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The FinLab offers help for SMEs to grow through digital solutions

Nov 21. 2018
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By The Nation

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The FinLab on Wednesday announced the launch of its Smart Business Transformation Programme to help Thailand-based small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) transform their businesses through digital solutions.

The programme is supported by United Overseas Bank (Thailand) and the country’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa).

Thailand is the first market outside of Singapore to get the programme. The Thai launch follows the success of the Singapore programme launch in August,  where 11 local SMEs deepened their digital capabilities by piloting the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics process automation.

According to the findings of an online survey by The FinLab, Thai SMEs said their top two business growth strategies were to enter new markets (54 per cent) and to use online marketing (51 per cent). Social media marketing (62 per cent) and digital marketing (61 per cent) were their preferred methods to increase sales and to improve customer engagement.

However, while Thai SMEs were keen to tap digital solutions to enhance their online presence, they were concerned about the cost (67 per cent) and complexity (44 per cent) of implementation.

To help Thai SMEs drive their business performance, The FinLab’s three-month programme will help participants refine their business models and adopt digital solutions, particularly those in online sales and marketing. Mentors from The FinLab, UOB (Thai) and Depa will also guide participating SMEs to identify the unique issues they face in their businesses and equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to innovate.

The SMEs will then be matched with a suitable technology solution provider to address their concerns and to pilot the solution implementation.

Felix Tan, managing director, The FinLab, said their mission “is to help SMEs across Asean validate their solutions and scale their businesses through digitalisation and business transformation.”

“We are excited to bring to Thailand our experience on bridging ecosystems, helping SMEs to connect and to collaborate with leading technology providers to achieve commercial success. Through our new programme and with the support from UOB (Thai) and Depa, we aim to push innovation boundaries and to forge new partnerships.”

James Rama Phataminviphas, head of channels and digitalisation, UOB (Thai), predicted the programme would help participating SMEs gain the knowledge needed to transform their business. “It will also connect them to our wider ecosystem of technology providers in the region. Through our regional network, we will also be able to help these SMEs expand their businesses into other countries.”

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