Dr. Mazlan Abbas, CEO of Favoriot, will appear in 3 slots at IoT Asia 2019, Singapore on March 2019. Beginning with the Unplugged Stage entitled When Reality Bites the Pie in the Sky – Why IoT Business Models Are Broken“. Later in the afternoon, Dr. Mazlan will give another opening talk on “Real World Problem Meets ioT – How Solutioning is Done in the Wild – The RAQIB Journey” followed by a Panel session on the topic “From Models to Real Tests of Viability“.

Panel Session – From Models to Real Tests of Viability


  • Phillip Seow, CEO & MD, Variantz, Singapore
  • Dr. Mazlan Abbas, Co-Founder & CEO, FAVORIOT, Malaysia
  • Terence Teo, MD of Anewtech Systems & President, Singapore Industrial Automation Association
  • Sven Yeo, Co-founder & CTO, Archisen, Singapore

Panelists representing SME views from different sectors will discuss the initial considerations & priorities that went into planning for their IoT business models, factors & dimensions that determine what is viable e.g. what led to the decision to deploy IoT tech (why now?), the role of partners, insights into their business or sectoral context, market trends, regulatory & financial landscape, funding constraints, cash flow & other priorities. Discussions will also consider critiques e.g. how can SMEs get off the ground without the support of Govt funding (in Singapore), how to consider true viability in that regard, & how do they decide if a venture is worth pursuing even if the model is viable e.g. are there blind-spots that tend to be overlooked?

Answer by Dr. Mazlan:

We see a big problem that persists every year during the Hajj. Similar problems of people gone missing and health issues. Current solutions by physically station officers or volunteers are not perfect. Bluetooth beacons are unable to have full coverage.

Partners are key but the challenge is different countries have different regulation and different ways of managing their pilgrims. Also, they might have different business models and affordability of services.

Unplugged Session – When Reality Bites the Pie in the Sky – Why IoT Business Models Are Broken


  • Oliver Meili, Head of IoT Development & Operations, Bosch Software Innovations, Singapore
  • Dr. Mazlan Abbas, Co-Founder & CEO, FAVORIOT, Malaysia
  • Keith Tan, CEO & Founder, Crown Group, Singapore
  • Fariz Rahmansyah, Consumer Products Value Advisor, Industries & Digital Leadership, SAP SEA

Recent analyst reports & findings indicate that most IIoT projects are considered failures – which anecdotal accounts also bears out. This comes as no great surprise as IoT adoption & implementation challenges are often misunderstood or under-estimated. Participants will discuss:

  • highlights of failed business models, why they failed & common assumptions of what failure or success looks like (Answer by Dr. Mazlan – Identifying the wrong business problem. Did not get a buy-in from all stakeholders. Not enough budget to scale and get the ROI)
  • why IoT businesses models are often less promising in reality than on paper (Answer by Dr. Mazlan – Did not maintain the IoT infrastructure regularly or system failed quickly. Costs too high thus, customers did not agree on full scale thus unable to show the real ROI)
  • what leads to this, why, & what needs to change e.g. including differences in context & operating considerations in different countries (Answer by Dr. Mazlan Abbas – Government to take the initial risks to test and understand the new technology or solutions. More trials and get regulatory up to pace)
  • more specific aspects of necessary changes e.g. key assessments on the business’ readiness for change & transformation (Answer by Dr. Mazlan Abbas – For example, when Malaysia launch the Industry 4.0 Framework last year, we started with I4.0 Ready Assesment to gauge the capability and the stage the current industry. Identify the gaps and close them accordingly)
  • how projects should be right-sized, scoped or paced, (Answer by Dr. Mazlan Abbas – Think Big Start Small and Start with the right Stakeholders. Get a Champion to break down the barriers. Find the right talent and be agile)
  • how incentives, determination of desired outcomes, ROI & communication of value propositions etc. may need to change (Answer by Dr. Mazlan Abbas – A bigger company must work with the smaller Startups to bring new innovative solutions fast to market. Create a conducive IoT Ecosystem that can bring value to all parties)
  • how stakeholder agendas could be better addressed or aligned (Answer by Dr. Mazlan Abbas – Top-down approach and appoint a Champion. Continuous discussion and awareness. Show success stories in stages)
When Reality Bites the Pie in the Sky.jpg
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