SOBA has been a strategic platform to raise the profile of SMEs and recognise their contribution to the country’s economy.
GIVEN their growing contribution to the country’s GDP, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are playing an increasingly important role in strengthening the economy.
Thus, support and recognition for small businesses are crucial to ensure that they become quality building blocks in Malaysia’s growth story.
The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2016, now in its seventh year, has been a strategic platform to acknowledge the contributions of SMEs towards the country’s economy and to groom them for even greater success.
“SOBA was created not only to recognise and reward companies for their outstanding efforts and achievements, but also to help them grow, soar to greater heights and make a name for themselves. We are pleased to say that, for some of our winners, some of these objectives have been met,” Star Media Group Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai had said at the launch of SOBA 2016 last June.
In Malaysia, SMEs constitute 98.5% of all business establishments and the industry has consistently outperformed the overall growth in the economy since 2004. Note also that the SME contribution to the GDP has increased from around 32% in 2010 to 36% in 2014.
Following various workshops organised by The Star throughout 2016 to boost the profile of SMEs, these efforts will culminate in a night of recognition at the SOBA 2016 awards ceremony, which will be held on January 17 at Connexion@Nexus, Kuala Lumpur.
Industry leaders and business owners are expected to come together to celebrate the achievements of these SMEs as they await the unveiling of the winner for the most coveted “Malaysian Business of the Year” title.
Gintell (M) Sdn Bhd was the biggest winner at SOBA 2015. The company bagged the “Malaysian Business of the Year” award, together with two Gold awards and one Silver award under the “Best in Marketing”, “Best Brand” and “Best Innovation” categories respectively.
The victory came as a pleasant surprise for Gintell group managing director Datuk Goh Cheh Yak. It was Gintell’s second year participating in SOBA. The company was among the recipients of the Most Promising Award category in 2014.
“We have participated in quite a few awards. But SOBA is special to us. SMEs should try to participate. If they don’t win, they can improve so that they can win the next year,” said Goh of the company’s win.
SOBA, which honours up-and-coming local, non-listed companies and SMEs, is open to all local enterprises that are not part of a multinational or listed group, and are incorporated in Malaysia with foreign equity not exceeding 50%.
This round, there will be two broad categories for the awards — one for enterprises with a turnover of more than RM25mil and the other for those that have generated less than RM25mil per annum — to recognise the achievements of upcoming small businesses as well as more established SMEs.
SOBA has seven “Top-Of-The-Class” awards, namely, best in marketing, best brand, best in CSR, best green initiative, best employer, best innovation and best global market, as well as three “Outstanding Achievement” awards, which are rising star, entrepreneur of the year (male/female/young) and Malaysian business of the year.
SOBA 2016 is organised by Star Media Group with AmBank as its main sponsor. The awards is co-sponsored by BMW Malaysia, Credit Guarantee Corp and Matrade with Connexion Conference and Event Centre as the official venue sponsor.
It is endorsed by the Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs, supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO with 988 and Suria FM as the official radio stations.
For more information on SOBA 2016, call The Star Events Business Unit at 03-7967 1388 ext 1240 (Melissa)/1657 (Victor) or visit www.soba.com.my.