PETALING JAYA: One way to highlight successful companies is to focus on those guiding the direction of these enterprises.
That is the intention of the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2023’s inaugural SOBA CEO PowerTalk, which was held yesterday morning at Level 2, Menara Star.
The morning event was mostly attended by business owners, from managing directors to chief executive officers and founders.
The event was intended to be an exclusive event to help promote business growth and development among elite SMEs and for their leaders to come together and connect over powerful discussions and dialogue.
Greeting them was Star Media Group’s (SMG) CEO Alex Yeow, who in his speech said: “SOBA is a platform for like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to support and motivate each other.
“Apart from learning from each other through knowledge-sharing opportunities, SOBA also provides an excellent opportunity for business owners to expand their network.”
He added that SOBA has grown to become a respected platform over the last decade, growing beyond just an awards programme.
“Thanks to the unwavering support of our sponsors and the event’s uniqueness, (SOBA) has always been about fostering a community of high calibre leaders who are always ready to share their expertise to help one another.”
The talk had two separate sessions that covered crucial topics and were both moderated by StarBiz deputy news editor Doreenn Leong.
The first topic discussed “Building a lasting brand and adopting a culture of agility” with ZCOVA Sdn Bhd managing director, founder and former auditor Low Ziwei.
Joining him was KIP Real Estate Investment (REIT) Trust Management Sdn Bhd executive director and CEO Valerie Ong Pui Shan, who oversees developing and executing business strategies for KIP-REIT.
Ong said that she considers a lasting brand as one that is defined as a brand that can maintain its relevance, recognition, as well as positive reputation through a long period of time.
Low shared that he used to consider his company’s cash flow as the most important thing.
In time he came to realise the importance of branding as something that is a “higher purpose”.
“Cash flow is the blood that sustains the company and is important, but what’s the company’s higher purpose?”, he asked.
“So the brand is not just what you tell people, it is the higher purpose of your company.”
Within ZCOVA, Low established his branding with four pillars: happiness, honesty, transparency and inclusivity.
The second session delved into the topic of “Innovative strategies for business expansion” with Acestar Sdn Bhd group CEO Natalie Sit, who has over 25 years in the technology industry and has received several accolades including the SOBA 2016 Female Entrepreneur of the Year award, among others.
With her was Majestic Emerald Sdn Bhd director Cheri Leong, who has successfully executed more than five different restaurant brand openings, with brands such as Man Kee HK Beef Noodle Restaurant, Old Town White Coffee and more.
Sit said that the best time to expand the business is when there is a noticeable stagnancy and the only way to break that is to expand.
And with expansion she pointed out a company can either expand on what it does best and become a market leader, or expand out of the country and go regional. It can also diversify into a different field altogether.
The SOBA CEO PowerTalk is part of SOBA 2023 organised by SMG with CelcomDigi Bhd, Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd as main sponsors, and Malaysia External Trade Development Corp as official trade promotion partner.
Supported by Bursa Malaysia, SOBA is audited by BDO while radio stations 988 and Suria are official media partners.
To take part in SOBA 2023 or for more information, call SMG Events (017-231 1789) or go to www.soba.com.my.