Be dynamic to meet market changes, SMEs advised

GEORGE TOWN: Bottom lines have taken a beating during the pandemic, especially for those in the hospitality and manufacturing sectors, but there are some businesses that have shown their true mettle in riding through the storm.

During the upcoming SOBA LAB in Penang, entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be able to tap into the experience of past SOBA winners M Summit Group special officer to the managing director and M Summit 191 Executive Hotel Suites managing director Moh Wei Ken, as well as Ideal Vision Integration Sdn Bhd founder Edmund Yuen sharing their SOBA success stories and insights into navigating business amidst crisis.

The workshop, to be held at Lexis Suites Penang, will be conducted in Chinese.

Visit to register as limited seats are available. The workshop will adhere to the strict standard operating procedures for physical distancing and hygiene practices, as advised by the Malaysian National Security Council.

For the two SOBA alumni, they believe that SMEs must focus on being dynamic and agile in order to meet the changing needs of the market.

M Summit’s Moh said businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry, must come up with innovative ways to sustain the business. He said: “We have to quickly adapt to the new environment. Tourists weren’t coming in from other countries and we had to find a way to target local tourists.

Yip: SMEs must focus on overall cash flow management and look into business sustainabilityYip: SMEs must focus on overall cash flow management and look into business sustainability

“We came up with different ways to generate revenue to tide through. One of these plans during the recovery movement control order was collaborating with a lot of other parties such as steamboat operators to create staycation packages for local people and families to enjoy in our suites.”

On the other hand, Ideal Vision Integration’s Yuen said that it was important for SMEs to invest in marketing and constantly communicate with and support their customers outside of Penang.

“What we did was start to work with distributors or sales agents in different countries to help us to do sales or marketing and provide support to existing customers overseas, which helped us hit the ground running when business started to pick up again,” he said, adding that cash flow was another critical area that SMEs need to manage well.

Wan Faizah: CGC’s products and services can help SMEs get their businesses back on track.Wan Faizah: CGC’s products and services can help SMEs get their businesses back on track.

Participants can also look forward to a panel discussion titled Road to Recovery in Restoring Business Sustainability, which will feature Digi SME direct sales head Thew Soon Kheng, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd chief marketing officer Kuan Eu Jin and RHB Bank Bhd SME banking head Yip How Nang.

It will be moderated by Persatuan Usahawan Maju Malaysia Penang state liaison chairman Alec Ooi.

During the session, RHB Bank’s Yip will focus on overall cash flow management for SMEs and the important business aspects they need to pay attention to.

He said: “On top of that, I’ll also discuss the areas they must look into for business sustainability during or after the pandemic, as well as share some lessons or examples from my experience interacting with SMEs.”

In addition, participants can learn from Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC) Prai branch manager Wan Faizah Zakaria on CGC’s role, products and services to help them get their businesses back on track.

“I will also be briefing them with how they can leverage on restructuring and rescheduling (R&R) assistance post-moratorium and utilise R&R benefits,” she shared.

Organised in conjunction with SOBA 2020 as part of the education element of the awards programme, SOBA LAB’s theme is recovery, reinvention and restoration. It is designed to arm business leaders and entrepreneurs with the necessary know-how to take their businesses to the next level.

SOBA 2020 is organised by SMG with Digi, PKT Logistics Group and RHB Bank as main sponsors, Credit Guarantee Corp as co-sponsor and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp as official trade promotion partner. It is endorsed by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO with dimsum, 988 and Suria as official media partners.

Submissions for SOBA are now open. Locally incorporated enterprises not part of a multinational or listed group with foreign equity not exceeding 50% can participate by completing the application form online via or submitting the hard copy to the organiser at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya. The deadline for entries is Dec 4, 2020.

For more information on SOBA 2020, call The Star Events Business Unit at +603 7967 1388 ext 1871 (Lily)/1104 (Shamenei) or visit

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