Over a 4-day period from March 19 to March 22, the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) conducted a survey on 239 startups and social enterprises.
The participants were from various industries, including education, IT solutions, merchandising, F&B, tourism, agriculture, and healthcare.
MaGIC’s results revealed that about 40% of startups and social enterprises may fold if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts until Hari Raya Aidilfitri in late May.
In light of this situation, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has launched a campaign called #DigitalvsCovid, where it’s gathering local tech companies to graciously extend their digital solutions and services to affected domestic businesses and consumers.
“While large corporations have contingency plans to minimise the impact of COVID-19, many SMEs and micro-enterprises may not be able to tide it through this global pandemic,” MDEC CEO Surina Shukri said in a statement released on March 25.
“One way forward is through automation and digitalisation. We are proud to announce that 80 tech companies are waiting to render their services and MDEC encourages entrepreneurs from all industries to leverage on these offerings,” she added.
The Ideal Time To ‘Pay It Forward’
The campaign’s call has been well received by MDEC’s network of GAIN companies particularly, which consists of prolific tech startups and scaleups.
#DigitalvsCovid is carried by a ‘pay it forward’ attitude by these companies, who had readily expressed interest in offering their services on a pro-bono basis, either through attractive discounts or strategic collaborations.
It’s not only GAIN companies that are encouraged to join; the campaign is open to all Malaysian based tech companies that are willing to offer their services as described.
The comprehensive list of tech solutions and services for SMEs can be accessed here. According to MDEC, it will continue to be updated as more tech companies come forward to render their assistance.
The currently listed companies are categorised into:
- Malaysia Digital Hubs
- Food/Grocery/Last-mile delivery services
- Medtech and healthcare
- Insights and analytics
- Virtual workspace, task management, and monitoring
- Communication management provider
- E-commerce and related service providers
- Technology solution provider
Companies who want to participate and be a part of this campaign can fill up a Google Docs form here, and their application will then be processed and evaluated for suitability.
Vulcan Post asked Gopi Ganesalingam, VP of GGA at MDEC, how long these offers would be applicable.
He replied, “There are no limits set by MDEC on the duration of these offers, and they will vary from company to company in the list.”
Top Areas Of Concern For SMEs During MCO
Surina also shared the top 3 areas of concern by SMEs that MDEC’s Global Growth Acceleration (GGA) division has received since the implementation of the MCO on March 18.
They include business continuity, employee wellbeing, and macro-socio-economic support.
“Many SMEs are experiencing interrupted supply-chain movement, delays in business processes that require paperwork, limited tools to engage their stakeholders, constraints in conducting non-cash transactions, as well as challenges in managing a high-volume workforce,” Surina commented.
“Nonetheless, we are confident that our GAIN companies can offer relief to SMEs by resolving some of these difficulties.”
According to MDEC, companies also want to ensure employee wellbeing by trying to adequately equip employees with an awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic and advocating preventive health and safety measures.
Employers are actively seeking the provision of workforce compensation and other benefits for their employees too.
Surina assured that MDEC’s GGA division will continue to explore more industry-relevant business continuity solutions via digital technologies and drive participation and growth in the digital economy.
- You can find the list of tech companies in the campaign here, or sign your own company up to join here.
- You can read more about MDEC here.
Featured Image Credit: MDEC