Displaying resilience throughout a pandemic

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, most businesses throughout Malaysia were caught in limbo as our nation had never experienced the calamity of this scale before. Many companies, big or small, were experiencing sudden economic fallout since social distancing mandates took effect.

That said, local businesses across all sectors especially SMEs have been struggling to stay afloat since the introduction of Movement Control Order on 18 March 2020.  As a result of this dastardly Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysian GDP shrank by 17.1% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. To put things into perspective, this is the lowest GDP number that has been recorded in Malaysia since 1998!

As such, it is only natural in this flailing economy for companies that are trapped with cashflows to cut cost wherever possible. Job losses and pay cuts are now becoming trend in this new normal for some working Malaysians.

On that note, downsizing and retrenchments have never been executed more rampant than in recent times. In doing so, the Malaysian unemployment rates skyrocketed to 5.3 percent in May and subsequently dropped to 4.3 percent in July according to the Department of Statistics of Malaysia.

TriAset, a local Fintech company that specializes in developing robust Treasury and Investment Management Systems for more than twenty years, has demonstrated that despite the current calamity that befalls us, there are ways to preserve and thrive.

Said the CEO, William Lim, “We have retained all the staff and have even increased our headcount since the beginning of the Movement Control Order in March. This is something that we are proud of.”

During the first phase of Movement Control Order that started on 18 March 2020, all staff at TriAset were given the opportunity to work remotely for jobs that typically can’t do so on normal days.

Added William, “I am also proud to say that, during this Movement Control Order period, our staff have successfully managed to implement a Treasury Management System at one of the banks in Indonesia. More importantly, instead of losing revenues and laying off staff, we have seen an uptick in demand to our solutions. A lot of clients are counting on us being smart and keeping them digitalized.”

On that note, to some companies, digitalization in this pandemic period is not seen as an acceptable solution to a problem, but rather a ground to change the business model creatively for the better. To a certain extent, this Covid-19 pandemic has led to structural shifts including in customer preference of digital engagement, which is likely to remain even post-Covid-19.

Moreover, local businesses are more favourable towards local vendors over foreign ones largely due to availability of local support and flexibility in services. Obviously, the challenge in this outbreak for TriAset is to re-focus on these new opportunities spurred by digitalization.

He said further, “Obviously, we must be thankful to our Indonesian partner who were equally committed in ensuring a successful job. To me, this achievement is certainly a big milestone to our organization.”

To the staff involved, this is surely a phenomenal success. It certainly never occurred in their wildest dream that they could successfully install a Treasury solution remotely, what more outside Malaysia.

“To my mind, this once-in-a-lifetime achievement will definitely make the staff more loyal to our organization”, added William.

It is worth mentioning here that Malaysia Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC) has played positive roles in helping TriAset growing its business in these trying times. As one of the companies selected to be in The Global Acceleration and Innovation Network (GAIN) programme, during this Movement Control Order period, MDEC has arranged numerous business matching sessions for TriAset with companies from Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

On that note, said William enthusiastically, “We are extremely thankful to the team at MDEC in tirelessly helping GAIN companies exploring unchartered territories”.

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