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Maybank Islamic partners Elokal to help SMEs tap new markets and grow business

26/09/2022 03:07 PM

PETALING JAYA, Sept 26 (Bernama) -- Maybank Islamic Bhd has entered into a strategic partnership with Elokal Sdn Bhd, an e-commerce specialist, to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) market their products and services locally in both physical stores and e-commerce sites.

Deputy chief executive officer Nor Shahrizan Sulaiman said this initiative is a continuation of the bank’s flagship Halal Route to Market Programme (Halmap), launched in 2021, named Halmap 2.0, which will see 20 SME customers of Maybank Islamic with growth potential selected.

“In this programme, Elokal as the distributor will be responsible for, among others, delivery of the products to retail stores, all marketing and promotional activities and also product pitching to retailers.

“The SMEs selected will have their products marketed at not just physical and online stores of Petronas, Petron and desaMall but also at popular e-commerce platforms including Shopee, Lazada and Wow Shop, to maximise the products’ brand exposure and customer reach,” he told reporters after the partnership signing ceremony here today.

Nor Shahrizan said the programme is for one year, and depending on the performance of the businesses selected this year, the bank hopes to double the number of SMEs onboarded to the programme each year.

He also stressed that Maybank is always committed to exploring strategic partnerships to find ways to market new products and that digitalisation is critical for the long-term viability of SMEs in the new economy, to enhance their productivity and sustainability.

“It also reduces cost by providing better and quicker access to information between businesses and networks. In addition, it facilitates better connection with customers in a more engaging way which could translate into higher customer satisfaction,” he said.

Elokal managing director, Ahmad Shah Wahid said he is targeting to increase sales of the SMEs under their management by 10 to 30 per cent by making their products available at its various physical and online distribution networks.

“We are managing about 4,000 SMEs as well as micro-businesses and eyeing to increase the number by 1,000 a year which was selected based on their potential to grow.

“Elokal had been working with the Rural Development Ministry as well as financial institutions, hand-holding the SMEs to help them grow, assisting them in identifying their problems and improving their products and services to a higher level,” he said.


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