News Releases

Singtel partners polytechnics to help heritage-brand SMEs with digital solutions

Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic aim to preserve traditional businesses as part of 99%SME movement to help SMEs go digital


Singapore, 30 May, 2017 – Singtel is partnering Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with heritage to adopt digital technology. The collaborations are part of the 99%SME initiative to help SMEs use digital tools to get online, reach out to a wider customer base, and develop e-commerce capabilities.


Mr Andrew Lim, Managing Director, Business Group, Group Enterprise at Singtel, said, “Many SMEs with a long and rich heritage do not have the resources to market themselves effectively online or connect with younger, digitally savvy customers. Our partnerships with the two polytechnics allow us to help these SMEs evolve and digitalise their businesses, to preserve their heritage.”


“Our collaborations with the polytechnics support the recommendation of the Committee for the Future Economy to help SMEs adopt digital technologies. Through this innovative partnership between the private and educational sectors, we also provide digitally-savvy students the opportunity to gain business insights and entrepreneurship experience while they help in the digitalisation journey of the SMEs,” he added.


Singtel and Ngee Ann Polytechnic will focus on helping multi-generational family-owned SMEs, including those managed by the polytechnic’s alumni members, to digitalise their operations using business analytics solutions and improve their efficiency and competitiveness. 


Mr Clarence Ti, Principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said, “Ngee Ann Polytechnic is excited to collaborate with Singtel in helping second-generation family-owned SMEs digitalise their processes to gain competitive advantage and business efficiency. Leveraging our expertise, we hope to help the SMEs use business analytics to enhance their e-commerce capabilities and drive results.”


In addition, Singtel and Temasek Polytechnic will engage SMEs in traditional businesses such as provision shops, watch shops, tailors and tea-leaf merchants to provide ideas to keep their heritage brands[1] alive. By leveraging digital technology, students from the polytechnic’s School of Business will guide SMEs on using the 99%SME website ( to market themselves online without cost.


Mr Peter Lam, Temasek Polytechnic’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Temasek Polytechnic is pleased to collaborate in this initiative to help local SMEs extend their consumer reach and visibility in the digital space. Over the years, many SMEs have created brands of enduring success and significance. Our strategic heritage branding approach aims to leverage this rich history and uniqueness of our local brands.  This initiative provides our students with valuable real-life learning experiences that allow them to deepen their knowledge and apply their skills.”


As part of the 99%SME movement, Singtel’s partnerships with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic complement the partnerships forged with Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic in March this year, to help SMEs in the retail and F&B sectors digitalise their business.


Singtel, together with DBS and other partners, launched the nationwide 99%SME movement in 2015, to rally all in Singapore to use products and services offered by SMEs. The highlight of the SME campaign is the annual SME Week in October, where participating SMEs offer special promotions to walk-in and online customers.




(1) An SME is considered to have a heritage brand if it has a compelling success story to share from a cultural or social perspective; the business should have been established for more than 30 years and passed down from the founding generation to the next.