WHILE small and medium enterprises (SMEs) provide two-thirds of the total jobs in the country, the majority of the sector has yet to go through a digital transformation by leveraging on the various solutions available.
As globalisation brings about stiffer competition, SMEs can leverage digitalisation to level the playing field, utilising tools previously only accessible to large corporations.
Critically, it requires low upfront costs but enables a new world of opportunities in creating an additional revenue channel and extending their reach beyond Malaysia’s shores.
Growth opportunities are only one way digitalisation will benefit SMEs, as it can also boost efficiency and productivity internally by doing away with repetitive daily tasks through automation, paving the way for value-added activities.
Although smaller companies understand the need and benefits of digitalisation, they often shy away from it.
Digi chief business officer Eugene Teh noted that SMEs encounter three challenges that add to the misconception that digitalisation is daunting and complex. This includes a lack of awareness and understanding on kickstarting the digital transformation journey for their businesses.
“Going digital unlocks a whole host of opportunities for SMEs and helps grow the business. To compete in today’s digital economy, the question is not why SMEs should digitalise their business, but how – and this appears to be the stumbling block for many SMEs, ” he opined.
The way forward is to bring in a trusted digital partner. The right partner will be able to understand the challenges they face, suggest and help deploy the right solutions to enable SMEs to focus on their core business of serving their customers.
Although there are plenty of seminars touting the benefits of going digital, few provide a proper how-to guide for digitalisation. This is why Digi developed MY Digital SME, a collaborative platform with SME Corp, Mahir Digital Bersama Google, Avana Facebook Commerce, Rev Asia and Shopee.
MY Digital SME aims to assist and empower SMEs through their digitalisation journey, by providing free workshops, hands-on training and best-practice talks from industry leaders.
The free programme was launched in mid-September as part of Digi’s commitment to simplify the digital journey for SMEs, taking the guesswork out of going digital in doing business. The goal is to equip them with the tools and skills to build an online presence, enabling them to expand outside the country.
Feedback from participants in a recent workshop held in Ipoh showed that MY Digital SME proved invaluable in helping smaller businesses start their digital journey.
Just Mike Good Cafe founder Michael Siow, for instance, admitted that digitalisation was a strange concept as he was not familiar with technology and e-commerce, but recognised its importance in sustaining and growing a business.
“The workshop was a hands-on experience as I learnt how to put my business online by utilising existing platforms like Google Business and Facebook Commerce, ” he said.
Another participant, Farajannah Othman, concurred with Siow and added, “I’m looking forward to apply what I’ve learnt from the workshop to increase the sales of my Adaralicious-labelled potato chips via e-commerce.”
About 1,000 local business owners and entrepreneurs have benefited from the workshops held in Ipoh, Perak; Kota Bahru, Kelantan; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Kuching, Sarawak.
Through the workshops, SMEs are empowered to digitalise their businesses, further fostering SME digital growth by also enabling entry into an ecosystem of digital solutions that are cost efficient and scalable to meet different business needs.
Visit http://digi.my/business for more details on Digi’s digital solutions for businesses.