PETALING JAYA: A total of RM6.4mil will be utilised to help some 2,200 bumiputra small and medium enterprises (SMEs) recover and sustain their business post-Covid via digitalisation under Exabytes’ Sama-Sama Digital initiative.
The programme aims to assist companies to build a digital presence and grow their online business through two solutions, namely, the All-in-1 Ecommerce Solutions and All-in-1 Digital Solutions.
These solutions encompass services such as setting up of e-commerce store, payment gateway, shipping, domain, email and basic design for those interested to start their e-commerce journey, and more complex services like Google and Facebook ads, Microsoft Office 365, search engine optimisation (SEO), Alibaba and email marketing for those looking to grow their online businesses.
“Upgrading existing technologies and operating online opens the doors for SMEs to expand their markets in not only Malaysia, but South-East Asia as well with the market expected to be worth at least US$102bil by 2025.
“With this boom in e-commerce, businesses that have yet to digitalise risk being left far behind.
“With only 20% of bumiputra SMEs being part of the digital economy, we must maximise our efforts to enable these businesses to upgrade their existing systems and strategies, ” said Exabytes founder and chief executive officer Chan Kee Siak at the launch of the programme in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Chan added that the initiative, launched with Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) through its corporate social responsibility unit, ILTIZAM, will help build resilience and ensure more businesses survive during these challenging times.
Some businesses have hesitated or avoided digitalising because of the upfront cost needed to kick-start efforts, but the Sama-Sama Digital programme will help eliminate this concern by providing subsidies to ease the burden of cost thanks to the support of the Dana Ihsan Covid-19 ILTIZAM by Ekuinas.
The Sama-Sama Digital initiative is supported by Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC), MYNIC and Bank Simpanan Nasional and carried out in partnership with TERAJU, Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Malaysia, Precession Capital Bhd, SME Corp Malaysia, Mara Excellent Ventures Sdn Bhd, Perbadanan Nasional Bhd, Bumiputera Retailers Organisation, Association of Selangor Tubers and Technology Park Malaysia.
“We want to help SMEs out there to be prepared for the global digital economy. As with the pandemic, digitalisation is inevitable and at MYNIC, we want to enable digital inclusivity to bumiputera SMEs out there.
“Not only will these SMEs be able to reach a wider market, they will be able to reap other benefits such as an increase in sales and revenue, ” said MYNIC chief executive officer Datuk Hasnul Fadhly Hasan.
Meanwhiles, MDEC business digital adoption director Muhundhan Kamarapullai said the digital economy contributes about 20% to Malaysia’s gross domestic product, which is significantly high compared to the other countries in the region.
“We have all the different digital ecosystems which are very mature, with well known organisations and tech solutions.
“But when you look at the digital adoption rate, that is something that we can do better at. Around 20% of our businesses have adopted fully digital.
“Although significant, we can do much better than this. Our rate needs to move much faster.
“If not we will be lagging behind, ” said Muhundhan.
While the government has been aggressively pushing the digital agenda, he noted that public-private partnerships remained vital to support the digitalisation drive among SMEs, adding that the Sama-Sama Digital initiative was timely in this respect.
“Considering that businesses may take up to six to 12 months to recover, it is vital for the digitalisation process to be effective and efficient, ” added Chan.
This means a comprehensive system is needed and Chan identified five key areas that will play an integral role in that system. These areas are in online presence, online team collaboration, online sales and marketing, online customer management and online data analysis. The deadline to register for Sama-Sama Digital’s solutions is Dec 31 on a first-come-first-served basis.