Star Media Group will continue efforts to support emerging businesses
REALISING the potential and growth of the SME market and its contribution to the country’s economy, The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) came into the picture. First held in 2010, SOBA is now into its eighth year.
This award has been a strategic platform to acknowledge the achievements of SMEs and to groom them for even greater success.
In line with the Government’s commitment to develop homegrown enterprises, SOBA also seeks to inspire and encourage local businesses to promote the country and showcase its products and services not just within Malaysia, but also globally.
The awards presented to local enterprises recognise their performance in various aspects of business including categories such as branding, CSR, green initiatives, innovation and global markets.
This means not only looking at businesses that do well with their bottom lines, but that are at the forefront in anticipating the future needs not only of the companies, but also of the economic sector in which they operate.
On many occasions, companies have used SOBA as a benchmark to gauge their strengths in the industry and as a guideline to look at ways to improve and innovate.
An enterprise that knows how to adjust its operational procedures to meet environmental concerns, and in the process grow its profits, will stand out.
Star Media Group Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said the establishment of SOBA in 2010 was to promote business excellence and stimulate positive competition whilst showcasing the achievements attained by outstanding businesses.
“We always hope that more entrepreneurs and enterprises recognise that SOBA is a fantastic opportunity to elevate their business position while simultaneously taking a clearer look into their business processes. SOBA understands the important role of local businesses in contributing to the economic development of Malaysia.
“We are glad that SOBA has managed to identify the contributions by remarkable SMEs towards the country’s economic growth and also to put them through the mill to achieve greater accomplishments. Awards and events such as SOBA enrich our nation by inspiring and challenging Malaysians to go forth and grab a chance in making their dreams a reality,” said Wong.
He added that Star Media Group remained committed to playing a part in supporting the growth and development of the country’s emerging businesses.
Apart from the awards, Star Media Group also organises various workshops and conferences under SOBA such as the Learning Series and the Star SMEBiz Think Tank throughout the year to educate, equip, engage and connect SMEs.
Over the years, SOBA has also received support from various companies, organisations and agencies such as PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd, Exim Bank, BMW, Citroen, The Main Place, AmBank, Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd, Digi.com Bhd, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) and Human Resources Development Fund as it strives to boost small businesses in Malaysia.
Matrade deputy chief executive officer Sharimahton Mat Saleh noted that the agency has had a good engagement with The Star as SOBA provides it with a good platform to reach out to SMEs.
“There is good synergy there. Through this, we can have a larger pool of companies to export Malaysian products,” she said.
To further recognise the achievements of upcoming small-and-medium businesses and start-ups as well as the more established SMEs, SOBA was sub-categorised into two tiers in 2016: enterprises with sales turnover of up to RM25mil and companies with turnover above RM25mil.
Mega Fortris (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Adrian Ng, winner of the Male Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Above RM25mil revenue category at SOBA 2016, is appreciative of Star Media Group’s efforts.
“SOBA helped us increase our company profile and our marketability has gone to a different level. Our company and industry was previously under the radar. Now, we are getting more interest from investors.
“It is nice to be able to share how a Malaysian brand can be on par with international brands,” said Ng.
Mega Fortris provides security seals solutions to various industry globally including the gaming and logistics industries.
Last year, the company also bagged Malaysian Business of the Year (Above RM25mil category), Gold for Best Global Market, Gold for Best Innovation and Silver for Best Brand in the Above RM25mil category.
Meanwhile, SecureMetric Technology Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Edward Law Seeh Key noted that SOBA has garnered a strong brand for credibility.
“Our first submission was in 2015 and we won one award. We found that it was neutral and the award was not available for sale. So we submitted entries for four categories in 2016 and won three.
“Most of the awards in the market can be easily bought. But not SOBA. It’s a real competition. We feel honoured that we won on merit,” said Law.
SecureMetric won Platinum for Best in Marketing, Gold for Best Innovation and Silver for Best Global Market in the Up to RM25mil category at SOBA 2016.
SMEs looking to benchmark themselves are welcome to submit their entry forms for SOBA 2017. Submission kits can be downloaded from www.soba.com.my.
Deadline for this year’s submission is October 13.
SOBA is open to all local enterprises not part of a multinational or listed group incorporated in Malaysia with foreign equity not exceeding 50%.
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