RHB Bank in partnership with SME Corporation Malaysia and the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development organised The Future SME Conference 2019 themed Engineering The Future recently, to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country embrace technology and innovation.
The conference is aimed at providing insights on techniques and solutions to accelerate the growth of SMEs, to ensure they remain relevant and competitive. RHB was among industry experts sharing insights on future business trends, innovations, technologies, strategies and best practices in the digital age of Industry 4.0.
In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace customer behavior changes drastically and technology disruption is prominent, the need for the usage of back-end high productivity enhancing digital tools are increasingly necessary to boost productivity and business performance for SMEs, said Dato’ Khairussaleh Ramli, Group Managing Director, RHB Banking Group in his presentation at the Conference.
“A lot of this is driven by misconception among SMEs that costs are high and that they lack sufficient funds, knowledge and workforce talent to adopt new technologies and innovation. However, they are not fully aware that there are funding options available from the government, industry bodies and financial institutions, among others,” he added.
He stressed upon the need for SMEs to accelerate adoption of ICT in order to increase productivity of their workforce and expand market reach. “It is essential for SMEs to leverage on technological advancement to achieve business growth and remain competitive,” he added.
“RHB will continue to play an active role in the digitalization journey of Malaysian SMEs. Our ever-evolving RHB SME e-Solutions, which forms part of RHB‘s SME connected banking ecosystem, complements our extensive experience in supporting the growth of SMEs in Malaysia. It helps business owners increase efficiency by seamlessly embedding everyday business solutions into their day-to-day business operations,” said Dato’ Khairussaleh.
The RHB SME e-Solutions platform is part of RHB’s “Beyond Banking” road map, in which the Bank assists SMEs in increasing efficiency by leveraging upon various integrated business solutions and tools such as accounting software, point-of-sales, HR solutions, and inventory management solutions.
In leading the digitalization space, RHB continues to focus on customer journey with innovative first-in-market digital solutions which includes the RHB iSMART Digital RM (relationship manager) tool for SME customer advisory, RHB SME Financing online for end-to-end digital SME Financing origination, and most recently in May 2019 it launched the API Enable SME Ecosystem to facilitate API integration with business solution partner Financio.
Recognising the importance of SMEs in the growth of the Malaysian economy, RHB targets to grant more than RM31 billion in new and additional financing, up to 2021. In the first half of 2019, RHB approved loans amounting to RM5.2 billion for approximately 2,000 SMEs with an approval rate of 82%.