Malaysian businesses prepared to live with Covid-19: EY

  • Respondents optimistic on business recovery with two years
  • Businesses prioritse tech adoption to get to new normal

Malaysian businesses prepared to live with Covid-19: EYThe majority of Malaysian businesses are prepared to live with Covid-19 (86%) and are prioritising technology adoption in the immediate term (77%) as they fast track their adaptation to the new normal, according to the EY business pulse survey of over 500 companies, which include large companies as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Malaysian businesses prepared to live with Covid-19: EYAbdul Rauf Rashid (pic, above), Malaysia managing partner, Ernst & Young PLT said “Despite two years of challenging conditions, businesses have remained focused on building their resilience, but they must continuously evolve to capture the opportunities ahead.”

The "Business pulse survey: Living with Covid-19 and winning together," which aimed to assess the business preparedness of Malaysian companies in the new normal, also revealed that 43% of the respondents are optimistic on business recovery to pre-pandemic levels within the next one to two years. 

This is encouraging as Malaysia enters the transition to the endemic phase on April 1, it noted. 

The research highlighted that technology had the most positive impact on both large companies and MSMEs.

It stated that large companies (48%) and MSMEs (37%) indicated that technology had the most positive impact on their business during the pandemic.

The movement restrictions (Movement Control Order) in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic also had accelerated the companies’ adoption of technology and their transition to a digitally-enabled work environment.

In contrast, the respondents experienced more negative impact in the financial (44% of large companies; 63% of MSMEs) and supply chain (54% of large companies; 44% of MSMEs) areas, the survey indicated.

Chow Sang Hoe (pic, below), EY Asean consulting leader and Malaysia consulting managing partner, Ernst & Young Consulting Sdn Bhd, said, “While the large companies have better access to technology and talent, challenging circumstances call for organizational agility to navigate disruptions, address current gaps and accelerate measures to build resilience. It is about the survival of the fittest.”

The survey stated that in the short term, 85% of the respondents are prioritising the improvement of employee safety and the implementation of SOPs including flexible work arrangements, while 77% are focused on enhancing digitalization to facilitate contactless IT infrastructure.

Moving forward, the key business priorities will be on reskilling people (74%) and adopting digitalisation (74%). 

At the same time, a higher proportion of MSMEs are paying greater attention to readapting business size, changing the business model or entering new business ventures (58%) and improving their financial positions (48%), it added.Malaysian businesses prepared to live with Covid-19: EY

The survey respondents also indicated that they require further support in upgrading digital technology (51%), adapting the business to be more resilient (47%), accessing resources for business recovery (42%) and redesigning physical premises (40%), to help them better prepare to live with Covid-19.

Beyond the recovery and improvement phase, the respondents indicated that they need guidance in finding new markets (58%), forging new partnerships (54%), accessing digital skillsets and talent (53%) and developing new business models, products and services (53%).

Chow said, “With the evolving market disruptions and changing consumer preferences amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses need to prioritise capability development as they seek to transform their operating models for the future. Speed and agility are of the essence.”


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