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PETALING JAYA: There are a lot of benefits that businesses can derive from going digital. Better engagements with customers and em­­ployees and reducing the cost of transactions are only some of them.

Digi’s business division chief business officer Eugene Teh Yee noted that digital engagement can help businesses build a clo­ser relationship with their customers and share information about their products and services, which gives them an avenue to upsell.

This will ultimately increase sales.

“People are on their smartphones, on ave­rage, 10 to 14 hours a day. Businesses have no choice but to think mobile first and embrace digital to grow,” said Teh at the SOBA Lab here yesterday.

Teh was one of the panellists at the panel discussion titled “Technology – The Engine of Change”.

The session, moderated by Malaysia Retail Chain Association council member Raymond Woo, also featured PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd chief marketing officer Kuan Eu Jin and RHB Bank Bhd group transaction banking head Chung Chee Kai.

Kuan agreed, saying that for a business-­to-business company like PKT, the use of social media to engage consumers has helped boost its branding among end-users.

PKT also uses social media to engage its employees, which helps with staff retention.

“We need to engage the millennials and this is the medium that they are in.

“Employee turnover at PKT is 5% a year. And half of those in the 5% who leave, eventually come back to the company,” said Kuan.

Meanwhile, Chung said RHB’s own journey of digital transformation has enabled the banking group to change the way it engages with stakeholders.

“We see more updates through social media on how our employees are engaging with our customers. There are endless opportunities by going digital,” he said.

He added that retailers can further benefit as Malaysia moves towards a cashless society.

Going cashless reduces transaction cost, improves convenience and enhances control for businesses, he said.

SMEs at SOBA Lab also gleaned from pre­sentations by Credit Guarantee Corp vice-­president of SME advisory and marketing Jenny Hoh as well as Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) deputy chief executive officer Sharimahton Mat Saleh about obtaining financing and going global respectively.

Participants at the workshop were also inspired by stories from successful entrepreneurs such as Vitality Boost Sdn Bhd (Boost Juice) managing director and founder Dr Soraya Ismail, Sirius International (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder Anne Tham and Hernan Corp group chief executive officer Anna Teo.

The SOBA Lab workshops were organised in conjunction with The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2018.

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

SOBA 2018 is endorsed by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, supported by Bursa Malaysia, and audited by BDO, with 988, SuriaFM and dimsum as official media partners.

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