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MDEC launches SME Digital Guidebook

Malaysia Digital Economy Malaysia (MDEC) has launched the SME Digital Guidebook and Quick Guide for the Food & Beverages (F&B) and retail industry.

As part of MDEC’s 100 Go Digital initiative, the goal of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Digital Guidebook is to help SMEs in the retail and F&B sector to reassess their digital opportunities and readiness via a step-by-step guide on how to enhance their current digital capabilities and begin their digital transformation journey.

The CEO of MDEC stated that digital technologies are massively transforming every sector. While this poses a tremendous number of challenges for SMEs, particularly traditional businesses, it also creates a wave of new opportunities. Malaysia may have scored high on digital readiness rankings, but digital adoption by SMEs and traditional businesses are often hindered by – among others – lack of awareness, readiness, know-how, and appreciation of the benefits of digitalisation; as well as the oft-misperceived high cost of implementing new technologies.

The agency has thus developed these essential guidebooks to assist businesses and SMEs to accelerate their digital adoption in a structured, easy-to-follow method. This will enable and empower businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge, ensuring resiliency and agility against the COVID-19 malaise, setting Malaysia on course towards economic recovery.

The SME Digital Guidebooks serves as the first point of reference for SMEs interested to embark on digital adoption. Beyond providing a guide for SMEs to kickstart their journey, the guidebook also lists down the latest trends that will impact SMEs, lay down the importance of digitalisation, and also direct SMEs to available initiatives within Malaysia that SMEs could leverage on.

The Guidebooks are targeted towards small and mid-tiered businesses, especially traditional businesses looking to embark on their digital journey. Businesses looking to enhance or improve their businesses via digital means will also find the Guidebooks as a useful repository of ideas and suggestions.

Currently, the SME Digital Guidebooks are focused on the retail and F&B industry and comes in two reference guides for each sector. The SME Digital Quick Guide is an easy-to-read document for quick reference, providing a high-level view for businesses.

The SME Digital Guidebook, on the other hand, is a full document that will take a more structured approach in mapping digital needs, technologies, business goals and best practices to guide SMEs in elevating their digital capabilities.

The SME Digital Guidebook is co-developed with a multinational market research firm which provided analysis of the market and technology insights.

As a ‘digital first’ entity is no longer a choice but has risen to be a focal point for many SMEs to operate in current market conditions and to thrive beyond 2021. The pandemic has permanently changed the manner consumers and businesses operate – and the profound impact of this change has resonated across all sectors of the economy; with retail and F&B segments being severely disrupted.

The Managing Director the Malaysian arm of a multinational market research firm stated that to accelerate in a Digital Economy, it is crucial for SMEs to leverage upon available platforms and to transition their traditional base to one that is digitally-led. The launch of MDEC’s SME Digital Guidebooks for the Retail and F&B sector helps provide the first steps for SMEs, as well as the know-how, to navigate these challenges, and to set them on the right path towards digitalisation.

The SME Digital Guidebook and Quick Guide can be accessed and downloaded on the website. The SME Digital Guidebook was launched during Malaysia Tech Month 2021 (MTM’21), a virtual and month-long curation of digital and technology events geared not only towards showcasing Malaysia as a hub of digital investments but to also enlighten businesses with topics, solutions and tools that can aid them in their digital transformation.

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