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Pandemic accelerated digital adoption for corporates and small biz, finds survey

There has been continued momentum in digitalization efforts by businesses across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, however, there remains room for further improvement, DBS Digital Readiness Survey found.Premium
There has been continued momentum in digitalization efforts by businesses across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, however, there remains room for further improvement, DBS Digital Readiness Survey found.

  • In terms of digital progression, SMEs in Singapore are the pacesetters with 72% having a digital transformation strategy in place, followed by Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, India and Indonesia, the DBS Digital Readiness Survey found

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MUMBAI : The global pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have accelerated the digital journey for corporates, and small and medium enterprises in India, according to the DBS Digital Readiness Survey.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up more than 96% of all Asian businesses and are integral to the success of the region’s economy. To better understand their needs, the survey was expanded this year to garner insights from more than 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises across six APAC markets, including India, on where they are in terms of digitalization.

“In terms of digital progression, SMEs in Singapore are the pacesetters with 72% having a digital transformation strategy in place, followed by Hong Kong (47%), China (44%), Taiwan (38%), India (25%) and Indonesia (20%). However, Indian SMEs have digitized 23% of their payment collection volumes, up from 18% a year ago," it said.

There has been continued momentum in digitalization efforts by businesses across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, however, there remains room for further improvement, it said.

Previously known as the DBS Digital Treasurer Survey, the study was conducted in June 2021 and involved around 2,600 corporate treasurers, chief executive officers, chief financial officers and business owners across 13 markets in APAC - India, Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam- as well as the US and UK.

The survey showed that nearly half (48%) of large corporates and middle-market companies in India have a digital transformation strategy in place. The APAC region has witnessed seven in 10 large corporates and middle-market companies with a digital transformation strategy in place, with Taiwan leading the way at 95%. This is a marked increase from last year when the proportion of APAC businesses with a digital strategy was only 57%, it showed.

In India, the survey found that 62% of the large corporates and middle-market companies are in the formative stages of digitalization. They have so far developed their digital roadmaps and are rapidly ramping up their efforts.

Divyesh Dalal, head (global transaction services), DBS Bank India, said, “If there was any doubt about key benefits of digitalization, the pandemic has only eliminated it. We are witnessing a rapid pace of technological innovation, which will come with its own challenges around adoption and implementation."

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