Alibaba: Digital economy to play more important role post-Covid-19

Alibaba Group expects the digital economy will play an even more important role in the recovery, supply chain restructuring and cross-border trade enablement of SMEs in the post-pandemic era. — Reuters pic
Alibaba Group expects the digital economy will play an even more important role in the recovery, supply chain restructuring and cross-border trade enablement of SMEs in the post-pandemic era. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Alibaba Group expects the digital economy will play an even more important role in the recovery, supply chain restructuring and cross-border trade enablement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the post-pandemic era.

Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI) vice-president, Brian Wong said entrepreneurs are pathfinders and trailblazers during this journey.

“They have not only pivoted their own venture and team but also have been using the digital tools to enable their customers, partners and the local community to embrace the transformation.

“We hope our entrepreneurs will stay true to their mission and vision, stay nimble and continue serving their customers and community post-pandemic,” he told Bernama today.

He said Covid-19 has put healthcare, social, economic systems, entrepreneurs’ leadership and business model to test which will reveal any hidden cracks in the system.

“We encourage our entrepreneurs to rise up to the challenge and take the opportunity to improve their companies’ internal capability, as the pandemic has already accelerated digital transformation and many countries are now in the inflection point,” he said.

The digital economy according to Wong, either, e-commerce, cashless payment, contactless delivery to big data has played an important role in the areas of community support and spread control.

He said, Alibaba Business School has obtained lessons for future studies, such as the importance to embrace change and staying nimble, as it took time for Alibaba Business School to respond to the crisis and make adjustment to its training programme.

It has also highlighted the importance of innovation premised on constant improvement and breakthrough  centred around the need of the entrepreneurs and SME community.

It also brought to attention the importance of the community, because entrepreneurs were able to rise up to the challenge through collaborating with other entrepreneurs in the community where there was a common understanding and trust.

Wong would described the new normal as supply chain becomes more decentralised and streamlined and as digital economy including e-commerce, cashless payment, contactless delivery and live streaming become the mainstream economy.

Additionally, Wong said more companies will embrace smart working and education, as well as training, will continue to be online in the near future.

“We will embrace the new normal and help our entrepreneurs to navigate this new normal from a capacity-building perspective.

AGI’s mission is to share the positive impact of the new business paradigm in promoting inclusive development and to inspire and empower entrepreneurs, youth and women.

“We have also summed up the key responses and learnings from the Alibaba ecosystem and our entrepreneur community in a handbook entitled “Digital Action for Entrepreneurs in the Age of Covid-19: Learnings from Alibaba” sharing insights to help more businesses rise above the coronavirus outbreak through digital technologies and innovations,” Wong said.

Moving forward, Wong said Alibaba will continue to adapt its training content and format to support the entrepreneur community and to enable the acceleration of the digital transformation. — Bernama

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