Dhaka, Bangladesh & Singapore & Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:
Ahead of the SME Day at Singapore Fintech Festival 2021, BRAC Bank, a leading SME Focused Bank in Bangladesh and GlobalLinker, a leading Business Networking and Enablement Platform for SMEs, headquartered in India, signed an MoU to launch a Digital Platform to support the Business Growth of SMEs in Bangladesh.
The Digital Platform to be co-branded with BRAC Bank will support the digitisation needs of SMEs in Bangladesh by making them easily discoverable, using a patented digital business card and making them eCommerce ready. These ‘digitised SMEs’ are connected to a growing community of over 400k buyers and sellers on the platform, and may discover and be discovered by buyers and sellers on multiple other B2B platforms enabled by GlobalLinker’s participation in the Proxtera Network.
A detailed survey carried out by BRAC Bank at the peak of the pandemic pointed to a need for a solution that helped SMEs be better prepared for a new and improved way of doing business and addressing opportunities within a community led solution. Accordingly, BRAC Bank felt that GlobalLinker provided the platform that BRAC Bank could offer, in an integrated way, to support not only its own SME Clients but to other SMEs in general in Bangladesh.
Selim Hussain, CEO and MD of BRAC Bank said, “The Bank has always been at the forefront of supporting SMEs with financial inclusion that is so fundamental to both BRAC Bank and it’s parent Brac Development Organisation. For the last 20 years, BRAC Bank has been a financier to these SMEs and helped them move up the value chain from a cottage industry to an established business. The partnership with GlobalLinker will enable BRAC Bank 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.”
Sameer Vakil, Co-Founder and CEO of GlobalLinker 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 further said “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 400k 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 & limited resources. Providing them the Digital infrastructure to find new opportunities will help them become bigger businesses” he further added.
The virtual signing ceremony was also attended by Syed Abdul Momem - DMD and Head of SME Banking at BRAC Bank; Satyam Agrawal - President, 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.
GlobalLinker is an award winning Business Networking and Enablement Platform powering Digital Commerce for SMEs. Partnering with leading Organisations like Banks, Trade Bodies and Governments, GlobalLinker has already enabled a growing community of over 400k SMEs from >150 countries who have made >1.5 million business connections, opened >15K stores, listed >200k Products and availed over 50+ partner offers at a preferential rate.
About BRAC Bank
BRAC Bank is a private commercial bank in Bangladesh, which began with the vision to provide banking solutions to the ‘unbanked’ Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, specifically to bring the grassroots entrepreneurs under the umbrella of formal banking service. Approximately half of BRAC Bank’s lending portfolio comprises small and medium enterprises. Founded in 2001, operated by BRAC development organisation, the largest NGO in the world, the bank has 187 branches, 457 SME Unit Offices across the country.
Proxtera is the metahub connecting multiple B2B Platforms enabling the Business Sans Border initiative sponsored by MAS and IMDA. Proxtera improves discoverability and comparison of goods and services by SMEs with a simple integration to B2B marketplaces that includes GlobalLinker, bringing an expanded network and value to both businesses, service providers and our marketplace partners.
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