As per National Business Survey 2018/2019 Summary report from Singapore Business Federation

Looking at the recent global geopolitical and economic affairs, businesses are most concerned about rising interest rates (65%) and the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China (61%)

SMEs are concerned on impact on their business due to

  • Increasing Interest Rates
  • Global Trade War

Most of the Business mentioned their priority as

  • Implementation of Innovation
  • Implementation of New Technologies
Surprisingly, Larger companies are ahead of SMEs in implementation innovation.

SMEs are way behind particularly in the areas such as developing Digital Business capabilities. Top Challenges as per SMEs are

  • Hiring people with right skills/attitude
  • Compliance Costs
  • Wage and Salary expectations

To overcome these challenges, Way forward for SMEs are

  • Think for their Customer Success (not for themselves)
  • Optimize Costs by adapting new Technology advancements
  • Become Virtual Organisations
  • Explore Partnerships with open mindset for profit sharing
  • Build Transparency & Accountability through Dashboards

SME Owners can achieve this by

  • Leading Change with technology advancements as Social Media, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) etc.
  • Agile mindset to prioritise and balance between innovation and immediate business pressures
  • Project mindset for Operating Entire Organisation with focus on Customer Success
  • Taking help from Experts/Consultants for Lateral Thinking


Sivaram Athmakuri is Founder & Director of LeaderGains Pte. Ltd., an expert Coach, Consultant and Trainer. He has 20 plus years of Managerial Experience with strong technology expertise. He prepares Organisations in embracing latest technology / tools and turn the challenges as opportunities for Growth. He empowers Organisations & People across all levels (C-Suite, Management, Leadership, Program / Project Managers, Functional/ Line Managers, Team members at Projects/Delivery/Operations), etc. in areas of Leadership/Executive CoachingStrategic PlanningDashboards for C-Suite, Setup Project Management Office(PMO), Agile Transformation, Risk Management and Product Development. He believes in spending more time listening to Customer and understanding unique strengths of their existing environment helps him to generate the long lasting results faster with lesser friction.