Ideas, opportunities and more


  • Focus
  • Sunday, 18 Sep 2016

Illustration: 123rf.com

The upcoming Star SMEBiz Think Tank seminar on Oct 11 promises to bring entrepreneurs up to speed with the latest developments in the business landscape, covering such areas as the digital economy, exporting, reinventing one’s business and funding. MEK ZHIN reports.

GRAB the opportunity to learn from some of the country’s renowned business leaders and experienced entrepreneurs in the upcoming Star SMEBiz Think Tank event to be held on Oct 11.

The day-long seminar aims to provide a learning platform for SMEs to network, promote exchange of ideas and uncover opportunities in order to be able to maximise capabilities, move beyond boundaries and climb up the value chain.

The Star SMEBiz Think Tank focuses on business solutions and best practices as well as innovative ideas.

The event, to be held at the Grand Ballroom of Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya, will be divided into six focused sessions. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, will launch the event, while Digi Telecommunications chief executive officer Albern Murty give the keynote address which will touch on the transformation of one’s business for the digital economy.

Kicking off the sessions is AmBank Group commercial and wholesale banking head Yeow Swee Yun’s presentation on “Accessing the Right Funds for Your Next Business Growth”.

AmBank has turned its attention to SMEs in the last two years according to Yeow, who adds that they have products and packages to cater to different growth stages of a business.

“Last year, AmBank launched its BizSolutions, a collection of customised financing packages for small businesses.

“We hope to provide small businesses with the resources to become bigger companies with a focus on services, manufacturing, construction and export-oriented sectors,” he says.

Yeow notes that the bank had disbursed some RM600mil in loans to SMEs last year.

Then MATRADE senior director Wan Latiff Wan Musa will speak on the opportunities in growing revenue through exporting, a subject on which MATRADE is an expert as it has been helping to develop the capacity and capabilities of Malaysian companies in the export market.

In the first half of this year alone, it has organised over 40 training programmes for 7,500 participants from 4,600 companies, and there will be more to come.

According to the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), Malaysia is currently the world’s 23rd largest exporting country.

Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) chief executive Datuk C.M. Vignaesvaran Jeyandran will also take to the stage. His session is on the topic of “Leveraging on the 30% Pool Fund to build staff capabilities”.

HRDF is spearheading the human capital learning and development agenda with strategic interventions that aim to fulfil the current and future needs of businesses, including reaching the target of having 35% skilled workers by 2020.

It established a Pool Fund, which has an accumulated allocation of about RM1.2bil earlier this year to encourage SMEs to continuously train employees in order to increase competency levels.

After lunch, the fourth session commences with a moderated session on “SME Financing Vs Private Equity Funding”. Panelists for this session include AmBank’s group chief executive Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MavCap) chief executive officer Jamaludin Bujang and Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) chief executive officer Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir.

Following this is a session on reinventing, sustaining and growing a business. It will feature two speakers, namely Plaza Premium Lounge founder and chief executive officer, Song Hoi See, and Dr Soraya R. Ismail, managing director of fresh juice company, Boost Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

Finally, the sixth session will commence with MATRADE chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud’s presentation on misconceptions, opportunities and what lies ahead with the TPPA.

Each session wraps up with a 10-15-minute Q&A segment for participants to voice their queries.

Those who would like to learn from these industry heavyweights will have to register via thestar.com.my/smethinktank, with registration limited to two participants per organisation or company.

The first 100 registrants will get to attend for free while the rest will have to pay an entry fee of RM80 per person.

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