An opportunity to reset – SMEs get support in digital transformation

‘In every crisis lies an opportunity’ – this saying clearly resonated with 30 Singapore SME leaders, who came together this October for ‘The Great Reset’ programme to learn how best to transform their businesses through digitisation, and to develop abilities to weather disruptions in the new economy. In fact, their enthusiasm was overwhelming, and the inaugural class was fully subscribed within two weeks of release!

Targeted at senior business leaders of local SMEs, ‘The Great Reset’ is a blended learning programme offered by SMU’s Business Families Institute (BFI) and BEYOND Lab, a regional digital agency established jointly by Singapore Business Federation and V3 FinTech Pte Ltd, a unit of leading Singapore SME V3 Group Limited (V3 Group).

The first course run kicked off on 2 October with a diverse group of participants hailing from the wholesale trade, built environment, food manufacturing and services, and retail sectors. Over 80 per cent of the participants represent the second and third generation of their respective family businesses.  Through three virtual sessions and two in-person workshops taught by veteran instructors over five weeks, participants will learn to identify opportunities in a post-pandemic world, develop digitalisation plans, and eventually implement customised solutions for their unique needs.

In her address to the inaugural class of 30 SME leaders, Professor Annie Koh, V3 Group Professor of Family Entrepreneurship, SMU Vice President for Business Development, BFI’s Academic Director, said, “The current pandemic has hastened the adoption of digital tools and technologies by local SMEs.  Some may have transitioned faster than others, but everyone can benefit from attaining practicable knowledge and resources to help them ease into the new business norms.  ‘The Great Reset’ programme is both timely and relevant as it helps our SMEs to further sharpen their business strategies and operations, and we are very encouraged by the overwhelming response.”

Among the participants in the inaugural cohort are Mr Xavier See, Principal Partner, Heritage Family Office; and Mr Ken Leong, Leong Poh Kee Pte Ltd.

“Change means risk. Change also means opportunity. In an ever-changing business environment, this programme is for those who are serious about learning not just to be comfortable, but to succeed and thrive in times of change,” said Mr See.

“The Great Reset programme is an eye opening experience and a good opportunity for me to learn from various industry leaders about their challenges and experiences. I gained fresh perspectives from their views on issues which I am facing,” shared Mr Leong.

The curriculum curated by BFI is designed to be action-oriented and outcome-driven, offering business leaders practical knowledge and implementable takeaways to enhance their business strategies and operations. Upon completion of the programme, participants will also receive post-training implementation support from BEYOND Lab. This includes assistance in connecting to preferred technology vendors as well as in identifying sources of funding to support the firm’s digital transformation.

A second course run has been scheduled to begin on 12 October. The first two course runs are offered on a complimentary basis, made possible through generous support from the V3 Group, which established the V3 Group Professorship in Family Entrepreneurship at SMU in 2018 through the contribution of leading Singapore entrepreneur and founder of V3 Group, Mr Ron Sim.

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