KUALA LUMPUR: Ambank Group Bhd is currently in the midst of incorporating the usage of Big Data analytics into its operations.

"We see the usage of Big Data to potentially be a game changer to how we do business. As is, we already know our clients but by having Big Data analytics at our disposal, we can be even more thorough at we are offering,” Ambank Group managing director for business banking Christopher Yap Huey Wen told NST Business.

He said Big Data analytics will also allow the banking group to avoid unnecessary risks as it will enable us to spot those SMEs that might prove to be potential non-performing loans (NPL) candidates.

Yap didn't disclose however when Big Data analytics will be incorporated to his business proceedings, but said that he is 'looking forward to it.'

Touching on Ambank's operations on SMEs, Yap said the bank’s business approach is not about bottom line alone, but about creating sustainability.

"For us to be successful, our customers must first be successful, and we are very focused in making sure that our customers are successful.

"For us, it is not about product pushing or a focus solely on the bottom line, but about creating a sustainability for both our clients and the bank," he said.

This approach seems to be working as for the first six months of the bank’s financial year, it has already received some RM5.6 billion of loans application.

“As you know, our financial year begins on 1st April, and for the first six months to 30 September we already received RM5.6 billion in SME loans applications which shows that we are on the right track,” said Yap.

Further, Yap said the AmBank BizRACE, an entrepreneurship challenge aimed for SMEs, is also gaining traction.

AmBank BizRACE, which was created to support the SMEs who want to grow and scale their businesses, is also a platform in creating a marketplace for SME and chief executive officers (CEO) to learn and trade from each other.

Through the race, selected SMEs, that fit the criteria of having being in operations of at least three years and with an annual revenue of less than RM100 million, stand the chance of winning variety of prizes worth over RM2 million.

“We are also holding the final AmBank BizConference for the year on 1st November in KL, those SMEs that have not participated in the Race can also attend the conference to gain further knowledge for their businesses,” said Yap.

The BizConference is a series of five conferences that provide SMEs with free access to valuable knowledge sharing sessions with speakers who are highly regarded CEOs.

“Almost 80 per cent of SMEs in Malaysia failed not because they do not have the “goods” to do so, but because they don't have enough know-how to scale up and sustain their businesses,” added Yap.

“We want to make the AmBank BizConference and the AmBank BizRACE an annual affair as we look at them as our contribution to the SMEs segments and subsequently, the country's economy.”

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