In Malaysia, the digital economy is expected to contribute 25.5 per cent to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which make up more than 97 per cent of business establishments in Malaysia, will inevitably power these ambitions.
But SMEs cannot digitalise in isolation—the degree of their success relies necessarily on the ecosystem of tech solution providers in Malaysia, who are innovating and evolving alongside them.
To foster these connections, UOB Malaysia and The FinLab launched the Jom Transform Programme in 2019. Focusing on business transformation, the programme helps SMEs digitalise their operations and equips them with essential skills and knowledge in areas like business re-engineering, data analytics and digital marketing. It also matches them with a curated selection of tech solutions to pilot.
This tech matchmaking component not only helps SMEs realise their digital goals, but also provides tech solution providers with a launchpad to refine, enhance and grow their solutions in accordance with the SMEs’ needs.
Here are two examples to illustrate how the right match can lead to innovation and growth for all parties involved:
Dropee’s Transformative Collaboration with VCR
The first is a graduate of our first Jom Transform Programme in 2019, where VCR, a Food & Beverage SME, was matched with Dropee, a B2B Marketplace. Two months into the collaboration, VCR walked away with a customised dashboard that gave them greater supply chain visibility; while Dropee used learnings and feedback to refine its product offerings, resulting in shorter sales cycles, improved customer experience, and substantial revenue growth.
Alia Alsagoff, Director of Business Development at Dropee, said the initial iteration of the Dropee Direct solution (its enterprise-grade eCommerce technology platform that is currently in high demand), was “born out of The FinLab’s match-making initiatives with SMEs like VCR.”
The partnership also helped Dropee gain sufficient credibility to work with other regional clients like LalaMove, as well as international firms like British American Tobacco. The solution provider’s success eventually led to its expansion into Indonesia, where it worked on cross-border trading between both countries.
Alia attributes the company’s continued success to the partnerships it forged through the programme, “The FinLab’s ongoing introductions have given us the opportunity to interact with SMEs who have been groomed to embrace a digital-first mindset. These SMEs openly share their challenges and ambitions, and actively search for the right solutions to propel their next level of growth,” she explains. “The interactions have enabled Dropee to co-create value-added features together with The FinLab’s SME community and improve on our Dropee Direct eCommerce offerings for the benefit of all our current and future SME clients.”
Opening New Markets for OrangeFIN Asia
Another such example is that of OrangeFIN Asia, a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tech solution provider that initially only worked with larger financial institutions before it took part in Jom Transform in 2019. It was through the programme. that the solution provider was introduced to its first SME customer, Alien Logistics, a logistics firm that was looking for an RPA solution to digitalise manual paperwork. Through this collaboration, OrangeFIN Asia was able to expand its offerings to also cater to SMEs.
As Cyndi Poh, Business Manager at OrangeFIN Asia shares, “We had never been in the SME business before and were fortunate to have gotten in touch with The FinLab, who provided us with professional guidance on everything from the right channels to reach SMEs, to advice on what SMEs need, and what our value proposition should be.”
As part of the Jom Transform programme, OrangeFIN Asia was also matched with financial services SME Arris Management Services. The collaboration helped Arris Management Services save 3 hours a day by automating its data migration tasks, while giving OrangeFIN Asia definitive direction on how it could tailor its products to SMEs.
Today, OrangeFIN Asia continues to gain recognition in the SME market by offering educational courses on RPA to The FinLab’s regional SME network through its training arm, OrangeFIN Academy. Through these efforts and others, Cyndi shares that OrangeFIN Asia is working to “continuously expand its market share to Malaysian SMEs, as well as penetrate into the Asean-10 countries.” Given its presence in ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, The FinLab is poised to help businesses scale regionally via specialised programmes, mentorship sessions and a range of selected tech solutions.
Dropee and OrangeFIN Asia are telling examples of how tech matching programmes like the Jom Transform Programme can spur innovation and harness the vast opportunities in Malaysia’s growing SME tech space. With more such collaborations and initiatives on the horizon, we hope to enable more SMEs and tech solution providers on their journey to power the digital economy.
Dropee and OrangeFIN Asia are also offering limited time bundles for Malaysian SMEs under UOB’s JomX initiative. Find out more here.
Learn more about The FinLab’s Jom Transform programme here.