Tips on staying competitive


By ZIEMAN

Illustration: 123rf.com

IF YOU’RE new to the international trading business and wondered how to go about exporting, the Star SMEBiz Think Tank conference may just be a good starting point.

The event, to be held on Oct 11 at the Grand Ballroom at Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya, aims to help SMEs discover opportunities, exchange ideas and do networking.

MATRADE senior director, Wan Latiff Wan Musa, who will talk on the “Need to Grow Your Revenue Further? Start Exporting Now”, says he will give some pointers on “what every SME should keep in mind when exporting”.

“First of all, you would want to know how to export and the basic things before you start doing it. MATRADE can help entrepreneurs grow their businesses overseas and there are several programmes that they can sign up for. But they have to become a MATRADE member first,” he says.

Wan Latiff feels SMEs should widen their market and not limit themselves to just Malaysia.

“We have signed up various FTAs and bilateral trades, so if we do not take advantage of this, it would be a waste,” he says.

“There are many challenges in exporting, but it’s only by exporting that you can increase your revenue as the market is huge. We need to grow exports from Malaysian SMEs. Malaysia’s total exports are 17.6%, and we hope it can reach to 23% by 2020,” he adds.

Another speaker, Datuk CM Vignaesvaran Jeyandran, the chief executive of Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), will talk about “Leveraging on the 30% Pool Fund to Build Staff Capabilities”.

“The introduction of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 continues to foster economic integration among member countries, the regional and global marketplace. It has become highly competitive, particularly for Malaysia businesses,” he says.

“HRDF is committed towards taking a holistic approach in helping our registered employers, in particular SMEs, achieve their business goals.

“Holistic approach, in this context, refers to aligning the talent management strategies of a company with its business strategies,” he stresses. Vignaesvaran says HRDF believes companies would be able to attain their full potential if they are committed to invest in building their talent pool. The aim, he says, is for Malaysia to have 35% skilled workers by 2020.

To encourage registered employers to continuously upskill their employees to increase productivity and competency, HRDF established in April this year the HRDF Pool Fund, which has a total of RM1.2bil.

Among other things, the fund is aimed at shifting labour-intensive activities in the various industries to knowledge-and-innovation-based activities, and to identify training and upskilling activities that suit the market needs and demands of any given segment.

The Star SMEBiz Think Tank event will also focus on business solutions and best practices.

Albern Murty, chief executive officer of DiGi Telecommunications, will give the keynote address on “SME — Transforming Your Business for the Digital Economy”, while AmBank Group commercial and wholesale banking head Yeow Swee Yun will present “Accessing the Right Funds for Your Next Business Growth.”

The event will be divided into six focused sessions, one of which is on “SME Financing Vs Private Equity Funding”. Panelists include AmBank’s group chief executive officer 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.

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, are scheduled for a session on reinventing and growing a business.

The sixth session of the forum will feature MATRADE chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud on the misconceptions and opportunities with the TPPA.

Those who are keen to attend can register via thestar.com.my/smethinktank, with an entry fee of RM80 per person. 

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Business , Central Region , ThinkTank Forum

   

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