BizClub vital to AmBank’s long-term plan for SMEs


AmBank Group’s business community platform, BizClub, remains as a part of the company’s long-term plan, considering the platform’s growing database of emerging businesses.

AmBank business banking MD Christopher Yap (picture) said the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace continues to attract entrepreneurs, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) since its launch in 2017.

“Hopefully we can start to plan the marketplace after season three of the BizRace Entrepreneurship Challenge, where by then, we should have over 10,000 members in the BizClub database.

“At that point, it would be the most economical stage for the marketplace to exist on,” he said at the business training yesterday for the top 100 BizRace participants.

Through BizClub, members will gain access to an exciting series of events, the chance to meet and interact with renowned CEOs, market expansion opportunities and networking sessions with other members.

Cumulatively, the bank’s BizClub database has collected approximately 8,000 registrations.

Yap said moving forward, the bank plans to increase the prize money for its upcoming seasons of BizRace and develop other modules for business education.

Meanwhile, the BizRace season two, which saw almost 1,000 registrations much like its inaugural inception last year, is expected to conclude by April 26.

“As the event progresses, perhaps to season three or four, our CEO suggested that perhaps, we should increase the prize money, that is No 1.

“And No 2, we are looking at other ways to help businesses in terms of education, and not just with these (existing) modules,” he said.

On the companies registered for both the BizRace and training, Yap said they come from a diverse number of traditional sectors, looking for ways to tackle digital challenges.

“We often hear them asking us what is the right business model to move forward with. For example, one of them wants to expand, should I move upstream or downstream? Should I expand on my products? Should I move to e-commerce instead of opening more stores?” he said.

Yap said he expects more e-commerce companies to be registered for this season.

“Surprisingly, we see a lot of traditional retailing, traditional manufacturing companies, as well as trading businesses that are flourishing out there,” he added.

The BizRace competition is open to businesses with more than one year in operation and an annual turnover of less than RM100 million.

Participating SME winners in their respective stages of the race will stand a chance to gain media exposure for their business, an executive development programme worth RM310,000, a China learning field trip (RM340,000), a UK-based executive development programme (RM265,000), an executive education award (RM21,000), Media Prima marketing strategy award (RM30,000) and Microsoft Digital Transformation Award (RM50,000).

Last year, a manufacturer of high-quality wood-based material, Segamat Panel Boards Sdn Bhd, was the grand prize winner and won AmBank Business of the Year 2018 title.