UOB initiates 2nd digital upgrade lab for SMEs

UOB initiates 2nd digital upgrade lab for SMEs

UOB Thai and The FinLab, UOB's innovation accelerator, launched its second annual programme to help Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make digital transformations.

The 2020 Smart Business Transformation Programme (SBTP) will be conducted on the new "The FinLab Online", a regional digital platform.

UOB aims to help at least 150 Thai SMEs implement digital solutions to achieve positive business outcomes, compared with 15 in 2019.

After registering for the SBTP, SMEs will be able to conduct a free self-assessment of their technology needs based on The FinLab's proprietary business analysis tools.

These tools include a digital needs assessment test and digital solutions advisory quiz, which will enable SMEs to identify business areas to prioritise for digitalisation.

SMEs will then be guided on digitalisation strategies and appropriate solutions, as well as matched with relevant technology solution providers.

"SMEs who completed the programme and started their digital transformation journey last year saw positive results on their business performance," said Piyaporn Ratanaprasartporn, executive director and country head of channels and digitalisation at UOB Thai.

For example, Nappi Baby, which manufactures and sells baby products made using bamboo fibre, saw 150% growth in e-commerce sales and 30% cost savings in the first quarter this year, she said.

Through live webinars and monthly workshops, participating SMEs can use the expertise of industry mentors, as well as gain know-how about digital marketing, e-commerce strategies, business process optimisation and financial management.

They will also learn about digital tools they can use from solution providers.

"UOB's recent Asean SME Transformation Study 2020 showed SMEs across the region shifted their strategies to focus on digitalisation as their top priority [60%]," said Ms Piyaporn.

"In Thailand, seven in 10 SMEs surveyed ranked technology as their top investment priority. Through the SBTP, Thai SMEs can pick up the digital skills and tools they need and learn to harness technology to drive business performance."

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