ICE Interview: Farid Nor, Founder of

Farid is an old sport and fellow co-workers. In our teens, we used to work part time (after high school) in a hotel. We managed to catch up last year over teh tarik and recently for a new round of kopi tarik.

Farid is an established entrepreneur with many successes. An alma mater to Penn State University (Chemical Engineering) and Sekolah Alam Shah (SAS). He founded – a beautiful accounting software. This tagline stuck in my head now! Read on my interview with Farid Nor on ICE – Innovation, Change and Entrepreneurship.

KHAIRUL (KA): How do you view innovation for large organization in the next 3-5 years?

FARID NOR (FN): Either large organizations like it or not, the world is moving to cloud technology. Workplace is no longer tied to one location. Work mobility is the key to efficiently manage the workforce of the future.

I could see cloud technology will liberate the workforce and its structure by enabling a lot more freelancers onto the organization while reducing the cost of resources and improving productivity of the organization. Hence, legacy softwares used in the large organization will fade out and CIOs are now having challenges to convince the old time of CFOs on the ROI of technology investment.

However I foresee challenge for large companies to procure cloud-based technological solutions from local SMEs because their procurement processes have yet to evolve into this direction.

KA: How do you get buy in from the top management to invest in innovation capability development / training?

FN: Enabling technology will attract a lot more young talent and resourceful talent which are not pegged to any precedent. Hence, they have more maneuverability in experimenting business model.

Although there will be some degree of risk attached to this path, but this is a calculated risk must be taken if the organization wants to stay relevant to the evolving market.

Innovation capability training is a good playground for multi-generational workforce to experiment varieties of opportunities and ideas without being worried on how the customers might perceived, because these are all done behind the scene.

KA: How best to educate the workforce to have courage and tenacity to be creative and innovative?

FN: First, the organization must provide a safe space for the workforce to express themselves without having consequences of the idea produced by them. And the execution of this new radical ideas must be done by other group within the organization so it will allow more discussion for the ideas to grow further.

Data must be collected, measured and put in context as to verify the assumption for any crazy ideas which were chosen to be implemented. Only by doing this evident based business decision will make the top leadership open their eyes, not just relying on their experience and insight.

There should be an ongoing project tied to this. Sporadic training programs without actual projects should be minimised because it is hard to measure ROI.

KA: Please share about your innovative product, Simpan Kira & Buku Tunai

FN: SimpanKira is a business OS for any small business to use. It allows a seamless integration between multiple operating business units to produce measured outcome and reduce clerical workload so that business can move faster. It comprises an accounting tool as its fundamental and integrate effectively with inventory, procurement and human resource tool available within SimpanKira system.

BukuTunai is meant for cloud bookkeeping solution for micro entrepreneurs. It liberates the micro entrepreneurs from outdated mode of record keeping. It helps these forward thinking entrepreneurs to get data visualized and guide them in making decision for their micro business to flourish.

KA: Given the lower rate of innovation success, how best to finance innovation programs?

FN: Set a small win. Allocate budget based on this small win. Execute and measure the outcome. If it works, add more resources. If it doesn’t work, just put a question on table – what works and what doesn’t. Iterate from that process.

Thanks so much to Farid Nor and SimpanKira for this insightful interview on ICE. Find out more about here – a beautiful accounting software! See it stuck again in my hand now. 😉

Farid Nor is also reachable on LinkedIn here

Any brickbats please send to [email protected]