SAMENTA: Make Your Retail Businesses Pandemic-Proof Through Digitalisation

Building A Profitable Retail Brand Series: How To Digitise Retail Post Covid

Consumers are opting to shop online after the pandemic hits

There are nearly 921, 000 business establishments in Malaysia – 99% of them being small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The contribution of SMEs to Malaysia cannot be underestimated: in 2018 alone, SMEs employed 66.2% of the country’s workforce, contributing RM522.1 billion (or 38.3%) to the Malaysian GDP.

However, SMEs in Malaysia have suffered setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As early as March 2020, it was revealed that 70% of SMEs in the country had lost more than 50% of their income (this was the same month that the first Movement Control Order – also known as the MCO – was implemented).

The impact on Malaysia’s economy as a whole was brutal as well: by the second quarter of 2020, the country had contracted a huge “record-setting” loss of 17.1% year-on-year.


Businesses need to embrace digitalisation or they will be losing out

A paper by the London School of Economics (LSE) published last October pointed out that businesses worldwide have taken up digital measures in response to the shortfall of traditional resources of revenue.

They also wrote that: “As more business establishments digitalise, firms that are left out of this digital revolution will struggle to survive, let alone thrive.”

A helping hand

Small And Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA) held a webinar called “Building a Profitable Retail Brand Series: How to Digitize Retail Post Covid”

In light of all of this, the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SAMENTA) held a webinar called “Building a Profitable Retail Brand Series: How to Digitize Retail Post Covid” on May 25 recently.

The aim of the webinar was to inform Food and Beverage (F&B) SMEs on the digitalisation efforts that they can adopt via help from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).

 “I think it’s important to realise we are not alone in this struggle,” chairman of SAMENTA Central, Datuk William Ng, said during the webinar’s opening speech.

SAMENTA: Make Your Retail Businesses Pandemic-Proof Through Digitalisation

Deric Yeo, Director of Revenue Valley Sdn Bhd that manages brands such as The Manhattan Fish Market, NY Steak House, DAPORLAH and more

The speaker of the day was Mr Deric Yeo, the director of Revenue Valley Sdn Bhd which operates F&B retail chains such as the Manhattan FISH MARKET and NY Steak Shack.

He is also Chairman of the Nexus Productivity of Retail and Food Beverages under the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).

Mr Yeo explained the 4 types of initiatives that they do in stages: the technology initiative provides support for digitalisation of business operation and builds e-commerce capabilities; the second initiative promotes opportunities for the sharing economy; the ‘workforce’ initiative focuses on strengthening human competencies, while the fourth – also known as the ‘industry structure’ initiative – assists retail F&B players internationally. 

Mr Yeo said that these initiatives have long been implemented even before the MCO, and are worth revisiting: examples of such initiatives include providing webinars and awareness programs for F&B SMEs, setting up e-commerce platforms for SMEs and promoting them on websites to gather an audience.

Yeo also said that they have set up virtual advisory clinics, assisting businesses in issues they encounter such as marketing, supply chain and inventory issues.

Over 20 industry experts are also available to coach your business. Even if your business is very small do not worry: they will help too. 

Furthermore, as of May 2019, there are 15 microsites that the Nexus has helped create.

The microsite is connected to the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) which has a strong relationship with international buyers.

Just enter this microsite and enter your information and MATRADE will help to publish your business information. 

Mr Yeo said that for 2021, they will be continuing with the digitisation efforts. Aside from the existing microsite, they are also building a database of high-potential SMEs, which will encompass business vendors and industry experts.

At the end of the day, Mr Yeo said that the aim is to help the industry to be “a more approachable industry that youngsters can come into,” saying that the Nexus has helped clients like Grab and Foodpanda with their business.

Want To Know More?

Check out SAMENTA or MPC website for more information

Do contact the following for more information.

MPC – Nexus Productivity of Retail Food & Beverages

The Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) was formerly known as the National Productivity Corporation. Established in 1962 as a joint project between the United Nations Special Funds and the Federal Government, with the International Labour Organisation acting as its executing agency.

To find out more about MPC, please visit their website or email to Cik Suzana.

SAMENTA – Enquiries and membership

SAMENTA is Malaysia’s first association of SMEs. Created in 1986, it celebrates its 35th birthday this year.

In the meantime, SAMENTA is having a membership drive currently until Dec 2021.

For more information about the membership drive, please check out their website, email or Facebook.

To view the webinar, please click here

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