Expert insights into growing a business

Sharing their experiences: Yeong (left) and Teh will speak at the workshop.

JOHOR BARU: Participants at the next SOBA LAB will get a glimpse into the innovative mindset of entrepreneurs who are pushing the boundaries of their respective industries.

Johor’s edition of SOBA LAB will take place on Aug 1 in Trove Hotel.

SOBA LAB, a series of free capacity-building workshops themed “Business Growth Masterclass”, is aimed at encouraging continuous learning and networking among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow their businesses for the future. It is held in conjunction with The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA).

DF Automation and Robotics Sdn Bhd (DF Auto) co-founder and director Dr Yeong Che Fai is set to take the stage to speak from a unique viewpoint as an academician-turned-entrepreneur, with a focus on bridging the gap between research and development (R&D) and commercialisation.

Yeong founded DF Auto in 2012 as the first automated guided vehicle (AGV) manufacturer in Malaysia.

AGVs are mobile robots created for industrial and commercial use in transporting goods while moving autonomously, thereby reducing manpower woes and boosting efficiency.

The company was established to address the issues of higher costs and insufficient support, caused by the lack of local AGV manufacturers.

The robotics expert is a passionate advocate of the entrepreneurship model that leverages on student projects for potential commercialisation, with DF Auto serving as a good example. The company was awarded the Platinum Award for Best Innovation (Up to RM25mil turnover) in SOBA 2018.

In addition, Muzart International Sdn Bhd (MuzArt) director Daphne Teh will share the inspiration behind going against the grain to establish the art learning centre, in an environment where art education is often considered the least important subject for children.

Entrepreneur of the Year (Up to RM25mil turnover) for SOBA 2018, Teh’s biggest roadblocks include evolving MuzArt’s art syllabus through constant R&D to keep up with the times and managing franchises to ensure all branches are aligned to the brand vision for business growth.

Admission is free, but seats are limited, so those interested are encouraged to register at to secure a seat.

A SOBA Helpdesk will also be available at every location for those keen to find out more about the awards. In addition, each SOBA LAB will feature booths from SOBA sponsors, where attendees can learn more about the solutions, products and services they offer.

SMEs looking to improve customers’ experience and reduce operations cost can leverage Digi’s Business Digital Solutions.

Visit to find out more about solutions such as smart vehicle tracking and virtual phone extensions, and enjoy free Cloud POS.

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

The deadline for entries is Oct 7, 2019. SOBA 2019 is organised by Star Media Group with Digi, PKT Logistics Group and RHB Bank as main sponsors, CGC as co-sponsor and Matrade as 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 more information on SOBA 2019, call The Star Events Business Unit at 03-7967 1388 ext 1857 (Pei Wen)/ 1529 (Kimy) or visit

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SOBA 2019


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