ITea Time with Tarun

Tarun Interviews Jack

July 14, 2021 Tarun Sukhani Season 3 Episode 10
ITea Time with Tarun
Tarun Interviews Jack
Chapters
ITea Time with Tarun
Tarun Interviews Jack
Jul 14, 2021 Season 3 Episode 10
Tarun Sukhani

Jack from Axon Consultancy Sdn Bhd joined Tarun Sukhani for a wide ranging conversation over a cup of coffee in the ITea Time with Tarun.

Today, we share this news to invite you to enjoy this podcast that introduce Axon Consultancy and their Founder Mr. Jack. 

Jack has more than 25 years of experiences in Higher Education Management and was actively involved in managing colleges and universities. He comes with IT background and was a Full Stack Developer early in his career. 

He established Axon Consultancy with the aim to bring a career planning app to help people with their careers. His goal is delivering quality education at different levels to provide support the career planning app initiatives he has. More details on his firm's philosophy, direction, plans, visions and missions are all described in this podcast. 

If you would like to collaborate with Axon Consultancy,you are welcome to contact Jack via

👉 Linkedin; https://www.linkedin.com/in/lowjiunjack 
👉 Email, [email protected]
👉 Call/WhatsApp @+6012 615 9229 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/abundent)

Show Notes Transcript

Jack from Axon Consultancy Sdn Bhd joined Tarun Sukhani for a wide ranging conversation over a cup of coffee in the ITea Time with Tarun.

Today, we share this news to invite you to enjoy this podcast that introduce Axon Consultancy and their Founder Mr. Jack. 

Jack has more than 25 years of experiences in Higher Education Management and was actively involved in managing colleges and universities. He comes with IT background and was a Full Stack Developer early in his career. 

He established Axon Consultancy with the aim to bring a career planning app to help people with their careers. His goal is delivering quality education at different levels to provide support the career planning app initiatives he has. More details on his firm's philosophy, direction, plans, visions and missions are all described in this podcast. 

If you would like to collaborate with Axon Consultancy,you are welcome to contact Jack via

👉 Linkedin; https://www.linkedin.com/in/lowjiunjack 
👉 Email, [email protected]
👉 Call/WhatsApp @+6012 615 9229 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/abundent)

Tarun:

Hello, and welcome to another edition of ITea Time with Tarun. I'm your host, Tarun Sukhani, the Founder and CTO of Abundent, a Big Data Analytics and Digital Transformation company specializing in all things IR4. Today I'm honored to have Mr. Loh with me on the podcast Mr. Lowe or Jack as he would like to be called. Can you please take a moment to introduce yourself and provide a brief description of what you do at your company?

Jack:

Hello. You can call me Jack. Most of my friends also do that to me. Myself has been in education industry for 25 years in a boat. And over the years we have actually seen a lot of. People who needed help especially students who finishes the SPM. They do not have a sense of direction as to where they want to go. So my company focuses on an app development that helps people in findings suitable occupation based on their interests. That creates the environment that allows them to excel in their performance. Other than that, we also provide education in terms of top up degree, masters doctorate, as far as corporate training, we also helps young children in developing their hobbies so that they have something with them when they grow up, such as courses like singing or musics.

Tarun:

Okay. That's very interesting. So it's quite diverse. In terms of like what you're trying to achieve within your company maybe I wanted to delve more into these different aspects of your business, right. And essentially see how students can benefit from your program. So, let's get into this, test that people can that students could take to essentially allow them to choose the most appropriate career path for them. Can you talk more about this test that you're using?

Jack:

Yeah, sure. Actually this test started about 15 years ago when I was a principal in Johor baharu. We have came across many students. When we give talks in the schools, these students, they don't have a sense of what they want to do. So I spoke to a counselor, a licensed counselor. I have to acknowledge here. Her name is Cindy. Cindy has been a very kind to help me by providing me the formula that is being used to identify the, something of it called as riasac code. This riasac code is actually a formula devised by a professor Dr. John Holland, who is a researcher in the United States. So I extended what I learned from her and put it into computer by allowing people to do a test online. So Cindy has actually developed this set of question and reports. So what we did was we have written to the us department of labor asking for the approval. So U S department of labor given us approval to actually use their database, to match the interest of people that created the kind of environment and the job, which they have research that requires the kind of requirements. So these two has been matched up together by doing so a particular student who, or user who uses this system will be able to look at the kind of occupations that best fit well for his interests, for example persons who are more social or he would fit more into jobs like being a teacher. So this kind of matching will be created during when a student's is using our system.

Tarun:

Okay. Now I wanted to get more into this, what was his name, Richard Holland or is that the correct name?

Jack:

Professor John Holland

Tarun:

Professor John Holland. And his system that you kind of digitized, right. You kind of like digitized that system and made it available so that people can actually you know, take that test online. Can you explain more about that system and why you feel it was effective?

Jack:

Yes, the beauty of this system or his formula, that is the crush of the whole thing. His formula was actually invented about eight years ago and it has been the most widely tested formula among the scholars 3000 reports, you know, as of last year. And it is still so in arrow was the interest, the environment and the occupation has a very strong core relationship. And this test is not only used. In US but he has been tested worldwide. He has been tested. So what we have in using his formula is that we actually has the whole 300 questions that was developed by seeing and the students want me to answer each one of them by indicating what he likes and what he don't likes. So we compute the information and matches it against the big data that we have got authorization from US Why we do this with US is because they are the only one that has been constantly doing this mapping by talking to the different position holders or observing the environment that the design position holders. And put up this kind of information available, provides a psychometric test and they charge a fee to this kind of psychometric test report. Some is charging US dollar 25 per report, and we are giving unlimited access to our user for free.

Tarun:

Okay. Very good. So yeah, actually I was just checking out the website and it's quite interesting because it kind of partitions them into like building thinking, creating, helping persuading and organizing. And that's kind of like a principle that they're using in order to define major job categories. Right. And I think that's the central crux of, of their system. Now, I mean, there are other kinds of psychometric, tests out there, the most famous one Myers-Briggs. So how, does this relate with personality? Is there any correlation between personality and kind of like career type path?

Jack:

I would say that it hasn't has their own uniqueness. It's very hard for us to do a comparison with other tasks because some task focuses on attitude Some task focuses on certain skillset, some task focused us on how the brain things. For example my staff is also Charlie certify debriefer. So Charlie is another system that helps to identify as a person's talent. And I'm quite familiar with that system also they, they all has a different focus. So if I were to look at my what I have chosen for this purpose is because number one, this is the only formula that has the longest spending. All right. And number two, it is simple, right? It is very simple for form three form four, form five students we use. It's not complicated, Because of course there are some other systems like D I S E all right. We should also do a different kind of Analysis or profile or to an individual. However every counselor that I aim to provide the system to use is also familiar during their training about this rise formula. This pro that's developed by professor John Holland is a part of the syllabus, basically. So with this arrangement that we have we aim not to be the counselor, but we aim to equip the counselor with tools that they can use to help children or working adults likewise children or working adults who are lost. They can actually just use our system, read the report if they do not want to talk to anyone. Of course, if they wish to talk to someone, they can just print it out, go to the school counselor, any counselor in the world who know this system without additional training.

Tarun:

Okay. Interesting. So yeah, I think that's a very interesting in a way of assessing, students and then trying to kind of fit them into a future career. Now, coupled with that, right. You're also offering trainings and things of that nature. What, is happening within the trainings that you're conducting? Is it supposed to compliment what you're doing on the career to the placement side? What types of trainings do you do?

Jack:

All right. There are a few Australians, that we do We start from working adults execute teams, we provide them MBA or DBA courses. These courses, we actually collaborate with UK and also French university to bring to the people in Malaysia who did not have the opportunity to further their studies.

Tarun:

This through Meritus because I think there's a university mentioned Meritus university of Malaysia.

Jack:

Meritus was one of the University that I serve before but I'm now collaborating with the London examination board, the Brittany university. We are also leading students to university of south Wales qualification on MBA. So these are a different arrangement that we have. I also have a Richmond with a play mode university, so students can also further studies to that university. So all these are foreign universities and we choose to work with them is because they don't fall into Malaysia qualification, hence, those individuals for example, only having SPM but has been our managing director for the past 10 years. They can actually come to us to do their studies and gain and proper MBA qualification that is worldwide recognized through our distance learning arrangement and the profit that we actually make from it is use to sustain the system that we are giving back to the society. And we also use that to do our research in people a month and update the system as well.

Tarun:

Okay. So, I mean, this would be kind of like professional development related, right? Because basically these individuals would for example, a typical candidate could be someone who's already gainfully employed and they may not have the requisite academic credentials to go with their position. And so they would say, well, I should get an MBA because I am a manager for instance.

Jack:

Especially a lot of business owner there, they are not employing staff who have an MBA, but they only have themselves an Spm So some of them would like to earn an MBA so that they go in power and they can decide go to the business together with their colleagues, and together we are all as one MBA team rather than I only have an MBA team. All right. So that this kind of arrangement that we have helped them to pursue a proper qualification. Secondly, also for some people who wants to venture into academia teaching or research around, but prior to this, they never had that chance. So this will give them the alternative partway,

Tarun:

But this is of course more for regular doctorate programs that, or is it by research as well? I mean, is it also PhD?

Jack:

Mainly is regular doctorate in business administration or a doctorate both also I have arranged for

Tarun:

Interesting. Okay. So, and by the way, just to get a handle, I mean, how long did the doctorates take? I mean, MBAs usually typically take two years, right?

Jack:

Yeah. Yeah. It's it's nearly about 2 years. The doctorate is also about two years. If a person is aggressive, he can actually finish in one year because it's a distance learning program, so it's manageable.

Tarun:

Right. Okay. Interesting. And I think, there was a few other things that you mentioned We can delve into the other aspects of your business. That you're focusing on.

Jack:

Yeah. So the other one that I can share with you is on corporate training, we provide a certification cost on business strategies. Many companies, they have managers, right? And they always call them managers for meetings and discuss about strategy, business strategies, but not realizing that perhaps some of those who have been called for a business strategy planning, it doesn't have the holistic view of the business, or even the industry. Some people were born or being trained over a year, just to focus on a day to day tomorrow's problem, rather than a holistic, how the business or which direction the business wants to move. We provide a training and a test to confirm whether this person has the capacity to think along that direction, right. That a company wanted to have from a holistic view point. Other than this, we also provide very niche training for businesses like sustainability. We also provide voice production, for example, like, a lot of people nowadays, they go to internet zoom meeting or a video conference call using Google meet or Microsoft team, or, all kinds of system. And because they were not sure about their voice and also they were not comfortable with the screen. They tend to use a wrong tone of pitch when they speak resulting of that, a good presenter might lose out their customer's attention because of a voice being too high.

Tarun:

Cause it's a different medium, right? I mean, it's obviously it's not live. Right. So you have to behave differently and speak differently if you're doing it

Jack:

Yes because in a face-to-face environment, we get to hear what the other side hears, but in a video conference call, we don't get to hear what the other side hear .We can only imagine and often we have been somehow nil in our brain feeling that if the other side is not responding or we don't hear our own voice we have to raise the voice because is an issue of conflict So this kind of training is important to help the execute or managers. To go back to their normal in an abnormal situation.

Tarun:

Right, Very valuable stuff. So, basically there's a number of things that you're doing, on, of course, on the career path side, getting students employed on the formal education side, getting the right credentials in place. And then on the corporate training side, you've talked about strategy, presentation, a number of skills that working professionals should have right. To effectively do business. So it from what I can see your company is more business oriented. Is that correct to say that it's, more oriented towards the needs of working business profiles?

Jack:

Yes. My company is a business oriented organization but at the same time we also devoted. For sustain the ability to the community. One of the efforts that we do of course, other than providing the the app of free to help people to find their future. We also do our part of sustainability in terms of human capita or mental health, because a lot of people, at least in my experience, I have seen that they have lost or they have forgotten what their hobbies were. So we actually does, by providing this kind of classes at the moment, I'm starting with music and drama of course adults, we do provide classes so that they have choirs or individual solo singing or group singing. Also we provide for children, right? Children's is drama voice control and of course rythm tunes and so on. So we provide this kind of training and our company does, it is not for the profit, but more for giving to the society so that it's not only the direction that we are providing them, but also the sight line that they bring with them. Especially when one day when the students go back to the workforce or when they enter the workforce in the back of their mind, they will still be having all these hobbies that they can practice whenever that they can do, right in the car or at home with the children. So it's a long-term thing that we want to have it sustain all the way, not just education.

Tarun:

Right. So basically creating like a more holistic person and, and that is kind of like more of your social entrepreneurship or sustainability CSR kind of efforts correct?

Jack:

I'm not sure whether we can called that as a CSR or not because we do charge a fee, but we are not making profit from it. No, we are just charging in to pay for example, traveling costs of the teacher. We in charge from the corporate training, the development around, we use that pay the development of the the app. Of course, there will be still some left over. So definitely it's a profit oriented business that we are aiming. But we want to play a bigger role in the society rather than the other way around.

Tarun:

Right. Okay. Is there anything else that you wanted to add to kind of your company's lines of business? Or do you think that pretty much covers it? And I guess we could move on to two other topics.

Jack:

Just to share with you that how serious we are in education. I have noticed even some of these schools, they are not willing to rest during pandemic, but on the other side, we have invested more than 150,000 to do research and development and the urgent one to make a hybrid classroom, meaning that having a students in the classroom and allowing students who do not want to come to join a class using zoom at the same time, we, the students in the classroom and both people, those who are in the classroom, and those would join online and have assignment on us discussions or even interaction. During a training and we have successfully done this through our corporate classes on human resource training, labor laws, we also have done this successfully for our MBA courses, like change management project management Plaza. And I even have used this to sponsor and also for us to do as a proof of concept on massaging, training on how to do postnatal massage, and it was very successful. So this is some new development that we do in making sure that good quality education is being maintained during, or even after the pandemic. And we benefited this because also with a proven solution like this. Well, we are expanding our education, not only within Malaysia, but also to China. We are now starting to do marketing, to train them. We have some partners who are also helping us to recruit students from China. Students from China, actually study our course without coming to Malaysia and join a physical class. So this new expansion that we are enjoining from this pandemic.

Tarun:

Okay. Very good. I'm not sure if you know much about our company, but we're more focused on the IT side of things. So, we were focused more on IT training IT consultancy IT development and we do also focus on career types, but again, we're focused on it career types. Right. So, we take more of an it bent everything. Right. So, actually we've created our own system. That's very much akin to the Myers-Briggs, like 16 personalities, but we have 16 it career types. So we've developed our own questionnaire for that. And it's kind of like the rising system you've mentioned. But again with a focus on it because it now has become such a ubiquitous, thing in our lives it's ever present. And also it has become far more expansive. There's been a lot more careers created in the last 10, 15 years than have ever existed before. And spread out across many different it divisions. Right. I felt that it was the time was essentially right for kind of helping people to find what is the right career path in terms of it only, right. If they, are IT students and they want to know, Hey, what can I do in the workplace? Right. There's so many different job categories.

Jack:

In fact, myself, is a IT graduate, I got my masters in information system, information technology from the Q university. Yeah. So I was a full stack developer before, student management system, online results and all these kind of systems back in 1998.

Tarun:

Exactly. And we're kind of working on those systems now for training, for fully automated training. So I think that, yeah, of course technology has been there. These systems have been there for decades. Just like word processors have but they've evolved through the years, so to speak right. Now of course, most people are using word processors online, right. In the cloud. I guess that's where education is moving as well. So I guess all of these technologies, we call them edutech right. Educational technology. Right. If you want to kind of like group them together. So I think that we do share a lot in common in terms of like what we're trying to achieve. We don't, of course focus on the academic side. We don't have any academic partnerships. But maybe that can change especially given that that you've done a very successful kind of balancing act right, where you're kind of combining corporate training and what we call formal education together. Right. So maybe that is something that we can also talk about, offline. That seems quite interesting. So now I think getting back to looking at your kind of career path what kind of led you from being, as you said, a full stack developer, it, because you were in IT right. For, I'm assuming in some period of time, what kind of got you interested in doing this kind of business?

Jack:

I actually love IT since 10 years old back then wasn't, apple II computer and I learned something, they call it logo, where there's a triangle that we learn, some logical thinking and some basic computer, four miles from there. I started learning into programming database and I went into websites so over the years I actually developed softwares and to such a point. I was developing Oracle that, that uses Oracle database replications. I, one day I told myself that it's time, that I need to move out from it because looking at it is interesting and it's very exciting, something that I really passionate about, but I felt that I want to give back to the society and it is not the it's not the success. The platform is not big enough for me. So I started to venture into education management and I'm also thankful to my boss back then. His name is Kevin Pereira and Sydney Perera who have given me the support. All right to venture into education management. So they spent time coaching me, guiding me. So I learned, a lot of education management and going to give talks in schools, you all learning, talking to students, teachers, parents, and so on. So that is when I start seeing that there is a major problem that we can help, among all these school students. And that is where the trigger point allows me to start bringing my problem. My students Pablo to CMDB who is a counselor that helped me to bring me into rhizoc and taught me about it. So of course I'm thankful to them and that leads me to where am I today?

Tarun:

Okay, interesting. So I guess you kind of delved into education management and that's how you got into these programs. And, what are your goals and aspirations? What do you hope to achieve in the future?

Jack:

In the future, I aim to set up a new university with a few friends and we are now trying to get people who have interests to have a combination of practitioner industrial, real practitioners, academia who have people delivering courses that niche and focused. For the industry requirement so that everyone graduates from this new university will be trained the way the industry wanted it. And also academically will be sound. If you look at my company logo, you will see is actually two circles which basically stands in the mathematic is a union sign. But for me is a sign of 2% combined together, right. Or two brains combined together, or two expertise combined together to make one success project. Okay. And this is what I believe that we want to bring to the people. So this news, it means that we are now trying to put together and we are inviting anyone who are interested to contact us to work together because we want to help the industry by giving the right training. So to have the right to name, the academic, we'll have to provide academic input yet the initially must also come and play a part together with the academics so that, the academic don't teach what is not useful for the industry and the industry can tell or the wisdom, right. For a success practice, to be followed by the student so that during the whole degree or diploma training, the student will have enough practical and real life exposure because of a combination of both. So to answer your question, yes exon consultancy is still is our step one, step two we are actually moving towards a larger skew of training that to provide everyone the kind of training that is the suitable for them, that they can make a good contribution back to the society. Of course there are also some very niche research based studies where also, the industrial research and the economic world come in and, they will do it together so that they are also strong from research work, that will be set up in this new university.

Tarun:

Right. So that seems very interesting. Endeavor is kind of like combining the best of academia and the best of, practical, vocational training, kind of like together into one program. So yeah, I mean, definitely someone like me would definitely be interested in participating and I'm sure a lot of other people who kind of have of course issues with just traditional academia would want to see that system improved, right?

Jack:

Yes. In fact, I spoke to a lot of friends who are also very excited for this. Give you one example, a friend of mine who runs a software house, perhaps very near to what you are doing. They have been having problems to recruit programmers because many students who finish on those kinds of training we're not taught the kind of programming techniques that is required even logical thinking skills or sometime it's rather war. Right. They, were using these are M VP kind of framework, if I've not forgotten the name,

Tarun:

NBC model view controller.

Jack:

Right, so a lot of students, they do really have a practical exposure to it. And this software house, they have a problem. They say, what am I going to do? I can't be training them about all this from scratch. Neither, they don't know about then if they're coming, they going to screw up my program or they going to mess up the software codes.

Tarun:

Yeah. I mean, of course I had the same dilemma when we were developing our API framework. And because we use an MVC framework, like everybody else. But, I guess the reality is, is that yeah, I mean, a lot of very few students go beyond, what they've learned in school and maybe check blogs, check, articles and everything on how to do things in the real world. But ideally that stuff should be taught in the classroom. And maybe in partnership with companies, right. So companies, for example could say, well, this is like, something we need done. If you can do this within a classroom setting where you use it to teach, that's fine by us, so, there's methods and methodologies by which companies can work with academia, maybe in this type of university setting this kind of hybrid university setting whereby students who graduate right. Can get on the ground running, without any additional training required. well, I mean, because in our company, because we're doing the same thing, we're actually devising these programs now on how to get students quickly up to speed. So that they're productive when they join. And one of the things that we focused on was of course, mentorship and the senior junior developer relationship. Right. So that's one aspect of it. And the other aspect of it is targeted on the job training because, there are some things that should be learned on the job, and then there's some things that should be learned off of the job. And so making sure that we had that right division there is important, because we don't want a student to learn, like, basic JavaScript on the job. We would want them to learn about the business model of the company on the job or how they build out their, their architecture on the job we'd want them to learn that on the job, but we wouldn't want them to learn basic things on the job

Jack:

Even in our opinion when we set up this university, we even don't mind to come to a level where at a certain point, the student will be spending five days practice doing for within the company and that would be mark. And then the other two day is more on the lecturer teaching so that as they study, they progressed

Tarun:

A hybrid system kind of like integrating the internship into the classroom, right? That is something that we were planning to do as well, but we don't have any relationships with academia. And anyway, if we approach anybody, they're going to say no, right. So, because they're married to their internship model, they're married to their existing revenue model or business model. So they're not that capable of changing So what is really required is a completely new institution, that could incorporate that

Jack:

set up this unit with me, we invite partners who will commit into this, commit means that they will also contribute to make this a success but not just saying yes very interesting I want to do it, but we want them to basically also commit to it. It is a hundred percent sure it will be profitable, especially after the first one or two batches of students graduated. The proof of concept was spread around, showing that success stories, success, case studies, people will be just jumping in.

Tarun:

Been a CTO for a long, time. if it's profitable, then of course I don't see why not. Right. It would be win-win for people Cause I've headed up it departments for many years. And so yeah, I mean the, the biggest issue is obviously been, onboarding, right? Getting them up to speed as quickly as possible. And there's a lot that companies can do on their software setup side. Scripting and everything so that it's very easy to get your environment up and running. And there's a lot of things they can do on that side, standardization, modularization so that any new employee can get up and running in terms of the tooling very quickly. So that's a lot of what companies can do. But on the, actual learning side, learning about the business model, learning about the architecture and everything like that the students have to learn in school about what does an enterprise architecture actually entail what is commonly used and things like that. So that before they enter they would recognize what they see. Right. And they'd be able to adapt to it very quickly. So that kind of patience is what is missing

Jack:

and on top of it, the attitude and the personal development of the students is also a job that requires both the academia and the industry to work together. It's not a one way to get

Tarun:

I think actually, because I'm offering a book on all of this stuff and, I talk about the three literacies, so there's human literacy, there's data literacy and there's digital literacy, so I talk about those three literacies and definitely what you've talked about falls under human literacy. Understanding the motivations of students, how to communicate with them effectively so that they don't get disheartened or demotivated or whatever. Cause at the end of the day you're managing, if they're fresh graduates or young entry-level people you're essentially managing young people. so that's one thing and then other aspects of it, have to do with, empathy and communication skills. So all of these things are kind of like wrapped up in, we've actually developed these programs in our own company and now we're attempting to formalize it and release it to the world. And this applies more within ITs'cause it's very specific toIT so we decided to do everything like very specific to IT

Jack:

One who have completed my test and they look at the list and sees something to do with IT they want to buy into it. They can go and use your app to find out exactly which portion of IT they can,

Tarun:

which career type would be appropriate.

Jack:

That is the whole idea of what we are doing. So we kind of like, when you're standing across the road, through us, there is a direction. Yeah, when you move forward, you will tend to dig further or go more in depth. And that is how the whole thing works.

Tarun:

Exactly. Yeah. So it looks like, we're definitely on the same page and we've done surveys. We know what students appearance and employers of course are complaining about. And I think we've all recognized, right. That the common denominator here is, what happens in academia or rather what doesn't happen in academia. Right. And ways of dealing with that.

Jack:

In America's university I watched a program here. So in terms of academia I'm also quite familiar and being a backdoor studies in Olympia college before leads me to see a very wide spectrum on the student's development and until today, I still very much believe that it's not only the knowledge that we need to develop on to the student. I very much adopt the concept of mind, body and soul, kind of a development.

Tarun:

I guess we would call it holistic development right of the individual.

Jack:

This the UCP is actually marching in line. ,A vision that we are moving towards too, right? So all this groundwork that we are doing now is to start getting people who are interested to work with to join force with and build up the whole thing and get back to the society together.

Tarun:

Right. Right. Well, I'm definitely on board with your vision. So because of course we share that vision. Yeah and definitely cause I've been in the IT industry also for 25 years. I've also been a university lecturer at four different universities here in Malaysia. So I've seen firsthand, where students and parents are complaining that, their students are kind of unprepared for the real world. So, and of course I was one of them, right. To some extent, where I was unprepared because I think this is shared across academia. Right. That they have this problem. So, definitely yeah. I think it's a great vision. So in terms of the challenges you've been facing, what are some of the challenges you're facing as you try to achieve these goals?

Jack:

Well, of course other than finance, which is a common challenge that everyone needs to dealt with. The other challenges is more on finding people who share the same philosophy, right. That is important for us because a lot of people would, might have shared the same output or the desire output but different philosophy. For me, the same philosophy is important because we all have to believe in the same thing rather than different beliefs. I just give you an individual experience example, some people believe that education means has to be shouting and scolding and punishing, but some people it's the other way around. The first part, and the second part will not gel together and eventually we'll break, if it's in the partnership on a long-term basis,. So in our situation, we want to find, the same kind of beliefs, people who will be the same beliefs who wants to move in the same direction, the same manner to work together rather than I want to do it my way. And this is not what I think you should be like.

Tarun:

This applies to employees as well. Right. So it's how do you approach people so that they can be maximumly productive.

Jack:

Because I treat every partner who work with me or join force with me as my wife, so to have a good family, we don't need to agree on everything, but the basics philosophy on how things should work would be the same what is right what is wrong should be the same.

Tarun:

Right. And at least the fundamentals should be agreed upon. I mean, definitely like if you get married, you better agree to like have children and running the household a certain way. Right. Otherwise it's just conflict everywhere. Right. So that agreement has to be there upfront, prior to the marriage, so to speak, right. I definitely get that. So one of the challenges definitely is finding, those that share your mindset, right? That share your philosophy.

Jack:

Yes. That is the biggest challenge other than findings.

Tarun:

Well, finance is the perennial challenge. I mean, that's, of course, the reason why people can't accomplish their goals right away, you have to go through a, a very roundabout way circuitous route to get to their goals. So in terms of, what you feel students should and actually, what do you think that universities should be doing to cater better to their students? Or do you believe that universities, as they currently stand, are fundamentally broken?

Jack:

For me. I have a different philosophy on how a university should function compared to what I had before partially is because how I was brought up and also partially because of my experiences when I was running colleges and also being a program head for university, I, believe that a university has to be a breach It has to be a collaborative breach, not someone, I will use the word, not the entity that is the taking the rights or what should, or what should not, but rather being a breach, festinating how, to help one, to have a better life in the same direction as what he has inspired him to be.

Tarun:

I think that's kind of like the Finnish education system, in Finland. Where essentially children are encouraged, to self explore, that they go out and find a focus because they know internally what they like right. And just explore that, the teachers are there to facilitate them to guide them on what are the right resources to look at right and then the students can kind of develop their own interests, so to speak. And then that would mature over time.

Jack:

Right. Unlike the philosophy of after education after I got my degree, that's where I stopped. We don't want that kind of thing. So the fundamental is to bring the students, and hold them in such a way that they will stand on their own, and we will lay out the boundaries, the framework for them and for them to move on. So computer graduates or computer science graduate from what we want to have, my not all of them were low PHP. Some of them might be in my no Jawa, modern PHP, because that is the route that they would have chosen, but certainly they were no, the industry wants a NPC or NBC, so that they will know how to apply them using the languages. And more importantly is that. They will learn how to learn the new languages, wish that desire to pick up.

Tarun:

Right so yeah, I mean, basically, I always tell, students and, and trainees, right. That you just have to learn what is the proper framework, right for knowledge acquisition. Right. And for analysis, right? So if you have the right framework for knowledge, acquisition, and analysis, basically you can learn any new language, human or digital and you can solve any problem

Jack:

Exactly. It's just like English. If that at this time, you need to use past tense that time it is present, tense these are the vocabulary you can do when you come to a situation that, you don't have that vocabulary look for the dictionary

Tarun:

Right, right. I mean, that dictionary is probably one of the simplest examples of how to do knowledge acquisition. Right. So what source to go to. I mean, like it's surprise to me that a lot of people don't even know how to use Google in its full glory. So to speak, right. The bullying and all this other stuff. Not include these search terms include those or literals, things like that. Right. If you're specifically looking for something. I think that's the problem is that there's no digital literacy either. So digital literacy would allow you to it's actually interact, but tools to maximize knowledge acquisition. And, data literacy would allow you to develop the kind of analytical and statistical skills to look at the world in the right way. Because a lot of people out there, they just have layman knowledge about the world, that's because the knowledge acquisition and now analytical tools are weak.

Jack:

And a lot of people get confused with too many information because they don't have the ability to know what is authentic and what is a lie or cheat

Tarun:

Right. But I mean, again, acquiring empirical, literacy like digital and data literacy and everything would allow them to solve those types of issues. Right. And in fact, effectively to come up with their own conclusions. So whether they're, whether or not other people. So, I mean, the other thing just, recognizing that what other people have to say is an opinion. And I think right. And, and I think that the problem is a lot of people put too much faith into other people's opinions. Right. Because they're not able to assess things on the road. I think there in lies and that applies in IT. It applies everywhere.

Jack:

We focused us on three main pillars. One is on business. One is on IT and one is on sustainability. So, anything that falls in this categories, we can fit in well with the UCP, it can be tourism business, it can be hospitality.

Tarun:

I mean, it doesn't matter because every business is a data business, right. Every, company is an IT company.

Jack:

Exactly. And we aim to let it focus, so that it helps the industry in terms of his focus development. And the best part is that for companies like yours, all right would ask IT it's not only you benefit from training the students to fit into the kind of requirements that you need, but also to promote research so that your company can have new intellectual property. That is a very unique proposition for growing companies or companies that wants to, have a niche, in the industry.

Tarun:

Yeah, exactly. So, that's one of our missions is essentially to teach IT students, effectively how to use tools for knowledge acquisition, and then how to use, data science and everything, public statistics in it and machine learning in order to analyze problems. Right. For problem solving and critical thinking. So, kind of like, producing the right type of IT staff, that the ones who are able to make cogent and coherent arguments about why things should be done a certain way.

Jack:

We are also promoting one more step further for example, like having data science. So the students who do some research, To create a kind of formula, that attracts certain kind of analyst that has never been there. So you become something but payment to your company using.

Tarun:

It just improving the way and maybe a company does one line of business, right or one business process,

Jack:

About 10 years ago, I attended a seminar in one of the hotel, they were having people doing analyst based on the text, that the person is expressing based on the President speech, so when the president is giving speech, people will start reacting, in Facebook and YouTube in LinkedIn. So they start downloading all these text messages and created an algorithm to analyze every word that has been used, in the text to identify what has been said by the President is more favorable to the people.

Tarun:

I always have a running joke. I said, you Piper and trust the words of politicians. So I don't know how much content there would be there.

Jack:

But this is more of a analyses on the reaction from the public, the position can say many things, but

Tarun:

The public reacts to it. Analyzing the reaction

Jack:

Imagine if your company has picked on these kinds of technology,

Tarun:

But, I think that, in the United States they've done this type of analysis. Right. And we can see that there's a lot of polarization in the United States. I think the job of politicians is to polarize people that's why we see that in the results. Right. And people's reactions like half of them, eight and half of them, like, but really they hate one another. So the reality is that yeah, it's divide and conquer basically. I think that's what the empirical evidence really showed is that the politicians are good at dividing and conquering. Right. Because the reactions are polar

Jack:

They, well, that is their job, so yeah.

Tarun:

So the analysis would reveal if a politician's doing a good job. Yeah.

Jack:

But then if you can imagine that what are the things that a teacher saying in the class that would be inferable by students to encourage them, to learn if the technology is used in such a way. Isn't that interesting also, isn't it.

Tarun:

Yeah. I mean, of course, it could be applied to pedagogy right. Where you can look at students' reactions and exactly formalize it.

Jack:

And then if the class are separated some students who are interested in this kind of topics. So this time break them into all those kinds of different things. And the students are then better motivated different classes by different teachers,.

Tarun:

Some people have thought about, doing that but then that gets into privacy and spyware, cause if every word is being analyzed there's definitely room for error. So I think, there has to be a more overall approach to it, multifaceted approach, but definitely, kind of like what that type of general analysis would definitely reveal is, which teachers are more effective than others, which techniques are more effective than others. And I think if that were the goal, then yeah, definitely. I'd be behind it. If the goal is to find fault with teachers words and things like that, then that's not a good thing.

Jack:

There are many things that, can be analyzed. For example, the reason case where a teacher who were making a joke about sex, agenda sex.

Tarun:

Yeah. That was a big scandal in Malaysia.

Jack:

So if someone did an analysis on that, it would be easily identified that. What are the kind of or the level of rebalance, that this kind of joke has impact, right?

Tarun:

Maybe like, I kind of like, think about it in terms of social progression, right? Cause I mean, that's the way the United States was in the 1950s, the United States was like that in the 1950s. Right. I mean, teachers used to joke about rape and things like that all the time and they had like slavery and the books and everything, they were just talking about it, matter of factly. But that's because, whatever the minorities or blacks or whatever, they didn't have any civil rights. Right. So they, couldn't contest it in court. Yes, but the moment they acquired civil rights immediately, they started going after the society in lawsuit, after lawsuit. And then, once the dominant society realized that they could be sued to death, so even if it's not a monetary thing, they didn't want to be stuck in court forever. That's not how they want to spend their lives. They just stopped doing it. But that doesn't fundamentally mean that they're not that way. I fundamentally think that a lot of these societies are still that way. It's just that the punishment for making it overt is huge whereas in Malaysia, they don't even have the civil rights. It's not like students can go to court and Sue a teacher, whereas in the United States you can do that.

Jack:

It's still very much related to the level of maturity.

Tarun:

My point is that's not true. United States is just as immature as Malaysia. The differences is that they have legal rights now so that you can take them to court. In Malaysia, the, the judiciary is very weak. And because there's no real sense of constitutionalism in Malaysia, like you can sack the chief justice any day, the prime minister can come in to sack the chief justice. You can't do that in United States. It's not like Donald Trump or Barack Obama could say, okay, Supreme court justice, as I fire you can't do that. But he, can't do that. He tried, but he can't do that. Right. So, the fact that, there's a strong sense of constitutionalism in Western countries is what forces people to behave a certain way. Not that they would normally behave that way. If you took away those laws then they would go back to that behavior. So the distinction is that, Malaysia they don't have any protection, they don't have any legal protection. So that's why the teachers take advantage because they know the students can't do anything.

Jack:

Of course the law, the legal rights is to help to frame and to protect, ones from being victimized. It will become a kind of a habitual thing that a person will refrain himself from even thinking about, saying things

Tarun:

That doesn't happen because I know because if you were to put a mic on those majority people, hot mic, right. Spy on them, right. They would talk the same way in private. It's just that their public persona changes. So, I think, cause we can see that happening like in the United States when the economy is bad,. The majority population act horribly cause that's the real personality. And so they're kind of emotion takes over, Even in the face of lawsuits, so they're willing to take that risk because now they're governed by their emotions. So I don't think it's a habit thing at all. I don't think that they're capable of changing. And it hasn't happened in 200 years in the United States, so I don't think it's going to happen any time soon.

Jack:

I think one of the next, at least 500 years we have war but I wouldn't be there to see anyway.

Tarun:

It's not going to happen in our lifetime. Setting up the legal framework basically discourages that type of behavior. But Malaysia doesn't have that legal framework. I mean, most of the lawsuits that you see are basically high-profile lawsuits among business people or politicians. The rest of the lawsuits if people can even afford it are handled, through lower courts or through arbitration 99% of all conflicts among the regular people in Malaysia are handled through arbitration.

Jack:

Yeah. There's are many losses in Malaysia,

Tarun:

Because they don't end up anywhere. They effectively end up in arbitration and they're decided, by some authority, unelected authority, but then Malaysia is kind of a under developed, right. When it comes to the legal, fraternity. It's it's underdeveloped. And then the other thing is, is that their laws are antiquated because it's just borrowed from colonial Britain, the same as to in India. So a lot of these conquered countries just adopted the legal, mandates of their conquers. And they're woefully inadequate for modern times.

Jack:

There's still a lot to do as far as the registration is concerned. So let the lawmakers do that job anyway.

Tarun:

But what we can say though, if we're talking about education, And whether, how to identify good teachers and bad teachers and what techniques work and what don't. You can do that. But not if you're focused on the granular,. You've got to look at it more holistically. Multi-faceted so yeah, I kind of fear, like, what is happening in the spice space, right? Because they're doing surveillance in the classrooms, monitoring emotions of students, monitoring emotions of teachers only looking for anger and things like that that tells you nothing. And there's a lot of false positives, right. So that's not the right way to do it. I kind of fear, that if we had in that direction, that would achieve the opposite of what we're trying to do. Very interesting.

Jack:

There are a few things that we don't do for example, like we don't do training for lawyers. We don't do trainings for doctors These are very concrete specifics and it's a different kind of combinations that is required to train these professionals. So we don't really do those kinds of trainings

Tarun:

That makes sense. I think we can definitely end this podcast I think we've gotten a lot of good you insight here and I see that, we're definitely on the same page in a lot of things. Just quite interesting.

Jack:

Yeah. It's very interesting because it touches about people and that is the whole idea that we want to solve.

Tarun:

Of course it starts with the individual, right. It starts with that individual learner. Then you have to look at the ecosystem around the people around that, and then the tooling around that, the processes around that, how can everything be optimized, so that the learning and growth experience is, the best it could be. And I think that we definitely share those goals. So great. So I think with that, I'd like to conclude this episode of ITEA time with Tarun So thank you Jack for your time.

Jack:

Thank you Tarun.