KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): United Overseas Bank Ltd's (UOB) innovation accelerator The FinLab, together with UOB Malaysia, will name the Jom Transform Programme participants next week.
In an email interview with theedgemarkets.com, The FinLab co-head Pauline Sim said the programme aims to equip businesses in Malaysia with the necessary frameworks to innovate and adopt technology, as well as catalyse the adoption of digital solutions in areas that are pertinent to many businesses currently, like online marketing, customer engagement, and process improvement.
"We do so via the format of an acceleration programme, where we involve selected businesses in workshops, meetings with technology providers curated by The FinLab, and deployment of pilots facilitated by The FinLab, as well as mentors from the community," she said.
Sim explained that the programme in Malaysia is conducted in partnership with five organisations from both the public and private sectors, namely Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor (KLSCCCI), Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Maxis Bhd, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and SME Corp Malaysia.
"These organisations provide mentorship and will co-organise events with UOB Malaysia and us to promote digitalisation amongst Malaysian businesses," she said.
On funding, Sim said the programme is largely subsidised by UOB Malaysia for the participating businesses.
She said these businesses would be looking to stay ahead with industry and market changes, and as their banking partner, UOB Malaysia wants to continue supporting the business growth ambitions of the businesses.
Sim said the programme is open to all businesses incorporated in Malaysia.
"We received interest and applications from 900 Malaysian businesses since the launch [of The FinLab's first programme in the country] in June.
"We have since selected 16 businesses for the Malaysia programme and will be announcing the selected businesses on Sept 24," she said.
Sim said during the three-month programme, the businesses will attend a series of workshops conducted by industry experts, which will equip participants with the know-how and skills to kick-start their digital transformation journeys.
She explained that The FinLab's programmes in Singapore and Thailand have equipped the participating businesses with skills and mindsets as well as digital tools to help them better navigate the digital economy.
The FinLab first launched its business transformation programme in Singapore in 2018 and early this year in Thailand.
"At present, we are focusing our attention on the business participants in Malaysia and Thailand. We are also planning to continue the work started from this first programme in Malaysia and support more businesses next year," said Sim.
She said besides the three-month programme, The FinLab is also building a community of like-minded business owners eager for digital transformation.
She said The FinLab community will comprise businesses which are keen to go digital and adopt digital solutions.
"They can learn from the 16 businesses in the Jom Transform Programme, as well as join some of the activities and events that we will organise for the wider community. Interested companies can find out more on our Facebook page and website," she said.
"While the physical launch took place in Kuala Lumpur, this programme is open to all businesses incorporated in Malaysia.
"However, in this first cycle, the workshops are held within the Klang Valley, so the businesses tend to be from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur," she said.
Sim added that with UOB Malaysia as a key partner and having an established network of branches across Malaysia, including East Malaysia and Kelantan/Terengganu, The FinLab has plans to share and engage the business communities in other parts of Malaysia as well.
She said The FinLab selects about 15 businesses for each cycle of the programme, adding that the 16 to be announced next week is the highest number of participants thus far.