The Malaysian Reserve

CFOs negotiating the digital age

MIA-CIMA inaugural Regional CFO Business Forum 2018 looks at emergence of the digital age

By TMR

The virtual ecosystem has created entirely new business models and transformed user expectations and behaviour. It marked a paradigm shift on the non-cash transactions front, changing dramatically the way CFOs would look at the task before them.

In such a scenario, finance professionals need to get a handle on the migration to digital payments.

But the move raises various questions:

• How can cash payments integrate with digital payments to enhance the customer experience and improve business efficiency?

• How has cyber security evolved to protect the integrity of digital payments?

• And how should business tackle evolving regulatory compliance in the digital payments space?

The inaugural Regional CFO Business Forum 2018 organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) on Aug 15 will deliberate on the issue of cash evolution, and various other topics that are presenting a new set of challenges to the CFOs.

Axiata Digital Services Sdn Bhd director for strategic development Aiza Azreen will be answering some of the questions in a panel session at the one-day forum themed “Emergence of the Digital Age”.

Aiza (left) has been described as a technophile who has successfully applied new technologies to revolutionise the way business is done, including Boost eWallet, a cashless ecosystem in higher education institutions, smart cities, government agencies, small and medium enter- prises and micro businesses.

In another panel session entitled, “New Business Innovation”, food delivery platform Dahmakan VP for finance and strategy Armin M Schriewer, and loyalty and rewards platform Fave co-founder Yeoh Chen Chow (right) will share their thoughts on how the technology revolution has inspired them to explore and create new business models. They are also expected to touch on how the techno- logy enabled them to leverage opportunities for innovation and growth.

“Critically, finance has a key role in identifying risks and interpreting data to support better decision-making and business innovation,” according to the MIA document promoting the event.

In a session on “Transforming the Retail Landscape Through Innovation”, two speakers will attempt to discuss the impact of the digital transformation and evolution of retail business.

Christy Ng Sdn Bhd CEO Christy Ng (centre), and apparel rental subscription service provider Zarrel founder Ong Zhong Ken, will also discuss how tech and big data can improve the customer engagement experience by collecting and interpreting information to deliver personalised and customised digital solutions and user experiences.

Ng started trading shoes part-time from her mother’s living room in 2010, before moving into the business full-time and scaling the business further by designing her own shoes under the Christy Ng Shoes label. She created the 3D Shoe Engine to set herself apart from other e-commerce brands.

In 2016, when everyone was moving away from offline retail, she took her first step into the brick-and-mortar business by opening her first shop in 1 Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya. It was a gamble that paid off, with revenue growing threefold by the end of 2016. Today, Christy Ng Shoes is a multi-channel shoe brand with six retail outlets nationwide, according to her profile information.

The forum aims to equip CFOs a core mix of soft and hard skills, ranging from problem solving to business partnership and commercial acumen. — TMR