Malaysian SMEs To Remain Competitive In An Increasingly Dynamic Marketplace With ICT Adoption

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Kuala Lumpur (September 4, 2013) – Intel Malaysia today announced the launch of its SME “Level Up Your Business” Contest as part of ongoing efforts to increase ICT adoption and innovation amongst Malaysian SMEs. The announcement came at the conclusion of a roundtable talk with SME Corp. Malaysia and CEDAR of SME Bank; discussing best industry practices to improve competitiveness, productivity and profitability through the use of technology.

Speaking at Intel Malaysia’s SME Roundtable are (from left to right) Dr Sheikh Ghazali Abod, Chief Operating Officer, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research (CEDAR), SME Bank, Uday Marty, Managing Director, Intel South East Asia and Karunajothi Kandasamy, Senior Director of Economics and Policy Planning Division, SME Corp. Malaysia.

Speaking at Intel Malaysia’s SME Roundtable are (from left to right) Dr Sheikh Ghazali Abod, Chief Operating Officer, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research (CEDAR), SME Bank, Uday Marty, Managing Director, Intel South East Asia and Karunajothi Kandasamy, Senior Director of Economics and Policy Planning Division, SME Corp. Malaysia.

“As we set forward to achieving targets set by the Malaysian Government in the SME Masterplan 2012-2020, it is imperative that Malaysian SMEs take decisive steps towards improving the productivity and agility of their business with the right IT technology in place,” said Uday Marty, Managing Director, Intel South East Asia at the SME Roundtable. “Intel believes that ICT is one of the key enablers for Malaysian SMEs to achieve success and we aim to equip Malaysian SMEs with the latest enterprise IT solutions in order to raise contribution of Malaysian SMEs to the economy by 2020.”

According to the SME Census 20111, there are a total of 645,136 SMEs operating in Malaysia, representing 97.3% of total business establishment. The Government has through the SME Masterplan 2012 – 2020 proposed six high impact programs to help Malaysian SMEs move up the value chain with specific targets including a 41% contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (up from 32% in 2010) as well as contributing to 62% of employment in the country (up from 59% in 2010) and 25% of exports (up from 19% in 2010). Among other things, these high impact programs are aimed at expediting the internationalisation of local SMEs as well as empowering the bottom 40% of the income group via inclusive innovation and technology.

“Above and beyond equipping local SMEs with IT equipment, Intel is also committed to helping local SMEs obtain the skills and resources they need to take their business to the next level,” added Uday. “Intel Malaysia and CEDAR of SME Bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore making two training programs – Intel® Learn Easy Steps and Intel® Entrepreneurship Basics (E-Basics) – to CEDAR of SME Bank. The signing of this MoU underlines Intel’s commitment to provide learning opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and mature SMEs owners to acquire ICT skills that are relevant for day-to-day business operations.

These training programs are proposed to be incorporated into SME Bank’s training courses and will be conducted by SME Bank’s Center for Entrepreneur Development and Research (CEDAR). The Intel Learn Easy Steps is a training module suited for adult and youth learners with little or no experience with computers, and who are in need of basic technology skills. The Intel E-Basics on the other hand is a starter toolkit which contains context-based learning and modules on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. The complete toolkit aims to enable and empower entrepreneurs to get started, develop and run their business more effectively and efficiently with appropriate technology usage.

“Until today, cost is still a key consideration for the adoption of technology,” said Dr Sheikh Ghazali Abod, Chief Operating Officer, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research (CEDAR), SME Bank. “With our collaboration with Intel Malaysia as well as our existing loan programs, we aim to encourage SMEs to move away from manual processes to adopting automation in their day to day operations.”

“We extend our congratulations to Intel Malaysia and SME Bank on their collaboration in efforts to equip SME owners with relevant ICT and entrepreneurial skills,” said Karunajothi Kandasamy, Senior Director of Economics and Policy Planning Division, SME Corp. Malaysia at the roundtable. “Collaborations such as these are exactly what the ecosystem needs in order for Malaysian SMEs to move ahead with the times and for businesses to truly achieve their potential.”

Intel Malaysia’s SME ‘Level Up Your Business’ campaign aims to encourage business owners to assess the use of IT in their business; while Intel, through its partners*, will offer free consultation as well as exclusive deals and bundles for Intel-powered PCs to SME business owners. Business owners also stand a chance to win a RM20,000 IT upgrade for their company by interacting with the ‘Level Up Your Business’ IT diagostic tool on the microsite and expressing their ideas on how an IT upgrade can creatively change their business. For more information about the contest, visit http://smb.intel.my/levelup.