Abuzz with transforming knowledge


Digi Corporate and SME (northern) business division head Tony Tan (right) at a breakout session with participants during SOBA LAB Penang 2019 at Lexis suites Hotel in Jalan Teluk Kumbar, Penang.—Photos: Mustafa Ahmad/The Star

MORE than 100 participants of the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) LAB Penang learned about the role technology and culture plays in stimulating the growth of a business.

Datuk Carl Lim, 48, said he attended the SOBA LAB for the first time to learn about how technology can be used to transform a business.

“I wanted to know how I could transform my company digitally to meet the challenges ahead,” he added.

A. Ganisan, 46, said this was his third time attending the SOBA LAB.

“I learn a lot each time, as the presentations are easy to understand.

“I also get to know about the future trends of doing business,” he added.

Shaikh Rashid Shaik Hussain, 48, said he found out about the SOBA LAB from the newspaper.

“As a businessman, I was curious about the ways technology could stimulate growth.

“SOBA LAB also provided the opportunity for me to network with businessmen from other industries,” he added.

The event kicked off with a panel discussion themed “Engine for Growth”, which highlighted the ways technology, financial organisation and culture could impact a company’s growth.

Organised by Star Media Group, the event was held at Lexis Suite Penang, which was the official venue in Bayan Lepas.

The discussion featured Digi Business Performance Management head Alven Loh, RHB Bank Bhd SME banking head Yip How Nang and PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd chief operating officer P’ng Tean Hau, and was moderated by Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) young entrepreneur committee member Dylan Lee.

Following the discussion, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd (CGC) bumiputera development and products senior vice-president Mohamed Azman Mohamed Taufik spoke on the guarantees CGC gave to SMEs that do not have collaterals to obtain loans for banks.

Meanwhile, P’ng said the company promotes a healthy culture to reduce the number of medical leave taken by staff.

“The company used to get three to four days of medical leave for staff for a year. The number, however, started to drop six years ago when we rewarded employees who go to the gym regularly and succeeded in losing weight with paid holidays.

“The number of sick leave we get for per staff now is about 1.8 days.

“We have stopped rewarding them with paid holidays. Now, employees who go to the gym for 12 hours a month will either be rewarded with a voucher to buy sports apparel or get an extra day off,” P’ng said.

The other speakers at SOBA LAB were Abrand Food Manufacturing Sdn Bhd director Branden Kuan and DeliverEat co-founder Leong Shir Mein.

Kuan spoke on the importance of exports, while Leong talked on how to grow business digitally.

Also present to share their success stories were Berjayapak Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Ooi Lay Pheng and Empire Sushi Group Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Nicole Lim.

This year’s SOBA is now open for submission, for all locally incorporated enterprises that are not part of a multinational or listed group with foreign equity not exceeding 50%.

Those interested in participating can download the submission pack at www.soba.com.my. The deadline for entries is Oct 7.

SOBA 2019 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 and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation as the official trade promotion partner.

It is endorsed by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO, with dimsum as official media partner.

For details on SOBA 2019, call The Star Events Business Unit at 03-7967 1388 ext 1857 (Pei Wen) / 1529 (Kimy) or visit www.soba.com.my

   

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