Homegrown businesses honoured


All smiles: (Front row, from left) Digi chief corporate affairs officer Joachim Rajaram, SMG chief content officer Esther Ng, Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia president Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak, Matrade CEO Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, SMG group CEO Alex Yeow, RHB Group Community Banking managing director Jeffrey Ng, PKT Logistics Group group chief executive and ­managing director Datuk Seri Dr Michael Tio, SMG chief business officer Lydia Wang, TalentCorp group CEO Thomas Mathew together with platinum, gold, silver, bronze and black award winners at SOBA 2022 held at KL Convention Centre. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Homegrown businesses are once again celebrated in the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) as it continues to recognise the role and contributions of businesses towards the nation and the economy.

Local dessert brand Secret Recipe Holdings Sdn Bhd was crowned the Malaysian Business of the Year for the “above RM25mil” annual turnover tier, while Delux Structural Works Sdn Bhd won the category under the “up to RM25mil” annual turnover tier.

Secret Recipe also took home five other awards, which included platinum for Best Brand, gold for Best Green Initiative, platinum for the newly introduced category Best Halal Product or Service, and gold for Best in Retail under the “above RM25mil” annual turnover tier.

The company’s founder, Datuk Sim Leong Thun, was also named the Male Entrepreneur of the Year, receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Meanwhile, Delux Structural Works was not far behind, clinching four awards that included platinum for both Best Brand and Best in Customer Service, gold for Best in Retail, and silver for Best in Marketing under the “up to RM25mil” annual turnover tier.

Held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre last night, the event was graced by International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

The minister said SOBA has inspired homegrown, non-listed companies towards greater success by promoting business excellence and stimulating positive growth.

“Just as each of us needs a medical check-up every once in a while to ensure our health profile remains good, SOBA evaluates companies on a level playing field, which is an important, comprehensive ‘health check’ on their strengths, shortcomings and areas for improvement.

“This helps them strategise to stay competitive and meet the demands of the evolving business landscape.

“As the government executes its policy initiatives, we welcome SOBA’s complementary role in supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) achieve higher standards of operations,” he said in his speech.

Star Media Group Bhd (SMG) group CEO Alex Yeow, in his speech, said that aside from recognising SMEs for their achievements, SOBA is also providing a platform for this particular sector to further strengthen itself in the country.

“With this focus on the SME sector, programmes like SOBA are even more important.

“Alongside giving SMEs due recognition, SOBA brings together the collective strengths of all its partners to give SMEs a leg up through capacity-building and networking, with initiatives such as SOBA Lab, SOBA webinars and SOBA Prestige.

“By forging strong connections, SMEs will be able to benefit from the experience of larger organisations and use this knowledge to further grow their organisations,” he said.

Yeow also congratulated the winners who bagged awards offered by SOBA this year.

The programme, now in its 13th year, is open to Malaysian-incorporated local businesses that are not part of listed or multinational groups and have no more than 50% foreign equity.

The awards offered were up for grabs after each company went through three rounds of judging by a panel consisting of business leaders and captains of industry in their own fields.

SOBA 2022 also introduced three new categories to further pay tribute to SMEs that successfully embraced digitalisation and invested in building successful halal products and services.

The categories were Best e-Retail, Best Halal Product/Service and the top individual outstanding achievement award, Elite Entrepreneur of the Year.

Also present at the awards ceremony were Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd president and CEO Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak; Digi chief corporate affairs officer Joachim Rajaram; PKT Logistics Group group chief executive and managing director Datuk Seri Dr Michael Tio.

SOBA 2022 was organised by SMG with Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia, Digi, PKT Logistics and RHB Bank Bhd as main sponsors, TalentCorp Malaysia as a co-sponsor, and Matrade as the official trade promotion partner.

The event was also supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO, with 988 and Suria as official media partners.

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