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Coming Together In Celebration Of SMEs

‘Evolution’ Was The Name And The Game Of The Recently Concluded MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014, The Sixth Iteration Of The Wildly Popular Series Of Conventions Which Has Consistently Been Bringing Hundreds Upon Thousands Of Small And Medium Enterprise (SME) Owners Under One Roof.

Attempting To Present A Mirror Image Of All That Has Been Happening In The Economic Development Of This Nation’s SMEs, The Evolutionary Path From Start-Up To Success Story Was Featured During The Congress – Something Which Sought To Motivate And Inspire SME Owners.
About 1,500 Participants From Throughout The Country And Even From The Regions Beyond Descended Upon The Setia City Convention Centre Recently, Seeking Networking Opportunities, Business Ideas, Investment Tips And Everything Relating To Business And Entrepreneurship.

“Our Vision Of Doing This Annual Congress Is To Ensure That Once A Year, All SMEs In Malaysia Come Together Despite Their Busy Schedules, To Use This Platform To Network And Like Many Years In The Past, To Actually Get Business Contacts And Have Business Transactions Take Place,” Said Wayne Lim.

Lim, Who Is Group CEO And Group Chief Editor Of MALAYSIA SME® Said During A Press Conference At The Event That By Ensuring The Annual Congress Grows Larger And Larger Each Year, Their Mission Was To Send Out The Message To As Many SMEs As Possible That Great Ideas Can Be Shared.

“We Want To See More Entrepreneurship Taking Place. In Times Of Growing Uncertainties, Businesses Need Faith – The Faith To Continue Their Entrepreneurial Feats And To Remain Persistent Against Adversities,” He Added.

Among The Highlights Of The Event Were The Presentations By Skype Co-Founder Johan Gorecki, Boost Juice Malaysia And Singapore Founder Dr Soraya Rahim Ismail And Global Top Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd Founder TT Teoh Who Enthralled Audiences With The Stories Of Their Early Days.

The Presentations By These Individuals Who Have Tasted Significant Success In The Rise To The Top Of The Entrepreneurship Ladder Were Warmly Greeted By A Rapt Audience Who Soaked Up Every Last Detail These Speakers Had To Share On How They Managed To Build Their Businesses From The Ground Up.

Gorecki Spoke On How The Online Communications Provider Grew From A Humble Start-Up Into A Multi-Billion Dollar Business That Multitudes Of People Use Today Called Skype. He Said Events Like The Congress Were Important To Tackle The Changes In Today’s Business Environment.

He Added That Through The Congress, Representatives From The Government And Private Sectors Could Meet And Set The Tone For Working Hand In Hand Towards The Growth Of The Nation’s Economy And The Stability Of The Employment Rate.

“The Government And Public Sector Needs To Set Money Aside And Invest In The SME Sector. Large Corporations Are Declining In A Way. Due To Technology, They Don’t Have The Same Need For Employees. Job Creation Will Happen In The Entrepreneurial And SME Sector,” Gorecki Observed.

During His Presentation, He Took The Stage And Described To The Audience How He Was Shown The Ropes Of How To Be An Entrepreneur From His Family All The Way Up To Meeting The People Who He Would Eventually Form Skype With.

After His Early Morning Presentation, Dr Soraya Took The Late Morning Slot With An Inspiring Monologue About How The Managing Director And Founder Of Vitality Boost Sdn Bhd And Owner Of The Boost Juice Bars Master Franchise In Malaysia And Singapore Started Out.

She Shared Tips And Motivated Listeners On How, From Starting Off The First Outlet To Streamline A Business’ Operation Procedures, To Branching Out At A Breath-Taking Rate Into Multiple Cities, States And Even Countries. To Date, She Has Extended Boost Juice To 34 Stores In Malaysia And Five In Singapore.

Also To Present His Journey From Start-Up Entrepreneur To Successful Businessperson, Global Top Technologies Founder TT Teoh Shared How He Managed To Turn A Profit And Make A Business Within The Surveillance And Security Industry.

His Company Produces Specialised Surveillance Systems And What Made Them So Successful Is Their Capacity To Evolve With The Times, To Adapt To Each User’s Own Personal Security Levels. Since Its Inception In 2001, Global Top Technologies Has Built Up To 16 Local Franchisees And Six More In India.
Apart From These Companies, And The People Behind Them, Which Have Seen Successes In Excess Of Billions Of Dollars And Presences In Multiple Countries, The Congress Also Honed In On Local Success Stories Which Have Managed To Carve Out A Niche Of Their Own Within Our Own Backyards.

Congress Guests Were Also Treated To A Presentation Of Two Home-Grown Businesses, Online Streetwear Store Rubber Rutter And Restaurant Gani Maju Nasi Kandar. These Two Businesses Showcased The Innovation And Perseverance Of Their Owners In Starting Up The Brand And Fending Off Competitors.

Rubber Rutter Founders Emir Tarmizi, Haziq Tarmizi And Zali Mazli Shared How They Utilised Social Media, Banked On Relationships With Local Celebrities And Even Turned To Alternative Marketing Techniques Like Stickers To Boost Their Brand Image.

Gani Maju Nasi Kandar Founder Sheikh Mohamad Mohamad Basheer Also Divulged How He Adapted His Business To Face Stiff Competition By Incorporating Rojak, Burgers, Fried Food And Nasi Kandar All Into One Shop – He Eventually Emerged The Victor In A Price War With A Neighbouring Restaurant.

Interspersed Between Those Sharing Sessions By Accomplished Entrepreneurs Were Short Presentations By Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd, BMW And Wheelcorp Premium Setia Alam, Epson Regional And Telekom Malaysia Bhd.

These Organisations Shared With Those Present On The Ways In Which SMEs Could Benefit Using Their Various Products And Services On Offer. As They Also Contributed Towards The Organisation And Production Of This Year’s Congress, They Were Honoured For Being Great Supporters Of The SME Community.

Apart From The Goings On Within The Main Ballroom, The Concourse Area Outside Of The Hall Resembled That Of An Expo Fair With Two Rows Of Booths Lined Up For As Far As The Eye Could See, With Participating Organisations And Sponsors Offering SME-Centric Products And Services.

Organisations Like DHL Express (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Media Prima Bhd, Focus Malaysia, The Malaysian Reserve, Spectrum Outdoor Marketing Sdn Bhd, Samanea PR And Janson Group Were On Hand To Share With Congress Guests On Their Own Offerings To Help SME Owners Improve Their Businesses.

Also Present Was The Guest Of Honour Datuk Ir Dr Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid, The Chairman Of SME Corporation Malaysia Who Gave The Opening Keynote Address. In It, He Thanked MALAYSIA SME® For Inviting Him To Officiate This Year’s Congress.

“I Would Like To Extend Our Heartiest Congratulations To MALAYSIA SME® For Infallibly Organising The SME Congress Consecutively For The Sixth Year Running. We Want To Celebrate The Involvement Of The Country’s SMEs… Who Have Been The Key Pillars Behind Our Country’s Economic Growth And Stability For So Long Now,” He Said.

Mohamed Al Amin Also Noted That Last Year, Malaysia Ranked As The Sixth Most Business-Friendly Destination In The World By The World Bank, A Feat That Could Not Have Been Achieved Were It Not For The Growing Diversity Of The Business Landscape In The Country.

“The End Game Is For More SMEs Like You, To Have A Global Footprint And Gain Market Share, Hence Resulting In The Increased Contribution Of SMEs To Total Exports From The Current 19% To 25% By 2020, Which Is One Of The Goals Of The SME Masterplan,” He Added.

This Year’s Congress Was Made Even Livelier With Test Drives Which Were Offered To The Participants By BMW Which Saw About 30 Signups Testing A Variety Of BMW Vehicles Around The Convention Centre.

There Was Also An Exclusive Mentoring Cocktail Held At The Lounge Above The Ballroom Which Saw Ambassadors Of The Congress Mingle Together With Select Participants. Arranged By Celcom Axiata Bhd, The Mini-Event Also Saw Speeches By Notable Entrepreneurs Including Groupon Malaysia And Groupon Taiwan CEO Joel Neoh. MSME