Digital platform to guide SME transformation

UNITED Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB) and The FinLab have launched The FinLab Online, a regional digital platform to help local SMEs and start-ups implement digital solutions to transform their businesses.

UOB chief executive officer Wong Kim Choong says the digital platform will make it easier for SMEs to drive their digitalisation plans.

“Given that the current operating environment has been impacted greatly by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now even more critical for businesses to use technology effectively to upskill their employees and to manage their operations more efficiently.

“This will help ensure that they remain viable and relevant as consumption increasingly shifts online and against the backdrop of social distancing standard operating procedures and guidelines set up by the government, ” he says.

Since its launch in 2015, The FinLab has received interest from more than 2,000 businesses in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The digital platform will incorporate the Jom Transform Programme, the first business transformation programme in Malaysia to help local SMEs digitalise their operations for productivity and revenue growth.

Participants in the Jom Transform Programme will go through a one-month curriculum on The FinLab Online and tap the expertise of industry mentors from UOB and its regional ecosystem partners.

Participants will also be able to conduct a self-assessment of their technology needs based on The FinLab’s proprietary business analysis tools and be guided on digitalisation strategies and solutions to address immediate business challenges and matched with relevant technology solution providers.

“Digital adoption is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and there is a clear demand for tailored, actionable support for SMEs and start-ups to take charge of their business growth journey, ” says the FinLab co-head Pauline Sim.

The Jom Transform Programme aims to help at least 100 Malaysian SMEs embrace digitalisation to achieve one of the following outcomes: increase in revenue, reduction in business cost, improvement of process time cycle, reduction in man hours or creation of new sources of growth.

This year, the programme includes support from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) through its Smart Automation Grant, which will be offered to participating businesses that successfully pitch their digitalisation plans and demonstrate tangible outcomes.

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic gave many organisations, especially SMEs, the imperative to rethink and to reorganise their respective business models. It is now more important than ever for SMEs, who are the backbone of the Malaysian economy, to take that digital leap – not only to survive, but to thrive, ” adds Surina Shukri, chief executive officer of MDEC.

The programme will commence in August. Local businesses may register at

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SME , digital , MDEC , UOB , The FinLab


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