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GEORGE TOWN: Embrace technology and not run away from it, as it can cut down the time you need to grow your wealth, says PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Michael Tio.

He said it used to take 60 years to become a billionaire.

“This was during my father’s time. Now you can achieve this kind of wealth in six years if you are bold enough to embrace technology,” he said.

He was speaking at the Star Business Award 2018 (SOBA) Lab at the MSOGO Co.Workspace at Prangin Mall.

Tio was one of the three panellists for the topic “Technology – The Engine of Change”.

The other two were Digi enterprise product marketing head Khairan Nasir and RHB Group Transaction Banking head Chung Chee Kai.

According to Tio, SMEs could use Facebook to better manage their workers and reduce turnover rates.

“In 2008, my IT manager had wanted to ban Facebook usage in the company, as the staff were spending time playing games and downloading movies.

“I told him to hold on as I needed time to find out more about Facebook.

“I created an account in 2009 and added my workers as friends.

“When I found out that I can get feedback from them instantaneously, I told the IT manager that he can’t ban Facebook as it links me directly with the employees.

“I even increased the broadband capacity in the company and even installed a wi-fi station at the washrooms, so that I can always be in contact with my employees.

“This was a reverse psychology strategy to prevent the employees from misusing the Internet,” he said.

Tio said after PKT allowed Facebook to be used, the company was able to retain its workers more effectively.

“The turnover rate was reduced to only 2% per annum,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khairan said many of the SMEs in the country were aware of the need to transform.

“They, however, don’t know where to begin. This is why the adoption of technology is not happening as fast as we would like to see.

“The Internet penetration in the country currently is between 60% and 70%,” Khairan said.

On going cashless, Chung said the country had the necessary IT and broadband infrastructure for going cashless.

“Some 50% of the SMEs in the country have already gone cashless.

“Cheques are expensive and not cost-efficient to business. E-payments are cheaper,” Chung added.

Meanwhile, Penang Golf Club sales & marketing executive Mandy Yang said she learnt the importance of employing appropriate strategies to run a company.

“I am beginning to see the operations of a company from a different perspective and will be applying what I have learnt from the talks,” she said.

Wilchard Bah, a training provider, said he wished the session was longer so he could learn more.

“A longer session would give us the time to talk to the speakers and mingle around with the other participants,” Bah said.

The other speakers at the event were Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd SME advisory & marketing vice-president Jenny Hoh, Malaysia External Trade Development Corpora­tion (Matrade northern region director Sharifah Nazreen Farhana Syed Marzuki, Erican Education Group founder & managing director Datuk Eric Chong, Lexis Hotels & Resorts president Mandy Chew, and Kalyx Consultants Sdn Bhd managing director Shirlyn Lim.

SOBA 2018 is organised by The Star with Digi, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd and RHB Bank Berhad as main sponsors, Credit Guarantee Corpo­ration as co-sponsor, Matrade as official trade promotion partner and New World Petaling Jaya Hotel as official venue.

It is endorsed by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO with 988, SuriaFM and dimsum as official media partners.


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