PETALING JAYA: Businesses should look into a digital strategy to stay relevant in the ongoing digital revolution in the markets, says DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Albern Murty.
In his keynote speech at The Star SMEBiz Think Tank Seminar 2016 here, he noted that the digital revolution had empowered societies, catalysed economic development and levelled the playing field for established and new companies.
Thus, SMEs cannot afford to ignore the digital change taking place today.
“SMEs now have the opportunity to go way beyond their traditional business.
“If you have a team that is responsible for looking into the digital revolution of your business, and you empower them to make decisions based on that, I believe that you will be able to change your business model,” he said.
He added that as consumers increasingly use digital platforms to buy products and services, professional service providers would eventually have to move to such platforms to ensure that they do not miss out on potential business.
“We are seeing competition from players that were previously not there. We need to look at how we can adapt to that change,” said Murty.
Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs CEO Neil Foo advised SMEs to make use of the various capital mechanisms to grow their businesses.
Foo moderated the “SME Financing vs Private Equity Funding” session, where panellists Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) CEO Syed Yasir Arafat, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MavCap) CEO Jamaluddin Bujang and AmBank Group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir elaborated on the funding options that SMEs could tap into.
AmBank, which provides a wide range of lending facilities, is looking at start-up financing as it sees opportunities in this SME space with the maturing economy.
“We are working on the parameters, and hopefully, you’ll hear something about this in the next few months.
“One of the other challenges of a start-up is that it has not been tried or tested.
“But if they have a good story to tell in terms of growing the business, there is a role banks can play,” Sulaiman said.
On MavCap, Jamaluddin said the venture capital fund takes up equity stakes in investee companies, which are usually technology start-ups.
Ekuinas, a private equity firm, invests in established firms with high-growth potential.