SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) keen to tap into the experience and knowledge of successful entrepreneurs and industry experts made a beeline for the latest edition of the SOBA LAB series.
Among the speakers for the half-day event were travel agency MYS Travel Sdn Bhd founder Suki Chong, fish ball manufacturer Fusipim Sdn Bhd managing director Ben Eng and beauty brand Chriszen Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Mandy Leong, all of whom spoke about their respective entrepreneurial journeys.
Eng was a winner of the Outstanding Achievement for Male Entrepreneur of the Year (above RM25mil turnover) in The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2018, while MYS Travel’s Chong was a Meritorious Achieve-ment winner for Female Entre-preneur of the Year (up to RM25mil turnover) in the same year.
The event held at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya, also saw sharing sessions from industry experts, such as Digi central region business division head Richard Yeo, RHB Bank Bhd SME banking chapter lead partnership Chew Wee Chern and PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd chief marketing officer Kuan Eu Jin.
Yeo said digitalisation was a major issue confronting SMEs as they faced challenges in adapting to the new way of doing business.
“Common challenges for smaller businesses are often in technology, financing and people, ” he noted.
Aside from elaborating on Digi’s Business Digital Solutions, which include smart vehicle tracking iFleet and virtual phone extension Omni, he advised SMEs embarking on their digital journeys to seek help from partners.
Chew said RHB Bank was making it easier for businesses to undergo digital transformation through its integrated SME e-solution platform, which offers a complete ecosystem of accounting software, human resource and payroll solution, an electronic point-of-sale, merchant card terminal, customised business insurance and RHB business credit cards
He advised SMEs to ensure good cash flow management by applying for financing earlier.
PKT Logistics Group’s Kuan said creating a competitive advantage by means of differentiation was key.
The logistics player supplements its services with strong branding and corporate social responsibility initiatives that are aligned with its business goals, namely Anak Belajar Ibu Bekerja, Jom Bekerja Sambil Belajar and the Smart Truckers Programme.
Kuan said, “Our suite of services is there but beyond that, we take pride in conserving the environment and uplifting the community through constant engagement and development.”
Conducted in Mandarin, the fifth SOBA LAB was a special edition in the series of free capacity-building workshops organised by Star Media Group Bhd and held in conjunction with SOBA 2019.
SOBA 2019 is organised by Star Media Group with Digi, PKT Logistics Group and RHB Bank as main sponsors, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd as co-sponsor and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) as official trade promotion partner.
SOBA is open to all locally incorporated enterprises that are not part of a multinational or listed group with foreign equity not exceeding 50%.
It is now open for applications, with the deadline for entries on
Oct 7. Those interested in participating can download the submission pack at www.soba.com.my.
This year’s winners will be rewarded with more than RM1mil worth of advertising space in Star Media Group’s platforms.
It is endorsed by the Inter-national Trade and Industry Ministry, supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO, with dimsum as official media partner.
For more information on SOBA 2019, call The Star Events Business Unit at 03-7967 1388 ext 1857 (Pei Wen)/ 1657 (Victor) or visit www.soba.com.my