Digital tools conduit for SME growth

Business leaders should establish goals on the specific areas they want to improve in terms of digitalisation and choose the right tool


THE Covid-19 pandemic has created opportunities for businesses to adopt digital technology and keep their company running by allowing staff to work remotely and keep services flowing.

Telekom Malaysia Bhd COO Azizi A Hadi said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should recognise the need to deploy digital tools to help their businesses operate more efficiently.

However, he noted that individual companies may find it challenging to identify the right digital tool to connect with customers and grow their businesses.

“Technology has improved these days as there are a lot more tools and platforms available at disposal from applications to digital devices, which can help SMEs improve their operations.

“But the most important thing for SME leaders is to know what they want to do and what they want to achieve from the digitalisation process before looking for the right technologies,” he said at the “Reboot 4.0: Digitalisation and Business Sustainability” online discussion yesterday.

Azizi said business leaders should establish goals on the specific areas they want to improve on in terms of digitalisation and pick up the right tool to aid the overall process.

He added that digital technology adoption is critical in the SME space today, as it can help improve their productivity, increase their revenue and sales number, as well as manage their costs in terms of profitability.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) digital enhancement centre GM Izham Ismail said a digitally focused company must have a visionary business leader that could positively impact the organisation’s culture and strategy.

Describing digitalisation as a broad domain, Izham said business leaders should understand and have the ability to diagnose how technology can help their businesses grow in the longer term.

“Of course, it is crucial for them to know what kind of skills or talent the leaders need to head the digitalisation process in an organisation.

“However, you don’t have to be a technical expert in wanting to lead digitalisation in an organisation. All you need to do is to be a good leader, to understand the value of the digital tool for their business,” he said.

Izham said once the leader identifies clearly what tool is needed, they can then seek assistance from technology solutions providers on the technical aspects of the digitalisation process.

To further spur the local entrepreneurs’ growth, MDEC has renewed its partnership agreement with NEXEA Angels Sdn Bhd for an entrepreneurship programme (EP).

As part of the partnership deal, MDEC will provide programme sponsorship to 32 participants and will funnel potential high-growth start-up founders from their start-up database into the programme.

MDEC digitally powered business division VP Gopi Ganesalingam said the agency must extend its support to as many startups as possible and provide them with investment, mentorship and training opportunities, especially during this difficult time.

“With such impressive outcomes from the first batch this year, we look forward to an even stronger impact through this renewed partnership,” he said.

The programme is aimed to facilitate a peer network to guide business leaders navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 40 business CEOs are currently participating in the programme.