Technology changing ‘rules of business’, says former PIKOM Chairman

Efforts for local businesses to digitise their businesses should be encouraged, said former Chairman of PIKOM (National Tech Association of Malaysia) Ganesh Kumar Bangah (pic).

“In the past decade, the rate of adoption of new technologies has accelerated. Technology is changing ‘the rules of business’ and disruption is becoming the norm,” he explained.

“For local businesses to be able to survive and thrive in today’s global digital economy, they need to absorb, understand and adapt to the ‘new rules of the game’.”

Ganesh was sharing his views after the Federal Government introduced multiple initiatives to encourage businesses to shift online as part of the Short-term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) last Friday.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced, amongst others, that the government will set up a RM1.2 billion fund called Dana Penjana Nasional to support the digitisation of Malaysian businesses. Half of the fund is expected to come from international investors and which would be channelled to the domestic venture capital space.

There is also the Campaign Shop Malaysia Online initiative to encourage trade via e-commerce platforms using promo codes and discount vouchers. The government is allocating RM70 million, which would be matched by e-commerce platforms.

According to Ganesh, who is also Founder and Executive Chairman of Commerce.Asia, Malaysia’s and ASEAN’s young demographic is more technologically savvy and are using the internet a lot more.

“In a region where 50% of the population are under 30 years of age, and 90% of those under 30 have access to internet, digital is the future. Malaysian businesses should also use eCommerce platforms to not only grow their businesses domestically, but also regionally to realise greater impact,” he said.

“Harnessing digital technology enables companies of all sizes to gain footholds in new markets, and provides the opportunity to establish a prominent global presence to realise their potential of becoming significant players.

“What’s more, digitisation also greatly improves businesses’ response time, particularly for tasks such as customer inquiries, logistical requirements and sales. This increased responsiveness, if implemented property, would result in greater operational efficiency and productivity; while company personnel are able to make key decisions in ‘real time’ with information at their fingertips, such as their mobile devices.”

In this light, Ganesh is encouraging local businesses to transition to eCommerce, if they have not done so yet, so as to further open up new markets as the world is fast becoming ‘borderless’.

“Let me give you an example: My company Commerce.Asia is a one-stop ecosystem that enables brands to effectively sell their products online with minimal hassle. We bring together multiple delivery providers and numerous payment systems on a single pane of glass to streamline the logistics and supply chain processes for businesses.

“A success story we have is one of the largest bedding accessories companies in Malaysia. Upon digitising and transitioning to eCommerce, this home-goods business saw its a 200 per cent sales revenue growth rate within one quarter,” shared Ganesh.

“Through eCommerce, we empowered this business to access across untapped potential within their customer demographic, and reach out to various consumers through some of the most popular eCommerce marketplaces in Malaysia and Southeast Asia,” he concluded.

Recently, the Commerce.Asia group was recognised by the APAC CIO Outlook as the Best E-commerce Consulting/Services Company among the selected Top 10 companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

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