Helping hand for SMEs

Looking ahead, Tham reveals that Incite will continue to address other pain-points through innovative features that align with the evolving needs of SMEs.

THERE is no denying the importance of digitalisation for businesses as it provides a competitive edge in today’s fast and ever evolving environment. With tech proving to be a major catalyst, businesses and industries that embrace digitalisation not only benefit from better transparency but also increased efficiency, improved customer experience and productivity along with lower operational costs.

This is a sector that Incite Innovations Group wants to help service and expand for Malaysian businesses and operators, says its CEO, Tham Lih Chung.

“Based on our experiences and database there are several pain points suffered by SMEs (small medium enterprises), which involve areas such as supply chain, outlet management, customer engagement and loyalty, and access to capital.”

Although the backbone of Malaysia’s business environment, SMEs are trailing behind in digitalisation opines Tham.

“The recent World Bank Report, ‘Malaysia Economic Monitor February 2023: Expanding Malaysia’s Digital Frontier,’ unveils a significant digital divide among businesses in Malaysia,” he states. “This is an indicator that SMEs in the country face productivity challenges and exhibit lower rates of technology adoption compared to their global counterparts.”

Driving digital adoption

Initially focusing on the F&B industry, Incite has developed in-house tech solutions for its operations, which allowed it to expand its presence locally and globally. Progressing over time, its range of services extended to large enterprises, local listed companies, and MNCs (multinational corporations).

“It became apparent that some of our offerings could be tailored and extended to benefit SMEs, aiding them in scaling further,” says Tham.

One of the platforms that was designed to help enterprises pivot towards digitalisation was Alevate BOS, which was launched in Q3 of last year. The all-in-one platform integrated supply chain, retail management, customer experience, and finance to elevate businesses, which according to Tham allowed operators to streamline processes whilst providing valuable customer insights and drive growth.

“This ensures that SMEs adeptly adapt to technological changes, strategically leveraging advancements for sustainable success,” he explains. “Our unwavering commitment to user-friendly interfaces and data-driven support empowers local SMEs, enabling them to maximise digital transformation for long-term growth.”

Future proofing businesses

A driving force behind business growth and efficiency, Incite offers a versatile suite of services tailored to the retail and F&B sectors. The company operates on three core verticals – fintech, retail management, and lifestyle ventures – underscoring its ability to harness modern technology and strategic insights through people-centric solutions that meet the evolving needs of the contemporary business ecosystem.

Tham also points out that access to capital is a significant obstacle for many SMEs. “These businesses often grapple with the complexities of obtaining swift access to microloans and essential business funding, crucial for meeting diverse financial needs,” he says.

Recognising the pervasive financial hurdles faced by SMEs – including constrained access to capital and challenges in cash flow management – Incite’s tailored financing solutions aim to serve as a crucial support system.

“Our approach goes beyond traditional lending by providing strategic financial support, empowering SMEs to overcome these challenges,” he says. “By acting as a versatile financial ally, we aim to address the specific needs of SMEs, fostering resilience and enabling them to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape.”

Looking ahead, Tham reveals that Incite will continue to address other pain-points through innovative features that align with the evolving needs of SMEs.

“We are working on enhancing AI capabilities within Alevate BOS, facilitating seamless integration with emerging technologies, and providing customisation options based on user preferences. These upcoming developments aim to equip businesses with essential tools, enabling them to effectively tackle future challenges and capitalise on growth opportunities in a constantly changing business landscape.”

This article first appeared in Star Biz7 weekly edition.

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