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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Maxis doubles down on content with new ‘UsahaWIRA’ program to empower SMEs

Malaysia – Inspired by Malaysian SMEs’ entrepreneurial spirit and important role in the digital economy, telco Maxis has announced the launch of its new ‘UsahaWIRA’ (hero entrepreneur) program.

The program aims to help SMEs in the country to accelerate their business reactivation and build resilience for the future through digitalization.

As part of the program, Maxis will be releasing a series of initiatives and relevant content with a focus on the SME Digitalization Program by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), which showcase success stories of real-life ‘UsahaWIRAs’ that are already reaping the benefits of the grant and digital solutions, in an aim to inspire thousands of entrepreneurs across Malaysia. In addition, Maxis’ SME Help Squad will also be accessible to answer questions from business owners.

One of the program’s initiatives is “Ronda-Ronda Ketemu ‘UsahaWIRA’, Astro TV series”, which is a six-episode series that features celebrity host and business owner Ajak Shiro, and his journey with a Maxis’ SME Help Squad representative, searching for local hero entrepreneurs who want to share their stories on taking up digital solutions through the grant.

Another initiative is “‘UsahaWIRA’ film and customer featurettes”, a content that puts the spotlight on three ‘UsahaWIRAs’ across the country who overcame their challenges by digitizing their businesses with Maxis Business solutions through the grant and obtained real results that have made a difference in growing their businesses.

“Tanyalah Maxis” is also another initiative of the program, where Maxis Business and MDEC will be releasing various content pieces including bite-sized TikTok-style videos to answer all SMEs’ questions about digitalization and the Grant at the end of May.

And lastly, the “Spark ‘UsahaWIRA’” initiative, which is an extension of Maxis’ popular Spark series a series of interactive virtual forums to help businesses accelerate digital transformation and embrace IR4.0. It is a full-day event featuring some of the biggest names in the industry along with successful entrepreneurs who will share their journey on digital entrepreneurship, and host multiple workshop sessions.

Maxis’ Chief Enterprise Business Officer Paul McManus shared that as SMEs strive to protect their businesses in this challenging landscape, the company is encouraging them to think of what they need, both now and in the future, to be future-ready. 

“The ‘UsahaWIRA’ program aims to empower them to act quickly in adopting digital technologies through learnings and results from experienced entrepreneurs. Our goal is to guide them every step of the way and help them leverage digitalization so that they can always be ahead in a changing world,” said McManus.

Meanwhile, Aiza Azreen Ahmad, the chief digital business officer of MDEC, commented that the past year has brought into sharp focus the digital mandate, condensing the development of digitalization in a short period of time, as it is no longer a choice but a necessity. 

“We welcome Maxis’ ‘UsahaWIRA’ program which will give SMEs the confidence to take the first step in going digital through the SME Digitalization programs,” said Ahmad.

Just recently, Maxis has also launched ‘eKelas Usahawan’, a structured digital marketing program to empower women entrepreneurs in rural communities to develop a stronger digital presence. It comprises a series of digital marketing workshops at no cost, with a practical and hands-on approach, equipping them with digital tools and skills to help them grow their business.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

MY telco Maxis ties up with Shopee, launches first Raya shoppable campaign

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In observance of the Muslim holiday Hari Raya, Malaysian telco Maxis has partnered with e-commerce platform Shopee in releasing a shoppable holiday-centric campaign, which encourages Malaysians to shop online for their Raya festivity needs in support of local SMEs, whose businesses are greatly affected by the pandemic.

Hari Raya, or also known as Eid al-Fitr, is a Muslim religious holiday that marks the end of month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. In Malaysia, Hari Raya is a well-known holiday, many Muslims and even non-Muslims return to their family home, known by the term ‘balik kampong’ where they go home to their loved ones a day before the festivities.

Maxis has released the ad ‘Raya Si Sakan’, in collaboration with Shopee, which combines storytelling with technology through shoppable ad features, turning a typical video into a shopping catalogue for entrepreneurs to promote and sell their products.

Maxis is inviting Malaysians to shop for their Raya festive needs in support of a noble cause for online merchants. Malaysians can select from over a wide range of products showcased at Maxis’ dedicated campaign page, from fashion, food, Islamic wares, décor and home items, as well as arts and crafts. In addition, this campaign puts the spotlight on local micro-entrepreneurs to help them unlock their ‘rezeki’ potential through the power of e-commerce. 

The narrative follows the quirky tale of a husband and wife preparing for the Raya festivities. While the wife prepares new things for the festivity, the husband has been spending online to buy merchandise from sellers, from beauty products, Raya-centric foods and dresses.

The general theme of the campaign encapsulates a new thought of celebrating Raya, as the husband says that he is spending online so that the merchants as well can earn and enjoy their Raya as well.

For Tai Kam Leong, head of brand and marketing at Maxis, the Raya season has always been personified by acts of generosity and shopping, and they were inspired to blend the best of both traditions, using our shoppable Raya film to turn shopping into acts of giving.

“Bringing sellers and shoppers together in this digital space, we are encouraging people to support local businesses, while giving the latter the exposure they would not ordinarily get otherwise. And as a tribute to their entrepreneurial spirit and contribution to our economy, we want to put the best of technology in their hands to enable them to Always Be Ahead,” Leong stated.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Soh, head of Shopee Mall Malaysia, stated that this partnership with Maxis is another initiative to make e-commerce accessible, inclusive and beneficial for all Malaysians. 

“As we further our goal of using technology to empower the communities that we serve in, this joint effort will help local entrepreneurs, particularly B40 entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to gain exposure and sales,” Soh stated.

Soh says further, “Beyond sales, the initiative strives to provide livelihoods for the entrepreneurs and help them survive during these trying times. We are humbled to be part of this collaboration and we look forward to greater things that will benefit the country together with Maxis.”

Maxis has been supporting the SME and micro-SME community for several years now. Recently, it launched its eKelas Usahawan, a structured digital marketing program to empower women entrepreneurs in rural communities to develop a stronger digital presence.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

MY telco Maxis unveils digital readiness tool for companies

Malaysia – Continuing to help businesses accelerate digital transformation in the country, Maxis has officially launched the Digital Readiness Index (DRI), which is a first-of-its-kind online and interactive self-assessment tool that helps companies of all sizes across industries assess their level of digital readiness. 

At the virtual launch, Maxis’ Chief Enterprise Business Officer Paul McManus said the telco’s studies and continuous engagement with SMEs over the years have made clear the segment needs strong support to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape and to accelerate digitalization.

The DRI has the potential to generate actionable insights on the state of digital transformation of businesses and industries in the nation, including for government, particularly as a consideration for policy implementation and best practices for digital adoption

Paul McManus, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at Maxis

YB Dato Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) commented, “For SMEs and entrepreneurs to grow in the domestic market and even expand into international markets, digital readiness will be imperative. Going digital is not an option but a necessity for survival. We, therefore, welcome the DRI initiative, which is in line with the Ministry’s vision to foster a holistic and conducive ecosystem of entrepreneurship in the country.”

Maxis’ collaboration with MEDAC

In conjunction with the launch, Maxis and MEDAC will be collaborating on several initiatives through the Ministry’s agencies – National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN), TEKUN Nasional, and Co-operative Institute of Malaysia (IKKM).

These include incorporating the DRI into INSKEN’s ongoing targeted modules and trainings, exploring collaboration on Maxis’ Digital Entrepreneurship Workshop, and digital solutions for the Micro and SME segments. In addition, Maxis will also be sharing yearly updates of digital readiness in the country with the agencies through insights generated from the DRI to help them measure digital adoption rates in the country.

The DRI, which can be accessed through Maxis’ business website, analyzes three key pillars in business: customer satisfaction, employee productivity, and operational efficiency. A formula then determines the score for each pillar that tabulates a total score to gauge digital readiness – ranging from “Ready”, “Nearly Ready”to “Not Ready” and “At Risk”.

Alongside the general rating, the final report also provides competitor analysis, industry benchmarking as well as recommendations on the most suitable digital solutions for their needs. Companies can also opt to follow up with guidance from dedicated Maxis consultants. 

The tool had been piloted among 2,000 SMEs across industries retail, manufacturing, and transportation among others, where early insights showed that 58% of Malaysian SMEs are categorized as “Not Ready” in reaching its full potential in embracing digital technologies.

It also found that most SMEs are at the basic level when it comes to their customer engagement, where 61% are using email, while 40% use the holy grail social media as main communication channels. Meanwhile, only 26% of SMEs in the transportation, manufacturing, trade, and oil and gas sector track their company’s vehicles digitally.

Maxis earlier launched its “Retransformation” campaign in September, which calls on organizations in Malaysia to rethink and reevaluate their digital transformation strategies.

On the DRI, Maxis collaborated with multinational telecom company Vodafone which launched a similar Index in Europe. 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysia telco Maxis revamps brand purpose, helps consumers to “always be ahead”

Malaysia – In conjunction with its 25th anniversary, Malaysian telecommunications company Maxis unveiled a new brand purpose, which will convey the message of bringing together the best of technologies to help people, businesses and the nation “to always be ahead” in the middle of an uncertain world. 

Maxis CEO Gokhan Ogut said that along with a fresh brand direction, the company will adopt a new corporate identity in the objective to steer the company in furthering its leadership in the converged solutions industry in the nation.

“The ‘always be ahead’ spirit is about embracing change, growth, discovery and finding new ways through technology. We are making a commitment to all Malaysians, from individuals and families, to businesses and entire communities that Maxis will be their digital enabler and coach to help them leverage the best technologies so that they can always be ahead,” said Ogut. 

To start off the campaign, Maxis will roll out a series of short videos which will feature individuals and social enterprises who have inspiring stories about how technology and the internet has helped their lives, and enriched the communities around them. 

In one video published on Youtube, Maxis got Malaysian teacher Siti Faridah to share how she’s overcoming the virtual setup of learning and teaching in the middle of the country’s movement control order.

In one part of the video, she enumerates the ways she creates a virtual classroom, while being shown arranging her work from home setup, with a Maxis broadband on the side.

“One of the things I tried is creating a video content. Sometimes I do live streaming, sometimes I do Facebook live, and sometimes I upload video content on Youtube,” she said on the video.

In line with Maxis’ reworked brand purpose, the company will be doubling down on digitalisation programs and will launch a series of initiatives to provide assistance and fundamental skills for digital adoption and acceleration in communities across the country:

Among such initiatives is the SME Digitalisation Grant where SMEs get to claim up to RM5,000 for their digitalisation efforts.

Another one is the Digital 101 for SMEs which puts together courses from Maxis business to guide micro-SMEs on mastering digital marketing and eCommerce. 

An initiative called Device Tips will also be part of the series, a program that will help upskill families and tech enthusiasts on digital practices which is said to be in partnership with Samsung, Huawei and Apple.