PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent movement control order (MCO) have left many businesses struggling to survive, but MDT Innovations Sdn Bhd views the situation as an opportunity to reinvent itself and embrace the “new norm”.
Its chief operating officer, Sim Hon Wai (pix), anticipates Industry 4.0 (IR4.0) will be playing a significant role in the sustainability plans of many corporations after the pandemic-fuelled crisis has been resolved.
“At MDT, we have begun to make strategies and preparation to offer services that can help corporations to transform into digital once the Covid-19 situation is past,” he told SunBiz.
MDT Innovations focuses on Internet of Things (IoT) value chains and offers services in key domains such as crowd movement, things management and fintech enablement.
With regard to the impact of Covid-19 and the ensuing MCO on MDT, Sim shared that the company has managed to mitigate the effects, as it has already prepared a business continuity plan and put necessary infrastructure in place to allow its staff to work remotely.
“We activated procedures for data access at their respective homes and assigned our technical team with necessary tools to be taken home so that development, support, and troubleshooting can continue,” explained the COO.
Furthermore, he added that MDT Innovations’ software development operations have migrated to the cloud and there aren’t many issues from not being in the office.
Despite the silver lining, Sim conceded that MDT has not completely escaped the consequences of Covid-19 and the ensuing MCO unscathed.
“Despite our readiness, the MCO has seen very little economic activity and my sales team is primarily focusing on continuing business development discussions in anticipation of post-MCO,” he shared.
Apart from that, Sim elaborated that the company’s manufacturing unit has been affected the most by the production halt from the MCO and has found it difficult to fulfil orders placed by foreign clients.
“In many ways, this has affected our integrity and reputation,” he said.
As for the assistance measures introduced by the government to help businesses, Sim shared that none of the initiatives are applicable to the company.
To this end, Sim said he understood the decision behind the government’s control order as it is a catch-22 situation, on whether to keep the economy going or curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“I believe the authorities have weighed all pros and cons and it will be hard for businesses to argue or disagree,” he said.
However, he pointed out that cash flow will be the biggest concerns for SMEs and corporations during this period and if they do not have enough cash in hand for a few months ahead, it will result in collapse and unemployment which will further exacerbate Malaysia’s situation.
“So I would suggest as much assistance as possible to help corporations to increase liquidity, including soft loans, tax relief including sales and service tax, monthly tax estimates (CP204), and rental relief especially from landlords has been granted a loan moratorium,” he said.
In addition, Sim urged the authorities to revisit the rules of MCO as he believes that the manufacturing sector can resume as long as social distancing can be practised through measures such as automation, robotics, or manpower reduction in the manufacturing facility.
Looking past the pandemic, he shared that MDT Innovations has begun to strategise and prepare for services that would help corporations make that digital transformation.
“For now, our business footprint is spread to a number of geographic locations and it is least dependent on the domestic market. Therefore, we do have enough resources to weather the MCO and ready to take on new challenges,” he said.