Google Cloud Results
Document sharing through Drive for faster loan approvals
• Boost employee productivity by 4 hours per employee per week with
collaborative tools to view and edit documents and spreadsheets in one
• Fosters innovation culture by giving employees Google Workspace tools to solve problems and streamline tasks
• Enables 12,000 hours of meeting time on Meet every month for employees in different locations
"Google Workspace has improved our ability at all levels, from top management to operational staff, to communicate and support SMEs with financial resources in difficult times." - Dr. Thitipong Nandhabiwat, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Digital and Innovation, TCG
Micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in the economic development of Thailand. They comprise 99.53% of all enterprises across the country and generate 12 million jobs for the labor force. To stay competitive, SMEs often rely on bank loans to grow their business and invest in technology.
But what happens if an SME can’t secure a bank loan because they have poor credit or don’t have sufficient collateral such as land or building?
Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG), a state-owned financial institution, steps in with a loan guarantee to encourage commercial banks to lend to SMEs who have trouble getting funding. If the borrower defaults on the debt, TCG pays the guaranteed sum to the lending bank. TCG expanded its services in 2019 to attract credit-worthy borrowers with a direct loan guarantee, thus minimizing risks from bad debts.
When COVID-19 began to affect Thailand in early 2020, social distancing measures were imposed. This made it hard for business owners to physically meet with bankers to discuss financial needs. As a result, the pandemic accelerated the digitization of financial institutions around the world. Dr. Thitipong Nandhabiwat, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Digital and Innovation at TCG says that the organization now uses Google Workspace for communication and collaboration both internally and externally. “Google Workspace has improved our ability at all levels, from top management to operational staff, to communicate and support SMEs with financial resources in difficult times.”
TCG began exploring the platform with the Google Workspace Starter edition in March 2019 but upgraded to Google Workspace Business edition in May 2020 to enhance operational efficiency with collaborative tools such as Drive and Google Meet. Today, all of the organization’s documents are managed and stored on Drive, with online meetings fully conducted on Meet.
Providing financial stability to SMEs during COVID-19
"Google Workspace productivity apps such as Gmail improves our ability to service banks and SMEs, regardless of our employee’s location. We can securely share documents on Drive for quick loan approvals even as applications increased by 167% year-on-year." - Dr. Thitipong Nandhabiwat, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Digital and Innovation, TCG
Many SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector such as hotels and retail, struggled to keep afloat during COVID-19. As part of Bank of Thailand’s debt relief measures, TCG helped more than 150,000 SMEs to obtain credit lines during the pandemic so they can maintain cash flow and pay workers, thus saving businesses and jobs.
Banks need to collect information from SMEs to assess the applicant’s financial health. During its loan guarantee application process, TCG often requests borrowers to provide supporting documents such as bank statements and tax returns. Loan officers store the documents in Drive and share a secure link with senior management to speed up lending decisions. With Drive, data is backed up and protected from data loss so TCG stays compliant with data retention requirements.
“Google Workspace productivity apps such as Gmail improves our ability to service banks and SMEs, regardless of our employee’s location,” says Dr. Thitipong. “We can securely share documents on Drive for quick loan approvals even as applications increased by 167% year-on-year.”
Empowering a culture of innovation
Dr. Thitipong believes that innovation is key to success, and has made innovation a core component of TCG's IT strategy.
TCG worked with Google Cloud partner Demeter ICT to help employees familiarize themselves with Google Workspace through pre-launch training sessions and during TCG's inaugural Innovation Day in November 2020, which was created to inspire its employees to think outside the box. The event planning team set up gaming booths at TCG headquarters around Google Workspace apps such as Docs and Sheets for a fun learning experience to show employees how to save time with real-time collaboration.
“Instead of a top-down approach, we encourage employees to think about how technology can help address existing challenges,” says Dr. Thitipong. “During Innovation Day, employees surprised us with new ideas for workplace tools such as turning data from Sheets into a dashboard for quick insights. It shows how Google Workspace has infused into our culture of innovation.”
Improving collaboration and saving time with virtual meetings
Due to COVID-19, TCG split its 400 employees between two work sites and designated 50 employees to work from home to minimize interactions and maintain business continuity. This working arrangement meant more collaboration had to be done via Google Chat and Meet for virtual meetings in place of in-person meetings. Today, the organization conducts more than 12,000 hours of conference meetings and online training on Meet each month.
With Meet so easily accessible, employees continue to meet face to face virtually, so being in different locations had little impact. From board meetings to training sessions, the meeting organizer simply schedules the event on Calendar and shares the invite with the Meet link via Gmail. Participants can then join the secure video meeting from their desktop or mobile device at the scheduled time by clicking on the link provided.
In addition, the recording feature on Meet makes it easy for the organizer to share the meeting with others who can’t attend the meeting. Personal assistants don’t need to take meeting notes with a voice recorder. Instead, they can review the recording on Meet and use Speech-to-Text to quickly and accurately transcribe the sessions.
Enhancing finance inclusion for SME with data and AI
"Using Google Workspace for Gmail alone is like buying a Ferrari and driving it at 60 kilometers per hour. This is why we have chosen to maximize the Google Workspace capabilities like Chat and Meet, and it has worked wonders in improving our communication channels." - Dr. Thitipong Nandhabiwat, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Digital and Innovation, TCG
Moving forward, TCG expects to diversify its portfolio with direct loan guarantees to SMEs. TCG also equips financial consultants atloan clinics in remote areas using Google Workspace for communication. It provides free consultancy services for SMEs, such as business planning and record keeping so they can pay their debt on time.
“Using Google Workspace for Gmail alone is like buying a Ferrari and driving it at 60 kilometers per hour,” says Dr. Thitipong. This is why we have chosen to maximize the Google Workspace capabilities like Chat and Meet, and it has worked wonders in improving our communication channels." Moving beyond Google Workspace, he says that the organization is looking into other Google Cloud solutions to better meet the demands of SMEs. We're exploring the full potential of Google Cloud such as Data Studio to track performance data and Speech-to-Text for transcribing meetings so we can work more efficiently to meet the growing demands, now and in the future.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.