Eight years of supporting SMEs


  • SME
  • Monday, 25 Sep 2017

A panel of industry experts addressing concerns of SMEs at a forum in the early days of SOBA.

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.

(from left) Wong, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and <a href='/business/marketwatch/stocks/?qcounter=STAR' target='_blank'>Star Media Group Bhd</a><a href='http://charts.thestar.com.my/?s=STAR' target='_blank'><img class='go-chart' src='https://cdn.thestar.com.my/Themes/img/chart.png' /></a> chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow lauded the achievements of SMEs and encouraged them to go further.
(from left) Wong, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Star Media Group Bhd chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow lauded the achievements of SMEs and encouraged them to go further
 

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.

Gintell group managing director Datuk Goh Cheh Yak (eighth from left) strikes a pose with his team after their impressive win at SOBA 2015.
Gintell group managing director Datuk Goh Cheh Yak (eighth from left) strikes a pose with his team after their impressive win at SOBA 2015.
 

“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.

Star Media Group Bhd group chief operating officer Calvin Kan (middle of front row) with long-time partners of SOBA (Back row, from left) Malaysia Entrepreneurs’ Development Association honorary treasurer Datuk Billy Goh, SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers council member Datuk Mizanur Rahman Ghani, Federation of Federation of Malaysia Chinese Guilds Association deputy president Lum Kim Soong and Branding Association of Malaysia president Datuk Eric Chong, (Front row, from left) BDO executive director Mok Chew Yin, Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce president Don Nazwim Don Najib, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Mark Rozario, Malaysia Retail Chain Association deputy president Valerie Choo and Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry representative Viknesvaran.
Star Media Group Bhd group chief operating officer Calvin Kan (middle of front row) with longtime partners of SOBA (Back row, from left) Malaysia Entrepreneurs’ Development Association honorary treasurer Datuk Billy Goh, SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers council member Datuk Mizanur Rahman Ghani, Federation of Federation of Malaysia Chinese Guilds Association deputy president Lum Kim Soong and Branding Association of Malaysia president Datuk Eric Chong, (Front row, from left) BDO executive director Mok Chew Yin, Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce president Don Nazwim Don Najib, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Mark Rozario, Malaysia Retail Chain Association deputy president Valerie Choo and Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry representative Viknesvaran.
 

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.

Judges for SOBA entries are made up of representatives from various industry trade associations.
Judges for SOBA entries are made up of representatives from various industry trade associations.
 

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.

Datuk Calvin Khiu (second from right) receives his Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Above RM25mil category from Liow (second from left) at SOBA 2016 as Wong (left) and Fu look on.
Datuk Calvin Khiu (second from right) receives his Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Above RM25mil category from Liow (second from left) at SOBA 2016 as Wong (left) and Fu look on.
 

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.

Ng says Mega Fortris has garnered a lot of interest after its big win at SOBA 2016.
Ng says Mega Fortris has garnered a lot of interest after its big win at SOBA 2016.
 

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%.

Acestar Sdn Bhd CEO Natalie Sit won Female Entrepreneur of the Year (Up to RM25mil) in 2016 after being one of the Most Promising Award recipient the previous year.
Acestar Sdn Bhd CEO Natalie Sit won Female Entrepreneur of the Year (Up to RM25mil) in 2016 after being one of the Most Promising Award recipient the previous year.
 

SOBA 2015 Male Entrepreneur of the Year grand winner Plaza Premium Lounge Malaysia Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder Song Hoi See (second from left), special mention winners Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd managing director Ngei Chee Chau (left) and MTS Fibromat (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Ng Kian Boon (second from right) with Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (centre) and Wong.
SOBA 2015 Male Entrepreneur of the Year grand winner Plaza Premium Lounge Malaysia Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and founder Song Hoi See (second from left), special mention winners Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd managing director Ngei Chee Chau (left) and MTS Fibromat (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Ng Kian Boon (second from right) with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (centre) and Wong.

SOBA also enables past winners, such as 3R Quest Sdn Bhd director Jerome Heah, to share their experiences at Learning Series.
SOBA also enables past winners, such as 3R Quest Sdn Bhd director Jerome Heah, to share their experiences at Learning Series.
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Business , SOBA , SME , Star Media Group

   

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