Photography: Alex Chia & Ariff Shah Sopian
Twenty shortlisted five-member teams from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka and Australia landed in Sepang for Airvolution’s first edition, which aimed to spur innovation through the creation new products or solutions.
Of the three challenges revealed beforehand, the one tackled at the RedQ event was the task of profiling AirAsia fans based on their digital social footprints to improve customer experience.
On-hand to guide and offer advice to the participants were mentors from AirAsia’s ICT department, as well as MDEC Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership Programmes Head Azreena Azizan, ServisHero Business Development Head Suresh Tan, and Telekom Malaysia Innovation Lead Maznuddin Zainuddin. Specialists from AirAsia, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure were also ready to offer resources and assistance.
Running on T&Co coffee and Red Bull, these tech talents made it through the 18-hour hackathon with impressive results. The event culminated in a live demo and presentation to a panel of judges, including eight jury members from AirAsia, headed by Chief Data & Digital Officer Shanti Nikunj and Group Chief Information Officer Declan Hogan, and two judges from the Asean region, Dr Karndee Leopairote of C-ASEAN Thailand and Kawin Tangudtaisak of LINE Thailand. Criteria for judging included impact, creativity, design and execution.
Singaporean team Aviato rose to the challenge and presented a solution that profiles users in real-time based on Instagram photos and likes, resulting in targeted destination and food offers matching the user’s preferences. As the winning team, Aviato took home RM25,000 in prize money; 100,000 AirAsia BIG Points; and five return flights to any AirAsia destination.
As AirAsia strives to be a fully digital airline, expect more initiatives and programs like Airvolution in the months to come.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at that exciting weekend at RedQ.
Where it begins: a red carpet welcome at the registration counter.
The team leader from Australia presents the fruits of their labour on judgment day.