UOB has selected 16 Malaysian businesses to participate in its business transformation programme run by the bank's innovation accelerator, The Finlab.
The three-month Jom Transform Programme, which saw interest from 900 Malaysian businesses, aims to help businesses go digital, with participants receiving subsidies from UOB Malaysia, said the bank.
Owners and key decision makers of the businesses will be matched with technology partners to pilot and assess the effectiveness of their digital solutions.
They will be mentored by the programme’s partners, which include the Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Maxis, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and SME Corporation Malaysia.
Businesses will share their outcomes and learning with the public in a showcase that takes place after the programme's completion.
The 16 businesses hail from a wide range of sectors including food manufacturing and distribution, food and beverage, healthcare, business consulting, automotive, logistics, and manufacturing.
By implementing digital solutions, they hope to improve their workflow processes, drive sales and customer loyalty and create greater brand awareness, said UOB.
The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also plan to harness technology to optimise their inventory, distribution and human resource management systems.
The FinLab first ran its business transformation programme in Singapore in 2018 and then in Thailand in early 2019. In Malaysia, the Jom Transform Programme was launched in June 2019 and received interest from more than 900 businesses, said UOB.
"Having served the SME community in Malaysia for more than six decades, we have a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges they face. In particular, as family-owned businesses transition from the first to second-generation leadership, we see an accelerated use of technology in their business," said Wong Kim Choong, chief executive officer, UOB Malaysia.
"Yet many business leaders lack the skills to implement digital solutions successfully and effectively," he added. "Through the Jom Transform Programme, we aim to help Malaysian businesses better harness technology to drive business growth and to prepare for the future."
Some businesses participating in the programme are as old as 20 or 30 years old, one of which is Asahi Suspension Parts. Its head of engineering department Darren Wong said: "Having operated for more than 25 years, we are keen to upgrade some of our systems to support larger production capacity for our expansion plans.
"We are excited to participate in the Jom Transform Programme, to equip ourselves with the business methodology and digital skills required to come up with plans that will enhance our business processes and drive efficiency in our production line."