SINGAPORE (May 30): Singtel has forged partnerships with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with heritage adopt digital technology.

The partnership is part of the 99% SME initiative, which aims to help SMEs leverage digital tools to get online, reach out to a wider customer base, and develop e-commerce capabilities. It also supports the recommendation of the Committee for the Future Economy (CFE) to help SMEs adopt digital technologies.

“Many SMEs with a long and rich heritage do not have the resources to market themselves effectively online or connect with younger, digitally savvy customers. Our partnerships with the two polytechnics allow us to help these SMEs evolve and digitalise their businesses, to preserve their heritage,” says Andrew Lim, managing director, Business Group, Group Enterprise at Singtel.

“We also provide digitally-savvy students the opportunity to gain business insights and entrepreneurship experience while they help in the digitalisation journey of the SMEs,” he adds.

Singtel and Ngee Ann Polytechnic will focus their efforts on introducing business analytics solutions to help multi-generational, family-owned SMEs, including those managed by the polytechnic’s alumni members. They will aid the SMEs in digitalising their operations, and improving their efficiency and competitiveness.

“Leveraging our expertise, we hope to help the SMEs use business analytics to enhance their e-commerce capabilities and drive results,” says Ngee Ann Polytechnic principal Clarence Ti.

In addition, Singtel and Temasek Polytechnic will provide ideas to help traditional SME businesses such as provision shops and tailors to keep their heritage brands alive. Students from the polytechnic’s School of Business will leverage on digital technology to guide these SMEs on marketing their businesses online without cost via the 99% SME website.

“Over the years, many SMEs have created brands of enduring success and significance. Our strategic heritage branding approach aims to leverage this rich history and uniqueness of our local brands,” says Temasek Polytechnic principal and CEO Peter Lam.

“This initiative provides our students with valuable real-life learning experiences that allow them to deepen their knowledge and apply their skills,” he adds.

In March earlier this year, Singtel had forged partnerships with Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic to help SMEs in the retail and F&B sectors digitalise their business as part of the 99% SME movement.

As at 1.18pm, shares of Singtel are trading flat at $3.74.