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VCI Global Awarded Exclusive Distributorship for the World’s First AI-Powered Post-Harvest Robotic Packing System by Wootzano

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb. 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VCI Global Limited (NASDAQ: VCIG) (“VCI Global”, or the “Company”) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Wootzano Limited (“Wootzano”) to appoint VCI Global as its exclusive distributor of Wootzano’s Avarai robotic packing systems in Malaysia. The agreement augments VCI Global’s capabilities and value as an innovating provider of business development and consulting services to an ever-expanding variety of industrial sectors.

Under the terms of the agreement, VCI Global will receive priority supply and pricing terms from Wootzano on any orders of the Avarai food-handling robotic system in Malaysia, which the Company plans to introduce to its consulting customers within various niches of the agricultural growing and distribution markets. As consideration for these exclusive rights, VCI Global has agreed to a schedule of minimum purchase commitments, starting in 2024. Management believes that there is potential for deployment of 10,000 Avarai robots by the year 2030 in Malaysia.

Wootzano, a UK-based robotics company, offers innovative robot solutions powered by advanced sensory capabilities for robotic hands, cutting-edge vision technology, artificial intelligence (AI), sophisticated machine learning algorithms, and cloud updates. Among its flagship products is Avarai, hailed as the world’s first post-harvest robotic packing system, capable of delicately handling various fruits and vegetables with ease and precision, featuring the world’s first fully compliant electronic skin (E-Skin) known as Wootzskin.

In 2022, the agriculture sector contributed approximately RM 99 billion to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employed close to 1.86 million people, according to the Statista Research Department. The Avarai system has been designed as a labor-saving solution, boasting a 60% reduction in human labor requirement and a productivity increase of up to 50% compared to traditional methods, aiming to address the persistent issue of labor shortage in the agriculture sector.

According to research by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA), insufficient knowledge of good handling practices and workers’ attitudes, particularly concerning inefficient or improper handling systems, are identified as the two major contributing factors to post-harvest losses of fruits and vegetables. Among post-harvest handling activities, packaging of fruits and vegetables has been found to hold the greatest potential in reducing such losses. The introduction of the Avarai system to Malaysia offers promising prospects for significantly preventing post-harvest losses at the packing stage through its delicate and precision handling of fresh produce.

“Avarai revolutionizes the post-harvest industry, addressing labor shortages and ensuring hygienic, uniform handling of fresh produce. Designed to emulate human behavior, Avarai preserves freshness for consumers and boosts packhouse efficiency. We are very excited to introduce Avarai to Malaysia with VCI Global, aiming to transform the packhouse industry. With 45+ patents, Avarai is the world’s first and only commercially available robotic system for post-harvest. Wootzano is fully geared to bring our modular and highly dexterous robotic system to Malaysia,” said Dr Atif Syed, Founder and CEO of Wootzano.

“We are proud to have been chosen as Wootzano’s distribution partner. This presents a tremendous opportunity to help revolutionize Malaysia’s post-harvest supply chain. As we embark on this transformative journey, we eagerly anticipate deepening our collaboration with Wootzano across the expansive realms of AI and robotics,” said Dato’ Victor Hoo, Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VCI Global.

About VCI Global Limited

VCI Global Limited has established itself as a world-class multi-disciplinary consultancy group in the areas of business, technology, and marketing consultancy. Our dedicated team of consultants possesses extensive expertise in capital markets, investor/public relations, marketing, real estate, and technology consultancy, ensuring the fulfilment and surpassing of clients' requirements and objectives. Our commitment to excellence ensures that our valued clients receive not only expert advice, but a comprehensive partnership aimed at achieving their business goals and staying ahead in today's competitive business environment.

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About Wootzano Limited

Wootzano is a British state-of-the-art robotics company based in Sedgefield, in the northeast of England. Their highly dexterous robotic system, AvaraiTM, is crafted to meet the needs of the post-harvest industry by supplementing a struggling workforce in the packing of delicate, soft produce. Each feature is designed with the customer in mind to provide an immediate solution, without compromising on standards. The award-winning electronic skin provides a greater sensory awareness to the robotic hands and enables it to know the precise force needed to delicately pick and pack soft produce without causing internal or external damage to the fruit. Paired with the cutting-edge vision technology and sophisticated machine learning algorithms the systems can learn and see in real time, giving the customer a system that only gets better over time.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Such statements include statements regarding the Company’s ability to grow its business and other statements that are not historical facts, including statements which may be accompanied by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential” or similar words. Actual results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, including without limitation, the Company’s ability to achieve profitable operations, customer acceptance of new products, the effects of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and future measures taken by authorities in the countries wherein the Company has supply chain partners, the demand for the Company’s products and the Company’s customers’ economic condition, the impact of competitive products and pricing, successfully managing and, general economic conditions and other risk factors detailed in the Company’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release, except in accordance with applicable law.


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