Study: Family businesses in Malaysia least confident of future-readiness

Family businesses in Malaysia are least assured in South-east Asia about their future-readiness. — Picture by KE Ooi
Family businesses in Malaysia are least assured in South-east Asia about their future-readiness. — Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Family businesses in Malaysia are least assured in South-east Asia about their future-readiness, according to a study by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

They emerged as least positive towards their internal capabilities to deploy new technology (7.24). They also scored the lowest in terms of confidence levels in the people category – their employees’ development of skills and ability to hire and retain talent (7.28 on a 10-point scale, with 10 as most confident).

As part of the regional study, family business leaders in Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand rated their future readiness across categories of people, environment, processes and technology.

The findings of the study were shared today at an EIU event entitled, ‘Tradition, Technology and Transformation — Embracing change and ensuring continuity in family-owned businesses’.

Economist Corporate Network’s global editorial director, Andrew Staples said, “To strengthen their legacy and seize opportunities in the digital economy, the Malaysian family businesses cannot continue to depend on connections or customer loyalty.

“Family businesses and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) need to future-proof themselves with digital know-how and innovation in order to transform into an intelligent enterprise that can compete on the international arena,” he said at the media briefing after the presentation.

The session saw 50 attendees comprising CEOs and other top management of Malaysian SMEs.

Meanwhile, SAP Malaysia managing director, Duncan Williamson said SMEs should “up their game” further by digitising their core business processes to help them achieve more success with instant access to information and streamline everything from finance to talent management.

“SMEs should start viewing technology as an investment and not a cost if they are to realise sustainable growth.

“There is much room for improvement with Malaysian SMEs which should start viewing technology that paves the way for greater productivity, operational efficiencies and cost-savings,” he said.

Williamson added that SAP offered a portfolio of solutions that support SMEs with their digital transformation aspirations.

“Particularly, SAP Business One is an on-premise and cloud business application for small businesses that is modular and flexible, with add-ons available that are tailored to industries and special functions,” he said.

Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation’s vice president of enterprise development, Gopi Ganesalingam said SMEs needed to step up their digital transformation efforts to “future proof” their core businesses and unleash innovation to stay ahead of the competition.

“As the world embraces the digital age, it is clear that there is a revolution taking place right now with technology taking centre stage by changing all the rules and making disruption the norm.

“The way forward is for businesses to embrace the idea of being disruptive and not be disrupted,” he said. — Bernama

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