Last updated: 13 March 2023
Published on: 05 November 2021
6 MINS READ
By Bea Bacason
When it comes to business, even small enterprises can have an outsized impact, especially in the digital realm. In Singapore, SMEs are crucial drivers of the Republic’s economy, with such companies responsible for hiring 70 percent of the workforce and contributing roughly half of the country’s gross domestic product. But digitalisation could supercharge Singapore’s SMEs, driving further revenue growth and increasing productivity through streamlined transactions. With the right resources, support and expertise, going digital can be simple.
With easy-to-deploy digital solutions, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) initiatives like Start Digital offer SMEs access to the right resources and guidance to make going digital simple. Launched in 2019 by IMDA and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Start Digital is an initiative under the SMEs Go Digital programme that helps SMEs build their businesses with foundational digital solutions. The initiative has since been refreshed with digital solutions for digital marketing, digital transactions and digital collaboration.
These exciting new projects are supported by members of the SMEs Go Digital team who are passionate about helping SMEs succeed by understanding their unique needs. Find out how Mr Than Wei Sin, Mr Dilparinder Singh and Ms Yee Wanyu work with SMEs to drive business with better digital practices.
Cultivating a digital community
Despite the clear advantages of going digital, some businesses may not know where to start or be aware of all the options available to them. To facilitate this, the IMDA Start Digital Pack groups SMEs digital solutions across a variety of categories to help them begin their digital journey.
As a part of the Partnerships, Impact & Industry Digital Plans team, Mr Than Wei Sin works with partners to support SMEs by providing useful and affordable solutions, such as digital collaboration solutions, accounting software and InvoiceNow, which is the nationwide e-invoicing network.
“Taking the first step is usually the most difficult. It requires SMEs to step out of their comfort zone to understand the available digital solutions, as well as take a leap of faith to select the digital solution that best meets their business needs. Through the Start Digital initiative, I aim to make the decision easier for SMEs.”
Than Wei Sin
Similarly dedicated to his role as Pre-approval Senior Manager is Mr Dilparinder Singh, who is set on building a thriving Singapore in the post-pandemic world. At IMDA, Mr Singh works to understand the needs of the SMEs in various sectors to curate cost-effective digital solutions through close collaboration with agencies, trade associations and validation sessions with SMEs. Already, his insights are proving invaluable to the identification of solutions for the Start Digital initiative.
“Three important things I consider are whether it will add value to an SME, whether it is cost-effective for the SME, and whether it can be integrated with a suite of solutions that an SME may already have or may adopt in the future.”
Beyond the Start Digital Pack, Mr Singh’s influence also extends to the Industry Digital Plans (IDPs), where SMEs are offered a step-by-step guide on tailored digital solutions that they can adopt as their business grows. Collaborating with other IMDA teams, he ensures that even enterprises in early stages can access curated frontier technology tools that harness artificial intelligence or machine learning, as well as 5G.
Like Mr Than, Mr Singh considers working with a diverse group of stakeholders the highlight of his career. From trade associations and internal cluster teams to solution providers and SMEs—Mr Than and Mr Singh engage stakeholders from various industries to drive their common goal of deploying digital solutions for Singapore’s business community.
Sharing the news of our digital future
With well-developed solutions and willing partners in place—SMEs need to be made aware of the help available to them. However, promoting digital adoption to an entire country is no easy feat, given the perceived complexities of using technology and the comfort of traditional practices like cash payments and paper receipts. For Manager Ms Yee Wanyu of the Engagement team, marketing campaigns advocating for digitalisation are crucial to ensure the success of SMEs Go Digital.
“SMEs are at the heart of Singapore's economy. With digital technology transforming every sector of Singapore's economy, it is important to help SMEs understand the benefits of going digital, so that they can capitalise on digital technologies to thrive and seize growth opportunities.”
By working with stakeholders, Ms Yee and the Engagement team manage SMEs Go Digital’s outreach communications and marketing plans, organise industry events and produce campaign videos that highlight the benefits of digital adoption. Among her favourites is ‘The Art of Going Digital’, a series of three SME success stories featured in cinematic-style videos.
By presenting the fruits of digitalisation in such videos, SMEs can see how digitalisation is not only beneficial, but can even be simple for IMDA—alleviating fears and encouraging more SMEs to take the first step in their digital journeys.
As more businesses share their digitalisation journeys with her team, she has come to value their perspectives, guiding in turn the way she envisions the digital future. “Change is the only constant in life—this is especially true amid the pandemic,” concluded Ms Yee. “Digitalisation is not only changing the way businesses work, but also changing the way individuals live their lives.”
Filled with purpose and set on ensuring the success of each SME they work with, Mr Than, Mr Singh and Ms Yee help IMDA’s initiatives create positive change for the country. Through their dedicated employees, IMDA sets the stage for Singapore’s SMEs to harness the power of new technologies—living up to their mission as the architects of Singapore’s digital future.
Curious about what goes on behind the scenes at IMDA? Stay tuned for more articles on the passionate individuals who are propelling Singapore into a digital future! For those interested in kickstarting a career in IMDA, find out more about the opportunities available on our Careers page.