SMEs in Indonesia most confident of surviving Covid-19: survey

Traffic returns to the streets in Jakarta, Indonesia, as Covid-19 restrictions relax.
Traffic returns to the streets in Jakarta, Indonesia, as Covid-19 restrictions relax.
JULY 23, 2020 - 6:02 PM

SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are among those that are most confident of their ability to survive and thrive after the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a study by technology firm HP.

Their fellow Asean member Singapore, in contrast, was less optimistic, with only about half of respondents expecting to do so.

In June 2020, HP surveyed a total of 1,600 SMEs across eight countries in Asia -- those four Asean members as well as Australia, India, Japan, and South Korea -- with 200 respondents per country.

Overall, 60 per cent of respondents were confident of surviving post-Covid, and 53 per cent were confident of thriving. Indonesia had the highest proportion of the latter, at 72 per cent.

Indonesia and Thailand also saw the largest shares of respondents -- over a third -- seeing digital adoption as "essential" to the success of SMEs, alongside India.

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In contrast, only 19 per cent of respondents in Singapore and 13 per cent in Vietnam saw this as "essential", with greater shares seeing it as "very important" or "important" instead.

Indonesia also had the largest proportion of respondent firms -- 59 per cent -- which reported having a dedicated individual or team in charge of innovation, compared to the regional average of 39 per cent.

HP noted that 31 per cent of respondents seek advice on innovation from financial institutions, with only 19 per cent looking towards technology companies such as itself. "This is despite the fact that good IT companies offer the knowledge, technical support, and services to help businesses drive innovation through digitalization," said its report.