, MDEC also introduced its "Reinvent" mission, which CEO Surina Shukri recently explained that it includes bringing in exceptional talents with both private and public sector experience coupled with new approaches and thinking.

According to her, the main objective is to intensify MDEC's initiatives to grow Malaysia's digital economy, while navigating unprecedent disruption and opportunities in the new norm. She added that it will focus on enabling digital skills and jobs for the people, empowering digital and tech businesses, accelerating digital adoption and driving digital investments. 

“As part of MDEC’s ‘Reinvent’ - a strategic change management exercise that was recently launched to inculcate a high-performing and high-impact organisation - the agency continues to build capabilities internally while identifying the right skills for managerial roles. [This is] to ensure optimal performance of our departments," she said. Surina added that as MDEC enables Malaysia to achieve its vision of a people-first society in the age of the 4IR technology, it must also be equipped with the globally competitive talents.

To enhance its service delivery, MDEC recently introduced the input, output, outcome and impact valuation metrics in its planning process to guide resource allocation and utilisation, as well as to effectively measure the organisation’s socio-economic contribution to society. The organisation said it has begun cascading change within to ensure the processes run optimally at all levels.

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