The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of over 150,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia, according to the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia.
The scale of the disruption brought SME leaders to relook at their business to see how they can embrace new opportunities despite the setbacks.
Find out how nine Malaysian SMEs are bringing their business forward through the avenues of Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), digitalisation and halal certification.
The company believes it has a lot to learn in IR4.0. Despite having increased their overall efficiency by over 80% through the implementation of an ERP System, they entered themselves into the AmBank BizRACE, a business competition with an objective to help SMEs scale and grow through initiatives beyond financing. “With little knowledge in IR4.0, we have discovered many new technologies through this programme,” said its managing director (MD) Yeoh Eng Foo.
Adopting IR4.0 by investing in a fiber laser cutting machine increased their volume in production by over 60%. Its MD Lam Mun Choon said that the AmBank BizRACE explored the various opportunities available for his business, which manufactures and supplies mechanical machinery parts. He added, “The programme taught us about the many avenues for SMEs to grow.”
The company adopted an automated machinery for the packaging of pharmaceuticals and hopes to grow its business by 100% by the year 2027. Its chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Khurshid Mohamed said that the AmBank BizRACE was a great experience to network with fellow SMEs and validate business ideas. “We have gained knowledge from the coaching sessions and have implemented them in our business,” he added.
A manufacturing company of ice lollies, Doluvo joined the AmBank BizRACE as it offered SMEs a chance to explore halal certification development. Its CEO Rose Yasmin believes this will definitely open their doors to a wider market. “The input from judges helped to validate our ideas and to receive this recognition, it’s just mind-blowing,” she said.
Producing milk-boosting cookies, LM International’s CEO Norlenny Farah shared how the programme prepared her team to venture into the global market. “This is a good platform for us to start our halal certification journey and to think outside the box,” she said. The company also plans to soon expand and tap into baby products.
Creating a pipeline of halal products with its 100% plant-based products. Its co-founder Ahmad Syafik Jaafar said, “There are not many competitions like the AmBank BizRACE. I can safely say that because I have joined other accelerator programmes, there should be more programmes like this for SMEs.”
Seeking ways to disrupt the florist industry by adopting digitalisation, its number of orders has since scaled up by 300%. Its CEO Giden Lim said he is thankful for the support from AmBank and his customers, who helped the business stay resilient in these trying times. “I would consider my company to be lean with a lot of growth potential. I really value the support that the bank can give to us,” he said.
Specialising in the distribution of organic products, its inventory management solutions can now reduce manual labour as well as improve accuracy. Its business development director Annie Sim said, “Before this we used to think that these kinds of competitions are for MNCs and the like. But after joining AmBank BizRACE, we have more confidence in our potential because of this recognition.”
Providing infrastructure, landscaping and conservation-related services, through digitalisation the company can create new sources for growth to achieve sustainability by 2023. Its MD Wan Alina Suraya said, “We needed to know if we are on the right track in terms of digitalisation, which is new to us. Without the support of AmBank, we would be far more conservative at implementing digitalisation.”
The AmBank BizRACE will be returning for its fourth season. Pre-register your interest to join the programme at www.ambank.com.my/bizrace.