BRAC Bank and GlobalLinker, a leading business networking and enablement platform for SMEs, will launch a digital platform on which the SMEs of Bangladesh can be empowered to network amongst themselves.
An agreement was signed between BRAC Bank and GlobalLinker on 8 November ahead of the SME Day at Singapore Fintech Festival 2021, read a press release.
The India-based platform, GlobalLinker, will help the SME customers of BRAC Bank set up IT infrastructure to connect them with over 400,000 SMEs on GlobalLinker, there will also be scope to digitise product catalogue and integrate with payment systems to make them ecommerce-ready.
The digital platform, cobranded with BRAC Bank, will enable to vast network of 400,000 SMEs to connect within themselves to strengthen their value chains, which will help them navigate negative economic hurdles.
The platform will also support the digitisation needs of SMEs in Bangladesh by making them easily discoverable, using a patented digital business card and making them ecommerce-ready.
BRAC Bank ran a detailed survey during the peak of the pandemic and found out a need for a solution to connect amongst themselves to ensure their value chain is not disrupted.
Accordingly, BRAC Bank felt that GlobalLinker would provide the platform that the bank could offer, in an integrated way, to support not only its own SME clients but to other SMEs in general in the country.
Addressing the signing ceremony, BRAC Bank MD and CEO Selim RF Hussain said, "The bank has always been at the forefront of supporting SMEs with financial inclusion that is so fundamental to both BRAC Bank and its parent organisation BRAC.
"The partnership with GlobalLinker will enable us move out of the shadow of just being a financier for SMEs to driving the digital agenda of the country for the SME segment and build stronger relationships with SMEs. This partnership will also open an avenue for SMEs to explore and expand overseas market."
Cofounder and CEO of GlobalLinker, Sameer Vakil, said: "GlobalLinker was born as a platform to bring together collective efficiencies and economies of scale for SMEs to realise their big dreams".
Welcoming the partnership with BRAC Bank, he added: "Given the interoperability of the platform, the first SME invited by BRAC Bank in Bangladesh will immediately be able to discover and connect with a growing community of 400,000 SMEs on GlobalLinker. Also given GlobalLinker is Proxtera-ready, the SMEs will also be able to discover opportunities to a growing network of over ten SME B2B platforms".
"It's heartening to see a leading bank like BRAC Bank partner with a platform like GlobalLinker and find a way to bring the power of the network to SMEs", said Sopendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
"The genesis of Business Sans Border now represented by Proxtera is that SMEs have big hopes but are often constrained by physical presence and limited resources. Providing them the digital infrastructure to find new opportunities will help them become bigger businesses," he added.
The ceremony was also attended by Syed Abdul Momem, deputy managing director and head of SME banking of BRAC Bank; Satyam Agrawal, president of ASEAN for GlobalLinker; Eugene Goh, deputy director at MAS; Robert Tay, cluster director for Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Singapore; Winston Nesfield, partner at PWC and Shirish Jain, programme director for Proxtera.