Sterling Member Spotlight

Meet the CEO: Malcolm Lee, MD/VP of Operations Asia Pacific, Dialight Penang Sdn Bhd

19 Jul 2022

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Dialight Penang Sdn Bhd, incorporated in April 2012, started its journey with Optoelectronics’ Through Hole and Prism business. In 2013, we expanded by bringing in-house moulding and growing our relationship with Optoelectronics. In 2018, Penang Dialight started to manufacture SSL (Solid State Lighting) for High Bay. In Malaysia, Dialight supports between 70% and 80% of Optoelectronics’ customers. Dialight Penang’s lighting business can provide unique support to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) regions with shorter lead-times, and superior customer service support, all within the regions’ time zones.

What are some of your organisation’s proudest moments/milestones in Malaysia?

Dialight Penang’s proudest moments in Malaysia are centred around the diversity of our team. All team members are committed to ensuring a safe and harmonious workplace regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds, by putting teamwork at the core of productivity and efficiency. Since the opening of the factory in 2012, a major milestone for Dialight Penang has been the expansion of our factory. We relocated from a small 3300m2 plant to an 8300m2 plant, where we have more space to enhance productivity, and to grow our production capabilities. The latest plant can cater for newer operations such as Surface Mounting Technology (SMT) and additional Solid-State Luminaries (SSL) lines.

Describe your operations and total investments in Malaysia to date.

Our operations in Penang consist of optoelectronic assembly, moulding, CNC machining and solid state lighting assembly. Dialight has invested close to USD 3 million in Penang on the relocation of our new building. Supporting our operations are our people, who are Dialight’s biggest asset. At Dialight, we have the right mix of technical and admin staff to support our operations in Penang. Our people have vast knowledge from diverse fields, and this helps us to adapt to, and grow with, the changing Malaysian market.

Based on your overall experience of doing business in Malaysia, name the advantages and challenges of doing business in Malaysia.

Dialight’s main strength in Malaysia is the people. We employ more than 200 people at our factory in Penang, across the segments of engineering, production, customer service and training, in addition to the development and testing of robust new industrial and hazardous area lighting products for mining, oil and gas, and manufacturing, along with our cutting-edge optoelectronic product lines. All our staff are highly educated and experienced in all facets of the electronic manufacturing industry.

How has your business evolved during this pandemic, especially in terms of optimisation of human and technology resources?

During the pandemic, we implemented an extensive range of measures to support and ensure our team’s safety, for those working on-site and at home. In these challenging times, it is not just about Dialight being a good employer, but also about giving back to the communities in which we operate in. The Dialight Foundation was established in June 2020, to transform the lives of people in need from our local communities, with a focus on supporting programmes related to children and women. Though COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented hardship, Dialight has continued to pioneer environmentally-friendly LED lighting technology and introduce market-leading innovations to ensure the safety and well-being of people working in harsh and hazardous industrial applications.

What recommendation or advice would you give to other companies looking to invest or do in business in Malaysia?

The best advice I would give to companies looking to invest or do business in Malaysia, is to take the plunge! Our experience in Malaysia, and in particular Penang, is that Malaysia is a thriving industrial hub. Malaysia is strategically located in one of APAC’s most successful free industrial zones, which provide excellent manufacturing capabilities and logistical infrastructure, enabling Dialight to meet faster production and delivery times for our cutting-edge range of LED lighting fixtures and optoelectronic products.

What are the top 3 reasons for your organisation joining the BMCC?

Dialight was drawn to BMCC as it provides us with opportunities to tap into Malaysia’s vast connections and networks, whilst also providing Dialight with exposure across APAC. We have a strong interest in engaging with Tier 1 companies across different industries. Being part of the BMCC has offered us a diverse selection of both established and bespoke connections. This in turn enhances our business dealings in Penang, and Malaysia on a broader scale. Dialight is also interested in the premium business events offered by the BMCC as we look to further connect with others and enhance our business.

What is the top value you see for yourself or your organisation in being a member of the BMCC?

For Dialight, membership of the BMCC translates into a vast web of connections, maximises our exposure, and enhances our network potential to elevate not only our business, but the LED lighting sector. The BMCC offers a unique platform to increase Dialight’s branding and exposure within APAC, and more specifically Malaysia.

In one sentence, how would you describe your own experience or your organisation’s experience as a member of the BMCC.

The BMCC experience translates into a vast web of connections, maximises Dialight’s exposure, and boosts our networking potential to elevate not only our business, but the LED lighting sector.