Go digital to ensure survivability, microbusinesses urged

Wan Junaidi (centre) presenting grants and allocations to several recipients in his constituency.

KUCHING: Microbusinesses in Sarawak are urged to digitalise their operations to ensure their survival amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s crucial for businesses to set up a digital presence or risk having to close shop.

“I know many involved in selling popular Sarawak products such as Kek Lapis Sarawak and Ikan Terubuk Masin are having a hard time right now because tourists are not coming into the state.

“Therefore, they need to have a presence online so that they can still reach out to customers, not only in Malaysia but also globally,” said Federal Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“Going digital is the new norm. To date, there are many e-markets for them to sell their products and promote their services, including the recently launched WarongKu,” he said on Thursday (May 6).

Based on the ministry’s observation, Wan Junaidi said businesses with a digital presence were not only able to survive but had seen significant growth in their monthly sales – by as much as 200 per cent.

However, he said for this migration process to be successful, businesses would need to undergo training as well as skill enhancement programmes.

“Having a digital presence is not simply about parking your products and services in e-markets. You need to learn other soft skills such as photography, copywriting in order to make your products appealing.

“I know this is challenging and may require a bit of cost. This is where the ministry and its agencies come in.

“We have initiatives such as Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga to assist with micro financing, and the National Entrepreneurship Institute to help with training. Those who are interested, please come talk to these agencies.”

Meanwhile, the Santubong MP presented grants and allocations totalling RM428,000 to several recipients in his constituency as well as other districts in Kuching on Thursday.

A total of RM249,000 was distributed to 104 mosques and surau in the Santubong constituency, and RM170,000 was given to 18 organisations in Kuching.