SOBA 2023 awards completes its first round of judging

Distinguished experts: The SOBA judges worked from morning to night to sort through the entries for this year’s event.

PETALING JAYA: The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2023 recently concluded its four-day virtual judging session on Dec 8 with all 29 judges sifting through the entries.

On Dec 5, the judging team was initially briefed by auditors BDO, who took them through the same virtual platform that will allow them to select the entries that are eligible to move into the second phase of judging.

The virtual judging platform was introduced last year to facilitate the judging process and to ensure judges have a better experience.

The initial sorting stage was also extended from two to four days.

This year also saw the introduction of a new SOBA category, the SOBA MIKRO Recognition Award, which aims to recognise micro SMEs (MSMEs) for their business growth as they also contribute to the nation’s economy.

The 29 judges were grouped into nine panels and judged the entries that were based on certain assigned categories.

Eight of the panels had three judges, while the ninth, which was the MIKRO panel, had five.

Judging started right after BDO’s briefing and the SOBA online judging-platform briefing by Star Media Group (SMG).

Over two days last week, judges started judging at 8.30am until almost midnight.

Throughout the process, they debated and discussed the merits and drawbacks of each entry, after which, they gave their individual scores based on their own insight.

This concluded on Dec 8 at 5.30pm, with a shortlist of entries that will proceed to the next round.

Similar to last year, there will be two more judging sessions to go. The second round will be held on Jan 4 and will require finalists to make pitch presentations to the judges.

The final will take place on Jan 30 and will be attended by the chief judges of each panel, to only decide the winners for the categories of Best in Customer Service, the Elite Entrepreneur of the Year and the Malaysian Business of the Year.

SOBA 2023 is organised by Star Media Group 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 the official trade promotion partner.

Supported by Bursa Malaysia, SOBA is audited by BDO while radio stations 988 and Suria are official media partners.

For more information on SOBA 2023, call SMG Events at 017-231 1789 or visit

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Soba 2023


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