KBank teams up with business partners to elevate SMEs toward New S-Curve industries

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Wednesday July 25, 2018 13:44
Bangkok--25 Jul--KASIKORNBANK

KBank teams up with National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand Productivity Institute and Thai Subcontracting Promotion Association to launch "K SME Good to Great" project to promote SMEs engaging in production of autoparts, hardware and industrial plastics to elevate them toward the New S-Curve industries. The event also offers knowledge and in-depth advice from renowned experts in manufacturing industries with prizes worth THB100,000 up for grabs. Interested persons can apply to join the project from today until August 23, 2018 at www.ksmegoodtogreat.com.

Mr. Surat Leelataviwat, KBank Executive Vice President, said that KBank has organized the K SME Good to Great project for the third time. This year, it is intended to support autoparts, hardware and industrial plastic manufacturers to carry out their businesses more efficiently. Such businesses have directly been hit by disruptive technology, which is now changing our lives, as well as reshaping businesses and the global economy. The automotive industry has not been spared either, including the production of ground-breaking vehicles with various functions, such as electric cars equipped with smart operating systems. Due to disruptive technology, the autoparts, hardware and industrial plastic businesses, which are heavily dependent on the automobile industry, have had to make substantial adjustments and improvements in their production in order to make a transition toward becoming the New S-Curve industries. Moreover, the hardware and industrial plastic businesses have been pressured to relocate production, especially to China, where labor costs are relatively low. Given this, Thai SMEs in the three businesses need to upgrade their production by using technologies to increase manufacturing capacities and reduce costs, as well as constantly seeking new markets to avoid pressure from imported goods.

With this in mind, KBank has collaborated with our partners, including the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand Productivity Institute and Thai Subcontracting Promotion Association to launch the K SME Good to Great project, aimed at helping such SMEs to maintain long-term competitiveness and sustainable growth. This project is also intended to enable them to enhance production efficiency and develop new products to cope with changes and have greater access to funding sources more easily.

The program can be divided into three parts: 1) A seminar on strategies and production trend of future industries; 2) A 4-day in-depth training course on application of technology and research to development of value-added products by specialists for 50 shortlisted participants; and 3) One-on-one advisory session on business research and development (R&D). Five selected SME entrepreneurs will be awarded a cash prize of 100,000 Baht each, together with advisory service and R&D funding from National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and The Thailand Research Fund (TRF). KBank hopes that the K SME Good toGreat program will help strengthen competitiveness capabilities for the three businesses amid a fast changing business environment.

Associate Professor Dr. Ratchaphon Suntivarakorn, Director of Innovation and Technology Assistant Program (ITAP), NSTDA, revealed that the role of NSTDA is to provide support to operators in all industries. Manufacturing of autoparts, hardware and industrial plastics are within a supply chain of autopart industry – one of the government's target industries. NSTDA has emphasized the conduct of research and upgrade of production technology. Currently, automotive industry is at a crossroads where electric vehicles are replacing conventional cars. Aiming to be a helping hand for SMEs during the transition, NSTDA has taken part in various activities. Those under the K SME Good to Great program designed to bolster business capabilities include training sessions on interesting topics by experts screened by NSTDA as well as field studies to keep participants abreast of the change.

Mr. Suwan Riensavapak, Deputy Executive Director, Thailand Productivity Institute, said the Institute has focused on developing management systems of production processes, personnel, strategic plans and new technologies to enhance better competitiveness. As part of the upgrade of industrial and service sectors, this project will offer useful guidelines of integrated organizational development to operators of the above-stated three industries that are key components of Thailand's economy and now facing intense competition. With assistance of experienced implementers, the practicality and efficiency of all recommendations will be ensured.

According to Mr. Chanatip Surachaisitikul, President of Thai Subcontracting Promotion Association, the Association aims to create clusters of the New S-Curve industries, specifically their members that are industrial part producers. Various activities have been organized, for example, seminars and training, provision of in-depth advice, creation of industrial networks, business matching sessions and market exploration. Study trips have been arranged in Thailand and overseas to keep the members abreast of new technologies. It is therefore assured that this project will inspire entrepreneurs to advance their businesses toward future industries, with the help of experts and accomplished operators to analyze and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of these businesses.

The K SME Good to Great program is expected to enhance efficient business operations of SMEs. The first two events were organized for food producers and retail operators, with overwhelming interest. This year, the last three target groups include SMEs in the production of autoparts, hardware and industrial plastics. Interested persons can apply to join the project from today until August 23, 2018 at www.ksmegoodtogreat.com. More details may be obtained at K BIZ Contact Center, Tel. 02 888 8822.

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