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JOHOR BARU: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should start changing their mindset. Instead of fearing technology, they should use it to their advantage, says Digi head of corporate and SME, business division Allie Tan Keng Keng.

Tan said it was “common knowledge” that SMEs in the country were family-owned and some first-generation founders were still at the helm.

“I don’t see any problem for SMEs to use technology as part of their daily operations, including marketing their products or services,” she said at the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) Lab here yesterday.

Tan said with their children now managing the business, the youngsters should convince their parents to adopt technology.


“Even our grandmothers, fathers and mothers are using smartphones now; so, they should have no problems with technology,” Tan said.

Tan was one of three panellists for the topic “Technology The Engine of Change”. The others were PKT Logistics Sdn Bhd group chief operating officer Png Tean Hau and RHB group transaction banking head Chung Chee Kai.

Png said it was mandatory for PKT Logistics employees to have a Facebook account.

“Using FB is a more effective tool to get the message across to our employees because we found that they hardly look at the physical notice board nowadays.

“Everybody can comment, give suggestions or views and it makes our organisation very open, and our employees are happy with that,” he said.

Png said the company also hired new employees via FB and would not hire them if they did not have the social media account.

“We have about 1,000 employees and there are 19,000 people on our Talent Hunter Group, and from this huge base we could hire new employees,” he added.

Chung felt Malaysians were ready for a cashless society and this would be a reality within the next two years.

“We need to create more awareness on cashless transactions and at the same time, all of us have to start changing our mindset.

“It is challenging but it can be done. We need to simplify the procedures for users without compromising safety and security,” he said.

The other speakers at the event were Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd vice-president SME Advisory and Marketing Jenny Ho, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) southern region director Raphy Md Radzi and Holstein Milk Company Sdn Bhd managing director Loi Tuan Ee.

Seri Austin cum UMLand Townships group director Wong Kuen Kong and Proguard Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Datuk Lee Ngai Mun, as well as its chief executive officer and chief finance officer Datin Cindy Choh were the others who spoke.

SOBA 2018 is organised by The Star with Digi, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd and RHB Bank as the main sponsors. Credit Guarantee Corporation is the co-sponsor.

Matrade is the official trade promotion partner and New World Petaling Jaya Hotel is the official venue.

SOBA 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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