by BERNAMA / pic credit: Teng Chang Khim FB

THE Selangor state government encourages small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially those in the retail business, in this state to go online rather than depend on the traditional ways of doing business.

Selangor senior executive councillor and chairman of the Standing Committees for Investment, Industry and Commerce, and Small and Medium Enterprises Datuk Teng Chang Khim (picture) said that by going online, the SMEs would be able to generate sales and income even during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional MCO (CMCO).

“For example during Ramadan this year, the state government sponsored RM1 million in discount vouchers for SMEs which want to go online by registering with e-commerce platform Shopee for E-Bazar Raya. Before this programme, we had 2,000 SMEs registered with Shopee, but during this programme the figure jumped to 6,400 SMEs.

“The result is overwhelming. We managed to record RM11.7 million revenue from the programme, 11 times more than what we have invested in,” he said during the virtual press conference after officiating at the 5th Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Conference today.

To make the E-Bazar Raya a success, he said the state government will organise an online shopping festival with the cooperation of two e-commerce platforms, Shopee and Lazada.

“The 11.11 programme will be launched very soon by our Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, and he will give all the details about this programme in a few days,” he said.

During his opening speech, Teng said the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted the economy had forced SMEs to go online when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed in March to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

He said the SMEs have to embrace digitalisation to cope with office closures, restricted movement and supply interruption.

“It is often in times of crisis that this kind of seismic shift takes place as SMEs seek to survive in the challenging business environment by applying e-commerce, O2O concept, food delivery and e-wallet in their business.

“The latest announcement of the reimposition of the CMCO in Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya is a timely reminder that SMEs should have learned the useful lessons from the first MCO to better equip themselves digitally,” he said.

He added that the digitalisation of businesses is not a one-off piecemeal project but rather a comprehensive journey.

“Thus the business owner must possess the right mindset to adopt the best practice in order to compete in the new normal. A major misperception about digital transformation is that it is something expensive. However, it brings many benefits such as labour and cost reduction, increased productivity, better customer retention and the creation of new sources of revenue or growth,” he said.