KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) must quickly transform their businesses including working remotely in the digital space to survive amid the challenges brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
In making the call, leading Malaysian entrepreneur Datuk Seri Vijay Eswaran said this was all the more imperative as SMEs form about 97 per cent of the Asia Pacific enterprise population.
Businesses and SMEs should conform to the new norm as a result of the pandemic by re-engineering everything in business, he said at the UN Global Compact Leaders Virtual Summit 2020.
“This includes challenges in the transition from hybrid marketing to digital-based experiences,” said Vijay, who is the executive chairman of Asian conglomerate QI Group.
He, however, lamented that many have not yet come to terms with the new norm.
Businesses and SMEs should transform into brand new entities, he told the South East Asia Plenary session on “Sustainable, Resilient Supply Chain: Companies and SMEs Building Back Better for a Sustainable and Resilient Business.”
SMEs could strengthen their supply chain and build back a better and sustainable future for their businesses, by fully embracing the digital revolution to adapt to the new economy.
He also said the price was not the only factor anymore in the supply chain which was why suppliers need to create a brand new identity focused on sustainability in order to survive.
Recalling QI Group’s challenges during the pandemic, he said: “Fortunately, our learning curve was fast, and we were able to adapt and recover without a significant impact on our business.”
On another note, Vijay also congratulated the Malaysian government, especially the director-general of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, for being recognised as among the top five nations in the world to have succeeded in controlling the spread of Covid-19.
“If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us it is that we are one planet, one people, with one purpose,” said Vijay, adding that the world post-Covid 19 is reset to be very different in its way of business.