Malaysian SMEs: Scaling Up Digital Readiness

How Malaysian SMEs Can Scale Up Development for Greater Possibilities

Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia have been pursuing the latest generation of transformational initiatives as a way of improving their industrial operations to keep up with emerging trends in digitalisation. However, the goal towards digital transformation is sometimes overshadowed by uncertainty and ambiguity on the part of SMEs to truly understand its merit for achieving success.

We have compiled the following “5E” strategy for digital readiness surrounding digitalisation for SME growth (taking into consideration LintraMax as a thriving space for precision agriculture).

1. Embrace key technologies

With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, leveraging on the power of IR4.0 technologies is certainly a major conduit to pave the way towards success and longevity. Big data analytics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, to name a few, these technologies are steadily penetrating the market and revolutionising SME operations in Malaysia.

To facilitate this transition, government agencies such as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has been facilitating grants, giving SMEs guarantees of RM500,000, or 70% of investment costs, as an incentive to invest in automation and modernisation.

2. Explore employment options

Malaysia is among one of the few leading ASEAN countries that is well-placed to play a leading role in the development of AI and other emerging tech industries. Being an emerging technological hub means that we are not short of highly industrious and capable graduates who are increasingly tapping into the digital landscape to boost the nation’s economic growth.

In line with the recently launched ASEAN Digital Skills Vision 2020, a joint collaboration between MIMOS and Microsoft, Microsoft aims to provide 15,000 university students with internship opportunities, deliver digital skills training to 2.2 million SME employees, and to hire 8,500 digital workers by 2020 across ASEAN.

With this, SME owners play a prominent role in nurturing workforce potential by scouting different avenues and opportunities that will enable them to leverage their business experience through skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise of qualified people to leap ahead.

3. Enact proactive engagement

A backbone of any SME growth and productivity is networks and external engagement. To supercharge your SME growth, personalised engagement strategies centred on the philosophy of co-innovation can be a major contributing factor towards achieving business success.

In terms of supply chain and business linkages, 68.1% of SMEs are direct suppliers of large foreign firms in Malaysia. As such, capitalising on innovative engagement strategies to connect with prospective stakeholders and align them with your enterprise’s products/services and vision can propel your business in the digital age.

4. Engage digital partnerships

While studying the dynamics of digital partnerships, we found that a major hurdle most SMEs in Malaysia face is difficulty in obtaining capital and financial backing, now more so prevalent with a global pandemic on top of the mix.

A collaborative approach through partner relationships and even peer-to-peer platforms can be further explored to meet such funding needs and overcome inadequacy, all in the hopes of minimising risks of failing SMEs. With digital support achieved through agreements and bilateral unification negotiations, SMEs can improve their survival and market performance.

5. Enhance customer experience

As cited by Accenture, 73% of CEOs acknowledge the need for products, services and experiences that are more meaningful to their customers. In the new world of digital connectedness, the challenge is to personally and efficiently interact with customers in a way that prioritise customers while still staying true to personal principles. A tricky situation to manoeuvre, but ultimately it’s your customers’ satisfaction that determines your overall success.

For a seamless customer experience, SMEs must be adept at designing services and products based on data-driven customer insights, and at the same time, flexible in approachability, be it across the web, social media, email, or in person.

Find out how you can use LintraMax’s agriculture solution to scale up your plantation enterprise, let’s get digital!

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