Issue 41, June 2021 - Crescent Exchange | Ride Now

Make That First Step Count 

Journeying to the great beyond, where a larger slice of the market and a sustainable bottom line await, should not be a pipe dream for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). After all, unicorns, defined as privately-held startups valued at $1 billion, have humble beginnings. Similarly, many conglomerates and big organisations likely started small and flourished from a combination of sound strategies, the right market conditions and possibly, timing and luck.

While it is true that SMEs tend to have lean resources that are tied up with the day-to-day operations, the owners and management would have their own ambitions for the business. Rather than accepting the status quo, here are two SMEs which decided that external assistance could kickstart their next phase of development. In the case of car rental company Ride Now, driving growth entailed an in-depth assessment of its industry and existing strategies, to discover a niche for a differentiated product offering. For currency-exchange outfit Crescent Exchange, the emergence of financial technology presented exciting prospects and opportunities, which the business wanted to exploit now. 

Through UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute’s signature SME Consulting Programme (SCP), the Institute’s consulting teams worked with the SMEs to find solutions for their business problems. The consulting teams each comprised student-consultants supervised by an industry veteran as Project Advisor, and supported by a manager from the Institute. They leveraged methodological and scientific approaches – the hallmarks of SCP – to design cost-efficient and feasible strategies that could be quickly implemented. In a number of SCP projects where strategies had been employed, the returns were evident and immediate. 

Whatever your aspirations, don’t wait until you have the resources to spare. Take that first decisive step and make it count. Head over to the Institute where the right experiences and resources are available to give you that much-needed boost.


On-site, Online, Omni-Channel: Crescent Exchange Pte Ltd  (Project Scope: Business Strategies Innovation)

Crescent Exchange Pte Ltd, founded by Basheer Ahamed M.I., began operations in January 2020. The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) performs over-the-counter (OTC) as well as wholesale selling of currencies, dealing largely in Asian denominations.  Read more


In the Driver Seat: Ride Now Pte Ltd  (Project Scope: Market Research & Strategies)


Ride Now Pte Ltd prides itself as a vehicle rental company that focuses on its customers. The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), set up in 2016, has a fleet size of about 170 cars from across 25 brands, with vehicles ranging from sedans to hatchbacks and continental cars.  Read more


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