How SMEs Can Steer Towards Transformation

Michael Goh, Chief Operating Officer at IPI encourages startups and SMEs to embrace transformation and work with trusted partners like IPI to spring ahead of the competition.

Asian Scientist Magazine (Feb. 15, 2024) —The phrase ‘volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity’, or VUCA for short, has become a commonly heard term that encompasses the challenges companies face in an ever-changing business environment. To keep up with VUCA and remain ahead, companies must avoid traditional and outdated approaches to management, leadership and day-to-day working.

In the face of challenging economic situations, Michael Goh, Chief Operating Officer at IPI, suggests SMEs take advantage of the stormy seas and learn to ride the wave by embracing innovation and working with trusted partners.

To pivot towards new opportunities and see growth in the coming years, SMEs should leverage innovation and technology to give themselves an edge over the competition. This journey is not without challenges, but with IPI’s help–including its global innovation network and committed team of multi-disciplinary staff–SMEs can better navigate these choppy waters.

Breaking new ground

As an innovation catalyst, IPI is dedicated to creating opportunities for enterprises and helping them along their journey of growth, transformation and success. IPI has put in place a slew of services that will support enterprises in their innovation journey. One way IPI does this is by creating opportunities for enterprises to come together to collaborate and co-create to leverage each other’s strengths and accelerate their innovation and growth.

Regular events that are part of IPI’s TechInnovation Connect and Discover series, like the recent green building technology showcase, and the carbon footprint management panel, bring together leaders and innovators from different companies within an industry to network and explore opportunities to work together and address new opportunities.

IPI’s Technology Scouting service seeks out best fit-technology or expertise from its extensive, well-established global innovation network, and connects enterprises to technology owners so that both parties can come together and translate technology into solutions. Pioneer Environmental Technology, a local SME, was able to secure a partnership with Solvay, a Belgian chemical MNC, for technology involving the treatment and reuse of industrial wastewater.

SMEs looking to access MNCs can tap into IPI’s Open Innovation Calls where IPI works with large corporates to feature their problem statements. SMEs may consider leveraging these calls by putting up proposals to address the problem statements. When selected, they gain access to these MNCs and become part of the latter’s innovation solution to address global markets. At the Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme, jointly supported by IPI, the Building and Construction Authority and EnterpriseSG, Operva AI answered China Construction’s challenge with their drone technology. The two companies, both looking to improve the construction process with drones, were a perfect fit and have since implemented a web app that automates some inspection processes.

A partner along the way

In uncertain times, it is particularly important for companies to have a finger on the pulse of new trends and markets that can be tapped into. However, for many SMEs which are pivoting to new markets, it can be difficult to know where to start without the right experience. IPI’s Innovation Advisors Programme (IAP) can offer guidance to the SMEs on how to bring their innovation and product into a new market. IPI’s Innovation Advisors (IAs) can help companies map their go-to-market strategies as well as offer insights on how to navigate the nuances of entering a new business sector.

For local start-up SinFooTech, the decision to engage the help of IPI’s IA Dr Ong Mei Horng allowed the company to further develop Sachi, an eco-friendly alcohol beverage made from soy whey. Dr Ong provided valuable advice on extending the product’s shelf life, connected the team with industry experts, and shared insights into fermentation, filtration, and the brewing industry–ultimately contributing to the company’s mission of creating a cleaner, greener future.

IPI’s IAs come with a wealth of experience to offer in technology and innovation. Depending on the existing challenge an SME is facing, or an identified opportunity, IPI will match SMEs up with an IA to offer guidance and work with them through their transformation journey.

IAs, like Wong Hong Wai, have valuable advice to give and are passionate about guiding small companies to success. Wong has spent 35 years driving change and growth across the transportation and automotive industry both locally and internationally. He began his career with the Singapore Economic Development Board, working to develop local businesses, and remains motivated to facilitate growth and success.

Forging ahead with tech trends

With the support of IPI’s various programmes, companies can deftly harness the latest trends to access new opportunities. To keep themselves updated, enterprises may subscribe to IPI’s weekly newsletter, where IPI’s pool of Innovation & Technology managers will feature relevant technologies that are available for adoption from IPI’s global innovation network.

Additionally, IPI’s annual flagship technology brokerage event, TechInnovation, gathered leaders, professionals and innovators and featured three key trends —sustainability, health and well-being, as well as AI in healthcare. At the event, attendees heard from industry leaders, market analysts and panels led by experts on upcoming trends, business opportunities, and how they can leverage innovation to better position their company’s for sustained growth. Technology owners from IPI’s global network also showcased a wide spectrum of technologies available for adoption.

Through IPI’s programmes and support, SMEs can adapt to this increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world without fear and grasp every opportunity available to them for steady and rapid growth.

IPI stands committed to walk with clients in their innovation journey and looks forward to value-adding to businesses’ growth.

Copyright: IPI. Read the original article here.

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

IPI is an innovation catalyst that creates opportunities for enterprises to grow beyond boundaries. As a subsidiary of Enterprise Singapore, IPI accelerates the innovation process of enterprises through access to its global innovation ecosystem and advisory services.

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