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UOB (Thai) and The FinLab to help 15 Thai SMEs with digital makeover through Thailand’s first Smart Business Transformation Programme

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Diverse group of SMEs selected for their ambition to transform and to grow their business
with digital tools

Bangkok, 31 May 2019 – UOB (Thai) today announced the 15 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) selected to participate in the nation’s first Smart Business Transformation Programme. This programme is run by The FinLab1, in collaboration with the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP).

The 15 SMEs, selected from close to 150 applicants in Bangkok, are from a diverse range of sectors such as food and beverage, retail, travel, logistics and manufacturing. They were chosen in recognition of their keen understanding of existing business constraints and challenges, as well as for their openness to explore new ideas and to use digital tools for scaling new heights in their business.

Through the Smart Business Transformation Programme, UOB (Thai) and The FinLab aim to help these SMEs tap on digital solutions to enhance their online marketing efforts and streamline current business processes. This will allow them to reach more customers in Thailand and expand into new markets.

The SMEs will attend a series of workshops on various topics conducted by industry experts from May to June 2019 to gain the know-how and to learn about the digital tools they can use for their business. They will then be matched with The FinLab’s curated list of solution providers to pilot solutions that are relevant to their businesses. Each SME will receive THB 1,000,000 worth of value through the workshops, professional training, mentorship and publicity garnered from the programme.

Mr Tan Choon Hin, President and Chief Executive Officer, UOB (Thai), said, “Our eight decades of experience in supporting SMEs gives us a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges that they are facing today and will possibly encounter in the future. We understand that many SMEs are concerned about their lack of know-how and the complexity of implementing digital solutions. With digitalisation becoming a game changer in almost every business, we want to help them overcome the barriers and harness technology to drive business performance.”

“The Smart Business Transformation Programme will equip the participating SMEs with the digital skills and tools they need to stay ahead in the digital economy. Through UOB Group’s established and integrated network, we will help SMEs grow further by connecting them to business opportunities in the region.”

Mr Felix Tan, Co-Head, The FinLab, said, “Having successfully run several innovation programmes, The FinLab is excited to bring our expertise and experience to help SMEs in Thailand innovate and go digital. SMEs form the heart of the Thai economy. As part of the Smart Business Transformation Programme’s extensive selection process, I had the opportunity to hear the stories and ambitions of many Thai business owners and was inspired by their determination to bring their businesses to greater heights. The FinLab is privileged to be a part of the business transformation journey for the 15 selected SMEs and is committed to helping them achieve the success they envision.”

One of the SMEs selected to participate in this programme is Warrix, the official kit sponsor for the Thailand National Football Team. Mr Wisan Wanasaksrisakul, Chief Executive Officer, Warrix said, “As a wholesale and retail sportswear brand, we aim to make Warrix a household name across Southeast Asia. We are keen to implement several technology solutions, including a loyalty programme, an inventory management system and a payment system, to drive our business efficiency and sales. The Smart Business Transformation Programme, in partnership with The FinLab, is a good way to catalyse our plans on this innovation journey.”

The programme started on 21 May 2019 and the 15 participating SMEs will complete the programme in August 2019.

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1 The FinLab is an innovation accelerator under United Overseas Bank

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