In 2006 Quintiq wanted to increase its presence in Asia Pacific. As always, my first step was to send an email to all our colleagues asking who would want to take up the role of Director for the Global Development Center we wanted to create. When I had a shortlist of 10 interested candidates, I asked each of them which location they’d prefer. With many choices available, such as India, Singapore and China, I was surprised that 7 out of 10 suggested Malaysia.

When I investigated their choices I found out that Gartner recommended Malaysia as the third best offshoring country in the world, immediately after the obvious no. 1 and 2: India and China. As I looked into the details (climate, education, business opportunities, infrastructure) Malaysia sounded more and more attractive.

So, two weeks later we stepped on a KLM flight to Malaysia to spend a week in Kuala Lumpur to figure out what to do. I had never been to South East Asia before and did not know what to expect. Malaysia blew me away. The hospitality and friendliness of people, the drive and professionalism of the candidates we spoke to, the fast-growing economy, the natural beauty of the country, the proficiency in English of virtually all people we spoke to. Within the week we were completely sold on Malaysia. Soon after, we had rented our first office, interviewed 14 candidates and offered seven people a job. All seven accepted, as they saw the great opportunities in our software and company. Incidentally, two of those first seven are now deputy directors of the GDC, showing that in a fast growing company there are many opportunities for advancement. Others have used the GDC as a springboard to the rest of the world. Nowadays, I see colleagues who originate in Malaysia in all of our offices, from the USA to Europe and Australia.

Looking back six years after founding the GDC, I am extremely happy with our choice and look forward to my next trip to our office in Malaysia.

A couple of years ago, I was invited by Malaysian business radio station, BFM, to talk about Quintiq’s decision to set up shop in Malaysia. You can listen to that interview at BFM.my