This paper aims to attempt to first examine the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the logistics industry; second, to identify the MSMEs’ perception towards takāful (Islamic insurance); third, to recognise the challenges in the adoption of takāful; and fourth, to suggest strategies to enhance the micro-takāful penetration rate.
The SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis was used to measure the MSMEs’ competitiveness. Interview sessions were conducted with 13 owners of MSMEs in the logistics industry from the period November 2018 until January 2019 in Selangor, Malaysia.
The SWOT analysis identified several strengths (e.g. advanced infrastructure, rising number of new entrants and contribution to the local economy), weaknesses (e.g. lack of digital culture and training and a dearth of expertise), opportunities (e.g. supportive government initiatives and evolution of the mobile internet) and threats (e.g. changing customer expectations and limited financing facilities). The MSMEs’ perception towards micro-takāful and challenges in the adoption of takāful were also identified.
This paper provides an understanding of the MSMEs’ perception towards micro- takāful products, sheds light on the challenges faced by MSME owners in protecting their businesses from risk exposures and offers strategies to enhance the micro- takāful penetration rate. This study, however, is limited to Malaysia’s experience.
The identification of MSMEs’ SWOT will be useful for these businesses as it provides solid information that can be used to improve business performance while also seeking takāful protection. This paper, other than serving as a guideline for stakeholders in the logistics industry to have a better understanding of their business environment, may also provide useful insights to practitioners and policymakers.
This paper integrates the SWOT analysis into a study on business risk exposure and takāful protection from the MSMEs’ perspective. Hence, the findings could broaden available knowledge on MSMEs, especially for businesses in the logistics industry. The knowledge may also facilitate matters for takāful operators interested in tapping into the market.
Md Husin, M. and Haron, R. (2020), "Micro, small and medium enterprises’ competitiveness and micro-
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Maizaitulaidawati Md Husin and Razali Haron.
Published in ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence maybe seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are essential in enhancing the economy of a country. They play a big role in the national economy in various ways: by providing countless goods and services, developing regional markets and societies, offering job opportunities, boosting market competition and enhancing innovation. MSMEs represent 97% of the enterprise population in most Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2018). Malaysia, being one of the ASEAN countries, has also witnessed the rapid growth of its MSMEs. MSMEs recorded a strong growth of 6.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, exceeding Malaysia’s GDP of 5.2% in the same year. The MSMEs’ GDP contribution increased to 38.3% in 2018, compared to 37.1 and 36.5% in the previous years (Department of Statistics, 2018; Hun, 2019). It is expected that MSMEs will contribute up to 41% of Malaysia’s GDP by 2020 (The Star, 2017; Digital News Asia, 2019).
Malaysian MSMEs are divided into two broad categories: the manufacturing sector and services and other sectors. The manufacturing sector consists of all businesses which deal with the physical or chemical transformation of materials or components into new products (SME Corporation, 2016). The services industry refers to all businesses which provide distributive trade, hotels and restaurants, research and development, logistics, warehousing and other related businesses, while “others” refer to the remaining three key economic activities, namely, agriculture, construction and mining (SME Corporation, 2016). Malaysia’s logistics industry is one of the industries with a positive outlook, underpinned by stable trade growth and in increase in freight transportation. It is expected that towards 2040, the handling capacity of local seaports will double from 14 million to 28 million 20-foot units (AmInvestment Bank, 2019).
As with any other business, MSMEs are also exposed to various types of risks. However, despite the rapid growth of MSMEs and substantial efforts to educate them on the importance of having risk management tools, many MSMEs jeopardise their operations by not having insurance protection (Md. Jadi et al., 2014; Ibrahim et al., 2015; Crovini et al., 2020). In fact, comprehensive insurance coverage for MSMEs is still low (Ibrahim et al., 2015; Salleh et al., 2017; Putra and Gundary, 2019).
This situation leaves these businesses vulnerable to losses and closure, especially when they do not have substantial financial reserves. For example, during the massive flood in Kelantan (one of the states in Malaysia) at the end of 2014, almost 70% of MSMEs’ investments in the form of equipment, machinery, inventory and finished stocks were destroyed (Salleh et al., 2017). Many risk factors are associated with the MSMEs’ low takāful (Islamic insurance) contribution. From the takāful operators’ side, factors such as lack of product offering (Pathak and Ahmad, 2018) and limited marketing efforts (Ahmed, 2016) have led to lower participation from MSMEs. From the MSMEs’ side, lack of understanding (Che et al., 2018; Iramani et al., 2018), underestimation of risk exposures (Howard, 2018) and low awareness of risk management plans (Ismail, 2012) are amongst the factors leading to low takāful protection. According to Ahmed (2016), most takāful operators are found to focus their marketing efforts towards big corporations rather than MSMEs as they prefer to clinch and service one big client instead of closing deals with a multitude of smaller clients. This situation, however, needs to be re-examined for the benefit of all stakeholders and the nation.
Thus, this paper aims to examine the competitiveness level [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)] of MSMEs in the logistics industry and identify the challenges faced by them in the adoption of takāful. By doing so, practitioners and policymakers will have a better understanding on the importance of this industry, which will then enable them to provide strategies to reduce the low micro-takāful penetration rate. Based on the above argument, this paper seeks to address the following questions:
What are the strengths and weaknesses of MSMEs in the logistics sector in comparison to their competitors in the market?
What are the opportunities and threats facing MSMEs in the logistics industry?
What are the perceptions of MSMEs in the logistics industry towards takāful and the challenges faced in the adoption of takāful protection?
The second section aims to briefly describe Malaysia’s MSMEs and the logistics industry, followed by a discussion on the untapped micro-takāful market and MSMEs’ need for protection. The research method is explained in the third section, followed by a presentation of the findings and discussion of the results in the fourth section. The conclusion of the paper is presented in the fifth section.
Review of literature
In this section, an introduction to Malaysia’s MSMEs and logistics industry is presented. In addition, the need for protection in MSMEs and the untapped micro-takāful market are discussed.
Malaysia’s micro, small and medium enterprises and the logistics industry
MSMEs in Malaysia are governed by the SME Corporation of Malaysia. As of 2018, MSMEs accounted for 98.5% of the country’s total registered companies while the services sector accounted for 62.4% of the total number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. MSMEs are also an engine of economic growth with a contribution of 38.3% to the country’s GDP as of December 2018 (Bernama, 2020). In Malaysia, MSMEs are mostly concentrated in Selangor (19.8%) and Kuala Lumpur (14.7%), followed by Johor (10.8%) (Human Resources Development Fund, 2019).
As mentioned above, MSMEs are classified into manufacturing and services and others. MSMEs in both industries with a sales turnover of not more than RM300,000 or having less than five employees are considered micro-companies. On the other hand, a small enterprise in the manufacturing industry is defined as a company with 5 to 75 employees and having a sales turnover between RM300,000 and RM15mn. A small enterprise in the services and other industries is defined as one having 5 to 30 employees and with a sales turnover between RM300,000 and RM3mn. A medium enterprise in the manufacturing industry is characterised as having 75 to 200 employees with a sales turnover of RM15mn to RM50mn. However, for the services and other industries, a medium enterprise is defined as a company with a sales turnover of RM3mn to RM20mn and having 30 to 75 employees (SME Corporation, 2016; Auzzir et al., 2018).
Logistics is one of the important industries that contribute to the development of a nation. The importance of the industry can be seen from various angles, including the increasing number of start-ups and logistics hubs (PwC, 2016; Lim, 2017; Wengler and Biermann, 2018), aggregate labour productivity (Economic Planning Unit, 2015) and improved infrastructure (PwC, 2018). The logistics industry plays a significant role in enhancing Malaysia’s trade-dependent and export-oriented economy. Strategic location, good infrastructure, the rapid growth of the e-commerce industry and huge demand are amongst the strengths that support the growth of the logistics industry. Like most other industries, the logistics industry is confronting immense change; and like all change, this brings about both risks and opportunities.
The need for protection in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the untapped micro-takāful market
In this tough and ever-changing environment, MSMEs are exposed to a certain number of risks that may affect business performance. Amongst the risks associated with MSMEs’ businesses are supply chain risk, interest rate risk, raw materials’ price risk, technological risk, growth risk and e-business risk (Sukmana and Hidayat, 2014; Falkner and Hiebl, 2015; Ismail et al., 2016; Pathak and Ahmad, 2018). Given that insurance/takāful coverage is one of the risk management tools that can be adopted to overcome these unforeseen risks, having comprehensive takāful protection has thus become an important mechanism to ensure the healthy growth and continuity of a firm. In other words, suitably packaged takāful policies are needed to protect MSMEs’ business assets, liabilities and employees from the risks associated with operating a business. Burglary, electronic equipment failure, fidelity guarantee, group/personal accident, employer’s liability, workmen’s compensation and business continuity protection are amongst the necessary protection for MSMEs (Md. Jadi et al., 2014; Ahmed, 2016).
Micro-takāful is an instrument which offers Islamic-based protection to low-income individuals and businesses, including MSMEs (Mohamad Puad, 2017). A discussion paper on micro-takāful was published by the Central Bank (Bank Negara Malaysia) in 2016 to provide guidance on the regulations applicable to micro-takāful products and the operating environment that is envisioned for micro-takāful. To date, the micro-takāful market is at a nascent stage of development. Research, engagement with the industry and a regulatory framework have been established to provide a more facilitative environment for the growth of the market (BNM, 2016). However, despite various efforts, it is reported that there still exists a huge untapped micro-takāful market. It is estimated that there are over 700,000 businesses from the MSMEs sector which have not tapped into the micro-takāful market (Yunus, 2018).
Factors hindering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises micro-takāful adoption
As aforementioned, although the adoption of micro-takāful reduces the probability of business closure and provides better risk management of MSMEs, the adoption of micro-takāful is still low. A number of reasons are put forth to explain the problem. Firstly, the level of awareness and knowledge about micro-takāful products and services is still deficient (Che et al., 2018; Mahmood et al., 2019). Ignorance about the importance of having takāful protection, including the perception that takāful operators gain profit at entrepreneurs’ expense (Ismail, 2012), precludes MSMEs’ interest in adopting micro-takāful products and services. Secondly, the adoption of micro-takāful differs from one to another institution. The size, geographical concentration of businesses and business lines contribute to the demand and adoption of takāful (Che et al., 2018). As such, takāful operators should be able to understand the businesses well before promoting their products and services to them. However, according to Salleh et al. (2018), the absence of a regulatory provision in micro-takāful not only contributes to the low adoption of micro-takāful products and services but also affects the offering of these products and services by takāful operators. Thirdly, fully trained and skilled staff to promote micro-takāful is nearly unavailable (Mohamad Puad, 2017), which contributes to the low awareness amongst MSMEs.
In this paper, the perceptions of MSME owners in the logistics industry towards the Malaysian micro-takāful market were examined by conducting interviews on a sample of 13 MSME owners registered in Selangor, Malaysia. Selangor was chosen for two main reasons. Firstly, MSMEs are mostly concentrated in this state. Secondly, the state has a high potential to become the logistics gateway to Southeast Asia (SME Corporation, 2017; MIDA, 2018).
The sample was drawn from the number of registered MSMEs in the logistics industry from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, a statutory body which regulates and monitors the business activities of Malaysian companies.
According to the Human Resources Development Fund (2019), there were 907,065 registered MSMEs in Malaysia. Out of this number, 19.8% of the companies are registered in Selangor. Some of these companies were randomly contacted through telephone calls and meetings with the owners were arranged to secure permission to conduct interviews. Only 13 companies agreed to participate in the interview (Table 1).
Prior to the interview session, respondents were informed that their participation is anonymous and voluntary. Further, they were informed that their responses would only be used for this research. Once the respondents gave their consent, a series of questions adapted from Mohezar et al. (2017) were asked. A minimum of 55 min and a maximum of 90 min were spent to complete the interview sessions. Interviews were conducted from November 2018 until January 2019. Table 2 shows the interview questions.
The content analysis approach was used to: firstly, identify the groupings and sub-groupings of the competitiveness variables based on SWOT; secondly, to identify the managers’ perception towards takāful; and thirdly, to recognise the challenges in the adoption of takāful. Three steps (as shown in Figure 1) were taken to analyse the interview transcripts, which involved categorising the groupings and sub-groupings in the interview transcripts.
Findings and discussion
Strengths and weaknesses
The majority of respondents highlighted that the strength of the Malaysian logistics market lies in its advanced infrastructure. Respondent 1 stated:
This country and industry have a comprehensive and sound domestic infrastructure which helps the market to grow further. The technologies available are one of the enablers for greater efficiency.
Respondents 8 and 10 also had similar thoughts. The following are their responses:
I think the fact that our industry has witnessed advanced infrastructure is among the highest strengths we have. The best infrastructure we enjoy so far has been able to enhance our business efficiency (Respondent 8).
We have smart warehouses, application trackers, and several other technologies which not only help us in reducing delivery timeline and ensuring inventory accuracy, but also help in batch management (Respondent 10).
The increasing number of new entrants and their contribution to the economy is also named as the strengths of the industry. The following excerpts are taken from interviews with two of the respondents:
New entrants are not good for small scale companies like us as they bring more capacity and they desire to gain market share. But, this is good for the industry because healthy competition encourages change and leads to innovation (Respondent 11).
We offer innovation, support the growth of the consumer market, facilitate local integration, and enhance job opportunities, which altogether provide a great contribution to improve the local economy (Respondent 13).
The dearth of expertise and lack of digital culture and training have been identified as the industry’s weaknesses. The respondents pointed out the following:
The industry can be transformed into becoming more integrated and high tech. However, the current industry has a limited amount of expertise [sic] (Respondent 3).
Most people think of trucking, warehousing, and logistics as low-income, unsophisticated and non-challenging careers (Respondent 6).
I believe that there is a need to address the widening skills gap in the industry. As we move forward, there will be more specialised skilled roles required to soar the country’s logistics industry (Respondent 7).
The majority of us have yet to become immersed in the digital culture environment. If this is not solved as soon as possible, the industry will lose its competitive advantage (Respondent 10).
Based on the respondents’ feedback, two of the strengths of the logistics market lie in its advanced infrastructure and the significant contribution to the Malaysian economy. In the logistics industry, technologies represent valuable resources for competitive advantage (Karia, 2018). Other important elements of logistic infrastructure are transport carriers, warehouses, storage units, ports and terminals. However, the respondents also mentioned that there is a shortage of expertise in the industry that needs immediate action by the stakeholders. The same issue has been mentioned by various researchers, including Rahman et al. (2019) and Abdirad and Krishnan (2020).
Opportunities and threats
From the interview sessions, several opportunities were identified, including supportive government initiatives, the exploding growth of e-commerce and the evolution of the mobile internet. The following excerpts are taken from three of the respondents:
The government gives full support to the enhancement of the industry’s position in the country. There is a supply of talented and skilled labour to meet the needs of the industry. I’ve heard that a few logistic companies are sending their staff to undertake training in logistics-related courses at universities. This ensures the existence of a sustainable talent pool (Respondent 4).
The growth of e-commerce, the rising popularity of online shopping, and the increase in trade activities have enhanced the needs for transportation and delivery services, which give a big impact to the logistics industry (Respondent 5).
Smartphones and mobile internet have opened more opportunities in the industry. We have statistics that suggest that the number of our retail consumers has increased over time in tandem with the increase in internet and smartphones’ penetration (Respondent 11).
Several industry threats are also identified, including changing customer expectations, limited financing facilities and inadequate regulatory mechanisms. The following are some of the responses:
Working in an industry with super-advanced technology is challenging. Customers’ expectations become higher. They want to get consignments earlier and at a cheaper price. This situation affects small logistics businesses (Respondent 1).
Although the logistics business has a bright future, the lack of financing facilities has been a real challenge to the industry’s development. It’s hard and very challenging to grow a business in this situation (Respondent 7).
Our industry’s regulations need to be reformed. At this moment, this industry has a limited regulatory framework (Respondent 12).
E-commerce advancement and supportive government initiatives play a significant role in the MSMEs’ growth in the logistics industry (Ab Talib et al., 2020; Orji et al., 2020). According to Ab Talib et al. (2020), regulation, financial incentives, taxation, infrastructure, guidance and encouragement and education and labour supply are six critical roles of government in promoting the logistics industry. In Malaysia, the Logistics and Trade Facilitation Masterplan (2015–2020) has been formulated to strengthen regulation, deploy technologies and human capital and elevate Malaysia to become a regional player (PwC, 2018). This government intervention is believed to be able to resolve bottlenecks in the logistics industry.
Key perceptions and challenges
Respondents 2 and 10 are aware of the benefits of business takāful plans, but have yet to secure comprehensive protection. The following are their responses:
I’m aware of takāful operators offering business protection takāful in one single plan, which is perfect for my business, but I’m just too busy focusing on how to improve my business and bring it to another level (Respondent 2).
Yes, I know insurance/takāful protection is important. We have Easi Health-SME, and I will consider adding another plan in the near future (Respondent 10).
A few of the interviewees stated that cost is the main concern in the adoption of takāful. The following responses from Respondents 5, 9, 11 and 13 illustrate their thoughts:
I’ve read an article on the importance of having protection, but I have to prioritise as takāful coverage is not that cheap (Respondent 5).
Due to my limited budget, I don’t think a comprehensive takāful coverage is necessary. My employees have a group/personal accident protection plan. That’s all we need at the moment (Respondent 9).
I have the necessary insurance protection. I am thinking to have the logistics takāful package but it’s quite costly. Guess I should wait further (Respondent 11).
The comprehensive takāful plan is pricey. I’ll look for one as my business grows (Respondent 13).
In addition to that, Respondents 9 and 10 mentioned that their companies have difficulties in selecting the best takāful protection plan based on the company’s needs:
I need to select the most affordable plan with the highest coverage. So far, I have yet to find one. Perhaps, if shopping for takāful protection is made easy, I would have already subscribed to one (Respondent 5).
Choosing the best plan is not easy. There’s lots of takāful and insurance companies in the market with various attractive plans (Respondent 7).
Regarding the challenges in the adoption of takāful, most of the respondents mentioned their primary concerns to be cost and the difficulty of choosing the best and most comprehensive coverage. This implies that MSMEs have some budget limitations and need guidance in selecting their takāful plan. Table 3 summarises the content analysis based on the interviews conducted.
Several strategies can be designed to enhance the micro-takāful penetration rate. Firstly, takāful operators need to develop tailor-made products to suit business needs according to the different segments of businesses. To do so, expanding the range of product varieties with personalised coverage is necessary. In addition, takāful operators need to strengthen the marketing strategies and educate potential customers on the importance of having takāful protection for the continuity of their businesses. Mokhtar et al. (2017) mentioned that businesses rely heavily on intermediaries, such as agents and brokers, to secure takāful coverage. Thus, extensive training of takāful staff and agents is also recommended to enhance their skills in promoting takāful products to the right businesses and to intensify promotion for a higher level of awareness. The takāful operators are also recommended to enhance their market presence and provide efficient services to attract takāful subscription (Mokhtar et al., 2017).
This paper attempted to examine the competitiveness (SWOT) of MSMEs in the logistics industry. It has also identified the MSMEs’ perception towards takāful, recognised the challenges faced in the adoption of takāful, and subsequently, suggested strategies to enhance the micro-takāful penetration rate. The motivation of this research lies in the fact that despite the MSMEs’ big impact on the nation’s economy, many have yet to protect their businesses, thus exposing their businesses to risks. This situation also explains the existence of the largely untapped micro-takāful market.
The SWOT analysis identified several strengths (e.g. advanced infrastructure, rising number of new entrants and contribution to the local economy), weaknesses (e.g. lack of digital culture and training and a dearth of expertise), opportunities (e.g. supportive government initiatives and evolution of the mobile internet) and threats (e.g. changing customer expectations and limited financing facilities). According to the interview results, the MSMEs understand the need of having their businesses protected but reveal that they are yet to have any comprehensive protection plan due to budget constraints and difficulties in finding the appropriate coverage plan. Examining the competitiveness of MSMEs provides useful insights to practitioners and policymakers on the importance of this industry. It also identifies the MSMEs’ perception towards takāful and recognises the challenges faced by them in seeking protection. In addition, this paper serves as a guide to provide industry stakeholders with a better understanding of the MSMEs’ business environment.
According to Salleh et al. (2017), the survival, growth and development of businesses are key determinants that affect the demand for takāful by MSMEs. Therefore, as MSMEs’ businesses grow over time, their need for takāful protection will increase and subsequently create an urgency for practitioners and policymakers to restructure the promotion strategy of micro-takāful to widen the market. Although there is a significant opportunity for the market to flourish, marketing micro-takāful products are not easy due to varied perceptions towards takāful amongst MSMEs. These situations push takāful operators to explore the possibility of: firstly, offering tailor-made and comprehensive plans at a lower cost; and secondly, exploring the right marketing channel which might help them in promoting takāful products and services tailored specifically to MSMEs’ needs.
As the country aims at tapping the micro-takāful market for MSMEs, the current strategy, which relies on promotion via mass media, may not be viable. Hence, industry practitioners need to devise unique strategies to tap into these markets and deliver attractive policies to the logistics industry to minimise risk exposure as these companies play a key role in the nation’s overall economic development. Several strategies could be implemented. These include: appointing personnel with appropriate skills and abilities as this would help in supporting and recommending the right protection to MSMEs; conducting in-house awareness programmes with tailor-made protection according to a company’s affordability level; and leveraging on mobile applications with added-value services to make takāful simpler and more attractive.
Demographic profile of respondents
|Participants||Year of establishment of MSME|
|Internal||•What are the strengths that will assist the industry to accelerate?
•What are the determinants assisting the industry’s development?
•What difficulties hinder the development of the industry?
•What activities and procedures are absent, weakly done and need improvement?
|External||•Is there any activity and development that attract the industry’s attention?
•What are the opportunities facing the industry?
•What are the obstacles and hurdles that threaten the effectiveness of the industry?
•What transformation and changes in rules, strategy and technology may affect the industry?
|Perception and challenges||•Do you feel that takāful is necessary for the company?
•Does the company have any comprehensive takāful plan? Why or why not?
•What has been your company’s biggest challenge in seeking a takāful business protection plan?
•Has the company encountered any difficulty in searching for takāful products and services?
Source: Authors’ own
|Rising no. of new entrants||√||√||√||√||4|
|Contributes to the local economy||√||√||√||√||√||√||6|
|Weaknesses||Lack of digital culture and training||√||√||√||3|
|Dearth of expertise||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||9|
|Opportunities||Supportive government initiatives||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||7|
|Exploding growth of e-commerce||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||9|
|Evolution of mobile internet||√||√||√||√||√||5|
|Threats||Changing customer expectations||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||7|
|Limited financing facilities||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||√||9|
|Inadequate regulatory mechanism||√||√||2|
Source: Authors’ own
Ab Talib, M.S., Pang, L.L. and Ngah, A.H. (2020), “The role of government in promoting halal logistics: a systematic literature review”, Journal of Islamic Marketing, doi: 10.1108/JIMA-05-2020-0124.
Abdirad, M. and Krishnan, K. (2020), “Industry 4.0 in logistics and supply chain management: a systematic literature review”, Engineering Management Journal, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1080/10429247.2020.1783935.
Ahmed, M.H. (2016), “Micro takaful insurance as a tool to guaranteeing financing and protecting micro enterprises”, Journal of Business and Financial Affairs, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 0-11.
AmInvestment Bank (2019), “Growth expected for transportation and logistics sector”, The Edge Market, available at: www.theedgemarkets.com/article/growth-expected-transportation-and-logistics-sector (accessed 21 August 2019).
Auzzir, Z., Haigh, R. and Amaratunga, D. (2018), “Impacts of disaster to SMEs in Malaysia”, Procedia Engineering, Vol. 212, pp. 1131-1138.
Bernama (2020), “Reviving the country’s economic development will be extremely challenging-MCCC”, available at: www.bernama.com/en/general/news_covid-19.php?id=1829166 (accessed 21 August 2019).
BNM (2016), Discussion Paper on Microinsurance and Microtakaful, Bank Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Che, M., Salleh, M. and Padzim, F.Z. (2018), “The prevalence of micro takaful products in the eyes of Malaysian SMEs”, International Academic Journal of Business Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 49-65.
Crovini, C., Santoro, G. and Ossola, G. (2020), “Rethinking risk management in entrepreneurial SMEs: towards the integration with the decision-making process”, Management Decision, doi: 10.1108/MD-10-2019-1402.
Department of Statistics (2018), “National accounts”, available at: www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/ctwoByCat&parent_id=99&menu_id=TE5CRUZCblh4ZTZMODZIbmk2aWRRQT09 (accessed 30 January 2020).
Digital News Asia (2019), “SME contribution to Malaysian GDP rises to 38.3%, valued at US$126.3b”, available at: www.digitalnewsasia.com/digital-economy/sme-contribution-Malaysian-gdp-rises-to-38.3%25-valued-US126.3b#:∼:text=By%20Digital%20News%20Asia%20August%202%2C%202019&text=SMEs%20recorded%20a%20higher%20contribution,2%20billion)%20in%202017 (accessed 21 August 2019).
Economic Planning Unit (2015), “Logistics and trade facilitation masterplan (2015-2020)”, available at: https://pdf4pro.com/fullscreen/logistics-and-trade-facilitation-masterplan-2015-4a10af.html (accessed 21 September 2019).
Falkner, E.M. and Hiebl, M.R.W. (2015), “Risk management in SMEs: a systematic review of available evidence”, The Journal of Risk Finance, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 122-144.
Howard, L.S. (2018), “SMEs underestimate cyber risks which could prove ‘fatal’: Allianz report”, Insurance Journal, available at: www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/mag-features/2018/03/05/481912.htm (accessed 15 November 2019).
Human Resources Development Fund (2019), “SMEs in Malaysia: training landscape among SMEs”, available at: www.hrdf.com.my/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/11.-issue_Sept01_2019-Human-Capital-Report-SMEs-in-Malaysia.pdf (accessed 21 August 2020).
Hun, C.J. (2019), “Malaysia SME contribution to GDP up at 38.3% in 2018”, The Edge Market, available at: www.theedgemarkets.com/article/malaysia-sme-contribution-gdp-383-2018 (accessed 21 August 2019).
Ibrahim, M.D., Salleh, F. and Awang, Z. (2015), “The effects of financial factors on takaful demand in Malaysia”, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Business, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 17-29.
Iramani, I., Suryani, T. and Lindiawati, L. (2018), “SME’s financial literacy: an overview based on demographic aspects”, Journal of Economics, Business and Accountancy Ventura, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 283-294.
Ismail, N. (2012), “An investigation of the awareness level of takaful products among the micro enterprises in Malaysia”, International Conference on Excellence in Business, pp. 1-6.
Ismail, N., Othman, A.A., Yousop, M. and Ahmad, Z. (2016), “Empirical evidence on the SMEs risks framework in Malaysia”, Journal of Advanced Research in Social and Behavioural Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 52-62.
Karia, N. (2018), “How knowledge resource does matter in technology and cost advantages of a firm? Evidence from Malaysian logistics sector”, Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 346-368.
Lim, R. (2017), “Southeast Asia poised for logistics boom”, Global Supply Chain Council, available at: www.gscc.co/articles/southeast-asia-poised-for-logistics-boom (accessed 21 September 2019).
Mahmood, H., Hassan, R. and Salman, S.A. (2019), “A survey on awareness and knowledge of Islamic microfinance in India”, International Journal of Physical and Social Science, Vol. 9 No. 10, pp. 1-11.
Md. Jadi, D., Manab, N.A. and Ahmad, S. (2014), “Insurance as a risk transfer mechanism in small and medium enterprises (SMEs)”, International SME Conference (ISMEC 2014), pp. 75-84.
MIDA (2018), Deepening the Logistics Supply Chain, MIDA, pp. 1-15.
Mohamad Puad, N.A. (2017), “Issues and challenges in developing microtakaful in Muslim country”, Proceeding of the 4th International Conference on Management and Muamalah 2017 (ICoMM 2017), pp. 426-433.
Mohezar, S., Moghavvemi, S. and Zailani, S. (2017), “Malaysian Islamic medical tourism market: a SWOT analysis”, Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 444-460.
Mokhtar, H.S.A., Aziz, I.A. and Hilal, N.M. (2017), “Corporate demand for general takāful in Malaysia”, ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 164-184.
Orji, I.J., Kusi-Sarpong, S., Huang, S. and Vazquez-Brust, D. (2020), “Evaluating the factors that influence blockchain adoption in the freight logistics industry”, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Vol. 141, p. 102025.
Pathak, S. and Ahmad, M.M. (2018), “Flood risk reduction through insurance for SMEs in Pathumthani province, Thailand”, Development in Practice, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 303-310.
Putra, S. and Gundary, P. (2019), “The opportunities of sharia insurance company in assisting MSMEs under the insurance act in the industrial era 4.0”, Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, Vol. 442, pp. 84-87.
PwC (2016), “Shifting patterns: the future of the logistics industry”, available at: www.pwc.com/sg/en/publications/assets/future-of-the-logistics-industry.pdf (accessed 22 September 2019).
PwC (2018), “Logistics in Malaysia: market overview and M&A trends”, available at: www.pwc.com/my/en/assets/blog/pwc-my-deals-strategy-logistics-in-malaysia.pdf (accessed 22 September 2019).
Rahman, S., Ahsan, K., Yang, L. and Odgers, J. (2019), “An investigation into critical challenges for multinational third-party logistics providers operating in China”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 103, pp. 607-619.
Salleh, F., Ibrahim, M.D., Redzuan, R.H. and Remli, N. (2017), “Developing a takaful property framework for small and medium enterprises”, World Applied Sciences Journal, Vol. 35 No. 8, pp. 1602-1609.
Salleh, F., Ibrahim, M.D., Yazid, A.S., Afthanorhan, A., Rashid, N. and Ghazali, P.L. (2018), “Micro small and medium enterprise demand for general takaful: proposed theoretical framework and hypotheses development”, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Vol. 8 No. 12, pp. 599-612.
SME Corporation (2016), “Guideline for new SME definition”, available at: www.smecorp.gov.my/images/pdf/Guideline_New_SME_Definition_updated.pdf (accessed 5 November 2019).
SME Corporation (2017), “Economic census 2016: profile of SMEs”, available at: www.smecorp.gov.my/images/SMEAR/latest/2/CensusEnglish_FINAL.pdf, (accessed 5 November 2019).
Sukmana, R. and Hidayat, S.E. (2014), “Challenges and opportunities in developing microtakaful in Muslim majority country: a case study of Indonesia”, The 11th Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance, 2013, Cambridge, pp. 1-14.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2018), “SME policy index: Asean 2018”, available at: https://asean.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Report-ASEAN-SME-Policy-Index-2018.pdf (accessed 12 January 2020).
The Star (2017), “A successful SME is a protected one”, 30 October, available at: www.thestar.com.my/business/smebiz/2017/10/30/a-successful-sme-is-a-protected-one/#BxqbEUiExdMXrCCo.99 (accessed 3 December 2019).
Wengler, S. and Biermann, P. (2018), “Logistics startups are booming”, Simon-Kucher and Partners, available at: www.simon-kucher.com/en/blog/logistics-startups-are-booming (accessed 7 January 2020).
Yunus, N.S.M. (2018), “Innovation in a disruptive era”, available at: www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=en_speech&pg=en_speech&ac=808 (accessed 3 December 2019).
This work was supported by the Encouragement Research Grant project funded by the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia under Grant No Q.K130000.2655.18J06.
About the authors
Maizaitulaidawati Md Husin, PhD, is an experienced academician with strong enthusiasm and passion for Islamic banking and finance. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Azman Hashim International Business School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. She has over 12 years of experience in teaching and supervision. Maizaitulaidawati holds a PhD in Islamic Economics from the University of Malaya, MSc in Banking and BBA in Finance. She is also a certified Islamic financial planner in Malaysia.
Razali Haron, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Director of IIUM Sharīʿah Advisory Services Sdn. Bhd., member of the investment sub-committee at IIUM and former Deputy Dean (Research and Publication) of the Institute. He has extensive experience in the corporate sector, covering brokerage dealings, fund management, unit trust and capital market.