Malaysian small- and medium-sized businesses in Malaysia will find it easier to explore expansion opportunities in India, after SME Corporation Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The MOU with India’s National Small Industries Corporation will aim to create policies that will support the development of SMEs in both countries, which may include a knowledge transfer programme.
Better Trade Relations
Giriraj Singh, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister, said that the MOU will be the catalyst for developing manufacturing and technology aspects in the SME sector. It will also improve the competency of MSMEs on the global market.
Aside from supporting the growth of SMEs, the agreement will strengthen trade relation between the two nations. According to Singh, bilateral trade between India and Malaysia reached $8.71 billion from January to September 2016. While the agreement represents good news, many Malaysian SMEs currently struggle to expand their brand due to the expensive cost of investment, according to a survey.
Marketing and Branding Investments
BIZSPHERE Brand & Marketing Group surveyed 262 SMEs in the country to find out the top internal and external challenges for them. It showed that 53 per cent cited a lack of funds for brand and marketing as the top internal challenge. The high cost of brand communication served as the top external hurdle for 52 per cent of respondents.
Yap Keng Teck, BIZSPHERE managing consultant, advised SMEs in Malaysia to focus more on strategic brand planning since inadequate planning mainly drives companies to think that costs are high. He also suggested taking advantage of government funding assistance and support programmes, which only a few have done so in recent months.
Malaysian SMEs need to take advantage of the MOU and other government initiatives if they want to thrive or keep their business afloat in 2018. What is your strategy for expansion in 2018?