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Thailand SMEs to get help in innovation from UOB fintech accelerator

According to a recent report, the United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) fintech and innovation accelerator has announced on the launch of its Smart Business Transformation Programme, a three-month program for Thailand’s small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The move came 7 months after an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), where the fintech accelerator, UOB Thailand and the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) of Thailand will jointly offer Smart Business Transformation Programme in Thailand to help Thai SMEs with digital transformation.

Thailand, the second largest Southeast Asian country, has a high mobile and internet penetration rate; a ready demand for business digitization, making the country an optimal choice for the fintech accelerator’s first foray beyond Singapore.

An online survey conducted by the fintech accelerator with about 800 Thai SMEs revealed that 73% of them were keen on leveraging on technologies to drive future business growth. Entering new markets (54%) and online marketing (51%) are the two most popular business strategies for Thailand’s SMEs.

The Managing Director of the fintech accelerator noted that the firm is excited to bring to Thailand its experience on bridging ecosystems, helping SMEs to connect and to collaborate with leading technology providers to achieve commercial success.

He added that the firm’s objective is to transfer its knowledge and expertise to a local Thai team that will serve the domestic needs and requirements of the SMEs in Thailand.

Smart Business Transformation Programme

The fintech accelerator claims to have received more than 1,000 applications across industries ranging from SME solutions (19%), mobile payments (12%), lending (5%), data analytics (4%) to other tech solutions (43%) across 48 countries over the past 3 years. It currently has 13 fintech businesses and 11 SMEs in Singapore who have graduated from its accelerator program.

The accelerator program operator also shared that participating SMEs will get exposure to relevant tech solutions; be equipped with the know-how to digitize and scale; access to a group of experts and domain experts, in addition to the support of UOB’s regional brand as a foundational network for SMEs to do businesses in new markets and the fintech accelerator’s extensive networks.

One example can be the case of a travel agency and a technology solution provider. After the completion of the fintech accelerator’s Smart Business Programme Cycle 3, the technology solution provider is today offering an auto-call-back service for the holiday service where potential customers can arrange for a call at an appointed time to learn more about tour packages and other travel-related details. And this helps to reduce the sales lead loss rates for the holiday services company.

The fintech accelerator is now accepting applications and will kickstart the programme in April 2019.

The selection process for participating Thai SMEs can be quite stringent. Some of the parameters include a minimum annual revenue generation of between THB 25 million – 1 billion (US$760,000 to US$30 million). Business owners themselves have to be willing, open-minded and able to commit to the business digitization journey.

However, upon being admitted into the program, Thai SMEs will receive quality training and guidance on how to most effectively adopt and adapt technological strategies to enable the digital transformation of their businesses. This is particularly pertinent as the vast majority of Thai SMEs seek to revamp their business processes by leveraging modern technology.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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