KBank teams up with eight partners to launch 2nd K SME Good to Great Nurture growth of food manufacturing, cosmetics and retail businesses with THB1-million prize money up for grabs

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Tuesday March 26, 2019 14:04
Bangkok--26 Mar--KASIKORNBANK

KBank gears up for the second-year K SME Good to Great project to promote food manufacturing, cosmetics and retail businesses. The event features business courses, seminars, business boot camps and one-on-one advisory service. The strongest 10 participants will receive prize money for innovation and technology development worth THB1 million in total from KBank in addition to other privileges from the program partners.

Ms. Chitravinee Vannakorn, KBank First Senior Vice President, said that KBank organizes K SME Good to Great to nurture the growth of potential entrepreneurs by encouraging them to adopt innovation and technology to add value to and strengthen their business operations in every aspect. K SME Good to Great commenced in 2018 with 2,424 applicants and eight strongest SME entrepreneurs receiving research and development funds from KBank. This year, the 2nd SME Good to Great campaign focuses on food manufacturing, cosmetics and retail sectors, which are important to the country's economic prosperity with estimated growth rates in 2019 of 3.5, 5.1 and 2.8 percent, respectively. This year, KBank teams up with eight partners from business development promotion agencies and online platforms for SME businesses, including Thailand Research Fund, Thai Retailers Association, Thai e-Commerce Association, Central Food Retail Company Limited, 24 Shopping Company Limited, Panit Digital Co., Ltd., iTopPlus Company Limited and Zortout Company Limited to help improve capacity of SMEs throughout the program. K SME Good to Great will be held twice in 2019, the first one focuses on food manufacturing and cosmetics and the second one on retail business. Each includes three types of activities:

1. Seminar to provide knowledge about business trends locally and overseas and share experiences of operators in each industry.

2. Entrepreneur boot camps featuring gurus in each filed, namely, product development, production process improvement, business matching to access distribution channels and omni channel to enter the new age of retailing. Only 50 participants will be selected for each boot camp.

3. One-on-one advisory service to guide SMEs on research and development to improve their innovation and technology. Only 10 business operators from the two groups will be selected and each will be given THB100,000 prize for developing innovation and technology. SMEs engaging in food manufacturing and cosmetics will receive the funding from Thailand Development Fund to finance their business research. Additionally, the end-products which have been developed from the project may be selected by Central Food Hall, Tops, 24Catalog and Shopat24.com for sales on their distribution channels.

Entrepreneurs interested in participating in K SME Good to Great in food manufacturing and cosmetics can find additional information and submit the application from today until April 21, 2019 at www.ksmegoodtogreat.com or K BIZ Contact Center, tel. 02-8888822.

Ms. Chitravinee added that this year, KBank and our partners from various organizations will join forces in this program with the aim of equipping SME entrepreneurs with knowledge beneficial to their business operations. With the use of innovative technologies, they will gain the upper hand for sustainable growth. KBank is always ready to provide them support in every dimension. The program will also serve as a networking forum among SME operators for strengthening their businesses.

Assoc.Prof.Pongpan Kaewtatip, D. Eng., Deputy Director of Research and Innovation Management Organizations Network and Acting Director of Industry Division, The Thailand Research Fund (TRF), said that SME entrepreneurs must adjust themselves and brace for the changing economic situation. Key factors for success include determination in doing business, product quality, production standards, continuous learning, and ongoing development of innovative products, as well as effective management. The K SME Good to Great program will boost SME business capabilities, especially by creating new products. Innovation is thus essential for bolstering their global competitiveness in a sustainable manner.

Mr. Montree Kanokpongsakorn, Assistant Vice President – Food, Central Food Retail Company Limited, said that its support of the K SME Good to Great program reflects Central Group's intention to create sustainable communities, especially through support granted to Thai farmers, business operators and SMEs. The company acts as a distribution channel and provides retail business knowledge to participating SMEs to ensure that their products are marketable. The quality of products sold at the company's supermarkets must meet the standards prescribed by law. SMEs using KBank loan services are entitled to special privileges from the company, i.e., exemption of account opening and entrance fees, together with advice on product planning, cost and profit management, sales promotion, and effective budgeting.

Mr. Veerawat Hongsitthiwong, Assistant Vice President, B2C e-Commerce, 24 Shopping Co., Ltd. said that the company has developed an online-to-offline e-commerce or O2O platform to draw potential online shoppers to make purchases at physical stores. The company's products are sold through 7-Eleven stores, catalogues, TV shopping, websites, call centers, and smartphone apps. In addition to the company's warehouses and distribution centers across the country, especially through more than 10,000 7-Eleven outlets, it uses a world-class IT system which allows it to provide a frictionless customer experience. As a result, the company will offer assistance to participating SMEs through advice on product development and how to make their products available to target groups.

Mr. Worawoot Ounjai, President of the Thai Retailers Association, said that Thai retailers must make quick adjustments, especially towards communications and sales with their customers through online channels while conducting traditional retail trade. They do not have to worry that their retail businesses will not survive if they have made steady improvements.

Mr. Thanawat Malabuppa, President of the Thai E-Commerce Association, revealed that the objective of the K SME Good to Great project is in alignment with guidelines of our Association in that it attaches importance to continuous business development for SMEs, especially during the era in which opportunities are endless for online and offline businesses while sales channels are integrated and there is no border between online and offline channels. In addition, consumers have more expectation towards services offered through any channel, thus offering opportunities for SMEs that have already made adjustments and adopted the "consumer centricity" approach.

Mr. Kampol Tanapanyawarakun, CEO of iTopPlus Co., Ltd., said that data is an important resource that businesses should not be overlooked. They also require sound technical knowledge for data management and collection. An analysis on good quality data and providing precise results will likely allow SMEs to assess whether their businesses are growing or decelerating or which parts of their businesses have improved and need to be addressed or showing opportunities for business expansion. Therefore, the use of dada to aid in decision making will give better results than using opinions or feeling. Under this project, ITOPPLUS is keen to share its knowledge on data management techniques to SMEs.

Ms. Vanitcha Wankawisant, CEO, Panit Digital Co., Ltd., an owner of Digitory web page, stated that an important knowledge that SMEs under this project will receive is how to conduct efficient online marketing because it is imperative for doing business in this era. The lack of understanding on choosing online marketing tools may not give SME the anticipated results, so we are pleased to be a partner of this project in order to assist SMEs to understand online marketing process from the start and use online marketing tools for maximum efficiency.

Mr. Sawapop Tuamsang, CEO and Co-Founder, ZORTOUT?Co., Ltd., revealed that when sales offer more opportunities and channels, data management becomes extremely important for businesses because it allows us to make decision more efficiently. SMEs participating in this project will be given complete business tools right from customer contact to closing the sales, thus making it easier for them to manage their businesses.

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