Recognition helps open doors

(Front row, fifth from left) Khiu, Star Media Group group managing director/ chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, Star Media Group special officer to group managing director and chief executive officer Loo Phan Kooi, assistant general manager (events) Corrine Chieng during the OE delegates’ visit to Menara Star in Petaling Jaya.

IT IS the ultimate goal for MYS Travel Sdn Bhd founder Suki Chong to one day win a Best Female Entrepreneur award.

“It is not easy for entrepreneurs to run their own business, what more for women to manage both family and business commitments.

“Winning such an award would serve as validation, motivation and encouragement to my team and fellow female entrepreneurs,” said Chong, adding that entrepreneurship to her is about working and running a business as a team.

Chong was part of a 30-strong group from Outstanding Entrepreneurs (OE) that visited Star Media Group’s office at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya, for a briefing on The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2018, and to gain some insight into the English media industry.

OE, an academy founded and spearheaded by Datuk Calvin Khiu, provides training and teaches the practical aspects of being an entrepreneur.

“I’m keen to participate in SOBA 2018, although I’m not sure which category I will apply for,” said Chong, who runs a travel agency specialising in tailor-made travel experiences, incentive and corporate trips.

Khiu, a past recipient of SOBA’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, says the award increased media exposure for his company in print and online platforms.
Khiu, a past recipient of SOBA’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, says the award increased media exposure for his company in print and online platforms.  

“SOBA is a prestigious award and winning it would bring recognition to my company. If my submission for SOBA 2018 is not successful, I will try again the following year.”

MC Jo Academy founder Jocelyn Lim said winning an award from a reputable media organisation such as Star Media Group would mean receiving a title of significant prestige and value.

“Winning the SOBA award would also mean a recognition of my company’s efforts and bring some publicity to what we do.

I’ve identified two potential categories that I could submit entries for,” she said.

Lim said MC Jo Academy offers a niche business of training quality emcees.

“We want to improve the quality of emcees and change public perception that an emcee is merely a person who can speak in public.

“A good emcee can make or break an event,” she said.

Having been a previous recipient of SOBA, Khiu has personally experienced the recognition and prestige that came with winning the award.

The MK Curtain Group founder and group chief executive officer won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award (above RM25mil category) and platinum award for Best in CSR at SOBA 2016.

“It came as a confidence boost for my team and myself, as well as assurance to shareholders that their investments were worthwhile,” said Khiu.

“We gained media exposure in print and online platforms, plus the group’s businesses became better known.”

He said OE’s 1,500 Chinese students, most of whom are entrepreneurs aged 45 and below and represent a wide range of industries, stand to gain a lot from participating in SOBA.

“I want them to gain more exposure in the non-Chinese-speaking markets, as there are potential customers in those markets too,” said Khiu.

“Language should not be a barrier to their success. What is important is the strategy and branding, as well as the team behind the company.”

SOBA is open to all local enterprises that are not part of a multinational group or listed group, incorporated in Malaysia with foreign equity not exceeding 50%.

SOBA 2018 is organised by Star Media Group with Digi, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd as main sponsors, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd as co-sponsor, Matrade as official trade promotion partner and New World Petaling Jaya Hotel as official venue.

It is endorsed by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO with 988, SuriaFM and dimsum as official media partners. Deadline for entries is Oct 26.

For details on SOBA 2018, call The Star Events Business Unit at 03-7967 1388 ext 1233 (Christine)/ 1857 (Pei Wen) or visit

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