Scaling to the next level

(From left) Colin Yap, Regional Head, Commercial 1, Southern Region, Business Banking, AmBank (M) Berhad, Tay Ming Han, Senior Vice President, Business Banking, AmBank (M) Berhad, Christopher Yap, Managing Director, Business Banking, AmBank Group, Angeline Loke, Regional Director, Enterprise Banking, Southern Region, AmBank (M) Berhad and Har Lee Zaa, Vice President, Business Banking, AmBank (M) Berhad at the soft launch of the “AmBank BizRACE” entrepreneurship challenge in Johor.

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to overcome at least four challenges if they want to remain successful and move up.

Leaderonomics chief executive officer (CEO) Roshan Thiran said among the challenges include leadership clarity, business model, structures and processes and cultural obstacles.

“You need to be clear as to where you want to go in your business. You may need to sometimes destroy what has been done in the past to rebuild your business,” he said.

Roshan added that SMEs also need to look into their mindset and beliefs.

“You cannot be thinking about being small or you are just doing business in the wrong country,” he said, adding that he believed that SMEs would be successful and not fail if they look into these four key areas.

Roshan was among the speakers at the AmBank BizConference held at a hotel here.

Meanwhile, AmBank Business Banking division managing director Christopher Yap said the bank has allocated RM4mil for its AmBank BizRACE and conferences to help SMEs scale to the next level.

“This is an entrepreneurship challenge aimed at providing SMEs with access to valuable knowledge-sharing sessions and development training,” he said, adding that selected SMEs would also have the opportunity to have greater market accessibility from a branding perspective.

Based on statistics, SMEs make up 97.3% of business establishments in the country.

“We understand that 80% of all companies do not get past the three-year mark. That is why we want to help them with knowledge and mentorship opportunities,” he added.

“That is also why we decided to have a series of knowledge-sharing events leading to the AmBank Bizrace,” he said, adding that among them include business conferences and CEO chat sessions.

On SME financing, Yap said for the six months between April and September this year, their business banking has received loan applications for some RM4.8bil.

“Out of this, some 70% has been approved,” he added.

On the business conference, the next ones will be held in Kota Kinabalu on Oct 10, Kuching on Oct 12 and Kuala Lumpur on Nov 1. Registration is free. Those interested can register online via


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