Bross raking in RM35 mil in Ramadan sales indicates digital business is the way forward

Awang Tengah and Naroden (right screen) together with Sarimah (left screen) at the closing ceremony of RISTEx Sarawak Region through Webinar.

KUCHING, Sept 18: The Sarawakku Sayang People’s Online Bazaar (Bross) initiated during this year’s Ramadan season, which involved more than 7,000 small traders and hawkers, hauled in RM35 million in sales in just one month.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan emphasised that this demonstrated the critical importance of digital technologies in allowing business and people’s life to continue as usual during pandemics.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us how important technology is in allowing us to continue with our daily activities whether it is government services and businesses.

“The Covid-19 has changed the global business landscape. It is evident that businesses that adapt to digital technology can continue to run their business successfully despite the many obstacles and restrictions,” he addressed the virtual closing ceremony of Sarawak Region Team Excellence Innovation Showcase (RISTEx) 2020 on Webinar today.

When the Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed, Awang Tengah who is also Minister of Rural Development and Natural Resources II, noted that many physical businesses operations had to stop or down size.

“But with digital platforms, entrepreneurs can still continue doing their businesses,” he said, reiterating that the Digital Economy initiative launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg three years ago was apt and timely in line with the rapid development of the global digital economy.

In this era of globalisation, he continued, entrepreneurs must always find new ways in running their businesses digitally in line with Sarawak’s vision to create a new dimension in the growth of development in Sarawak.

“Digital economy will create job opportunities among the youth in urban and rural areas, and change their way of lives as well as conducting businesses.

“The shift in the digital economy will have a big impact on every aspect of our lives and the way society deals with businesses,” he added.

Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of International Trade and Industry, Terminal Industry and Entrepreneur Development, pointed out that the state government also provided financial assistance for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to ensure they can continue their businesses and increase their productivity.

Up until Sept 11, he revealed that Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme (SMCS) has approved RM13.65 million loan to 415 SMEs while RM944 million Special Relief Fund (SRF) have been approved for 2,443 SMEs.

“This is part of the government’s initiatives to ensure increasing productivity in the business sector even though the world is facing the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

On RISTEx, Awang Tengah congratulated the groups for their continuous innovative spirit and initiatives during these tough times.

“Team Excellence is still able to save RM37 million through innovative initiatives competed this time. Well done to all in the team who have successfully implemented the improved innovation and contributed to the savings.

“This effort indirectly has contributed largely to increasing the productivity and economy of the nation and helped Sarawak achieve its vision to become the most developed state by 2030,” he praised.

Meanwhile, organised by Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), RISTEx Convention for Sarawak Region this year recorded 300 participants in 25 groups from 13 organisations including the public and private sector.

The programme prepared a platform for organisations with creative ideas to transform the ideas and shared with other organisations.

Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais and MPC state director Sarimah Misman attended the ceremony.-DayakDaily