FIRST-time Star Outstanding Business Award (SOBA) 2017 participant Proguard Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd turned out to be the biggest winner of the night, sweeping six awards, including the main award – Malaysian Business of the Year (Above RM25mil category).
Proguard is one of the leading Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) companies in Malaysia and South-East Asia.
Chief operation officer Datuk Lee Ngai Mun said, “We have been in the industry for 30 years, starting from trading to manufacturing now.
“We are very passionate about what we do; our business was built from the ground up.
He thanked his “proguardians”, which is what Proguard staff are called.
“Having good employees is very important; the company cannot be successful with just me and my wife alone. Our branch managers work independently, we give them the power to execute.
“We have many employees who have been with us since the beginning; we work together very well, we share the same passion,” he said.
Lee’s wife Datin Cindy Choh, the company chief executive officer and chief financial officer, won Female Entrepreneur of the Year (Above RM25mil category).
“I am not highly educated but I’m into life-long learning. Even as a career woman, don’t neglect your family,” she said.
Mah (centre) together with his team as they celebrate the digital and creative advertising agencys win under the Up to RM25mil category: Platinum for Best in Marketing, Gold for Best Brand, Gold for Best Employer and Malaysian Business of the Year.
Lee added, “I’m very proud of my wife, she put in a lot of effort and time. Even when I made wrong decisions like investments that caused us to lose money, my wife stood by me all these years.
“While we made profits over the years, we also suffered losses in some instances.”
Proguard took home Best Employer (Platinum), Best in CSR (Silver), Best Brand (Gold) – all in the Above RM25mil category while Proguard Safety Manufacturing Sdn Bhd was awarded Best Global Market (Platinum) in the Up to RM25mil category.
Also living up to its name of being at the forefront of its industry was Forefront Studio Sdn Bhd that bagged Malaysian Business of the Year Award (Up to RM25mil category).
Choh (fourth from left), Lee (fifth from left) with their children and team celebrating their achievements for the Above RM25mil category: Gold for Best Brand, Silver for Best in CSR, Platinum for Best Employer, and Malaysian Business of the Year. Choh also won Female Entrepreneur of the Year award while Proguard Safety Manufacturing Sdn Bhd won Platinum for Best Global Market (Up to RM25mil category).
The digital and creative advertising agency also won Best in Marketing (Platinum), Best Brand (Gold) and Best Employer (Gold) under the Up to RM25mil category.
Forefront Studio chief executive officer Darien Mah thanked his team, family and friends who have been supporting him and the company.
“I’m humbled and thankful. After four years of participating in Soba, we finally got to this stage.
“We strive to create good work. We are in the service industry, and our clients such as Eco World and Capitaland allow us creative freedom and that enhances our team capabilities,” he said.
These companies were among those who were recognised and awarded at the eighth SOBA 2017 for their notable qualities and outstanding accomplishments in business excellence.
The prestigious event was attended by over 800 industry players in celebration of the award winners.
The Digi team having a good time at SOBA 2017.
Orando Holdings Sdn Bhd was the only double platinum winner of the night, for the Best in Marketing and Best in CSR categories in the Above RM25mil category.
The company, which won Best in CSR – Silver award at SOBA 2014, improved its record by clinching the platinum award.
Orando Holdings managing director Datuk Dr Eng Wei Chun said the company has donated to the less fortunate, sponsored SME programmes, and recently, organised a short video competition to promote the country’s multicultural society.
“We recently collaborated on a Muhibbah (unity) programme for secondary school students nationwide to promote unity among Malaysians.”
With its slogan of building homes on “Swiss-Watch Standard”, which includes status, quality and appreciation in value, the company markets its properties to both local and overseas buyers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
Eng proudly showing off the achievements by the property developer. Orando Holdings bagged Platinum for Best in Marketing and Platinum for Best in CSR, both under the Above RM25mil category.
“We try to tap into what our consumers are into. Recently, we invited Hong Kong celebrities to our event, to attract the attention of Malaysians,” he said.
SOBA 2017 awards were presented by guest-of-honour International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Star Media Group Bhd chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow and group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.
Wong congratulated the winners for their achievements and remarkable personal growth.
“It is without doubt that you will all excel in your roles and contribute positively to the well-being of society and country.
Sirius International (M) Sdn Bhd founder and group chief executive officer Anne Lim (second from right) receiving Platinum for Best Employer award from Ong (second from left) as Wong (left) and Fu look on. Lim also took home the Female Entrepreneur of the Year award. Both awards were under the Up to RM25mil category.
“We acknowledge the important role that local businesses play towards the economic development in our nation.
“These awards will continue to be significant enablers for organisations to build a competitive edge and make a name for themselves in the industry,” said Wong.
SOBA 2017 is organised by Star Media Group with AmBank, Digi and Human Resources Development Fund as main sponsors, Credit Guarantee Corporation as co-sponsor, Matrade as official trade promotion partner and Connexion Conference & Event Centre as official venue sponsor.
ABBE Group (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Dr Ho Wai Loon (centre) receiving the Rising Star Award from Ong (left) as Wong alooks on.pplauds.
It is endorsed by Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs, International Trade and Industry Ministry, and Finance Ministry as well as supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO with 988, Suria FM and dimsum as official media partners.
Wong (seventh from right) and Ong (12th from right) with the Grand and Platinum award winners and sponsors at SOBA 2017 awards ceremony. — Photos: KEVIN TAN, DARRAN TAN, IZZRAFIQ ALIAS, YAP CHEE HONG, FAIHAN GHANI and AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star