Pandemic driving digital transformation of Thai SMEs


During the coronavirus pandemic, Thailand’s small and medium size businesses (SMEs) has been driven to embrace digital transformation, which is critical for rebuilding a better economy and society, according to a report by United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB).

According to the “ASEAN SME Transformation Study 2020” published by UOB, Accenture and Dun & Bradstreet, 64 percent of SMEs in Southeast Asia have been focusing on technology investments to maintain business continuity during the pandemic.

Thailand’s SMEs ranked tops in technology investments in the region with 71 percent of them making those investments their top priority, the report said.

“In the face of today’s upheavals, SMEs must transcend traditional business paradigms and accelerate their digital transformation (DX) journey,” the report added.

UOB called the trend noteworthy, saying that despite the challenge of declining revenues, SMEs in Thailand and the region were still planning to increase their technology-related spending.

It shows clear evidence that the region’s SMEs “are looking beyond current challenges in order to increase their competitiveness and grow their business sustainably in the long run,” said Sirinun Jiradilok, Head of Digital Engagement and Fintech Innovation with UOB Thailand.

“With the prolonged impact of the pandemic, the impetus for DX will only grow as the way we live, work and play continues to change. The changes we have seen will likely pale in comparison with what is yet to come,” Sirinun said.

According to Thailand’s Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP), SMEs are one of the backbones of the Thai economy, accounting for 99.5 percent of the approximately three million registered businesses in the Kingdom in 2020.