According to Erican Education Group MD and founder Datuk Eric Chong, the MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014 was a fantastic opportunity for up and coming industry leaders to gain insight and inspiration from those who have gone ahead of them. The education supremo, who is also the MALAYSIA SME® Congress Ambassador, was visibly delighted with the many young, fresh faced go-getters who turned out in full force for this year’s Congress. He also went on to express his satisfaction with the latest incarnation of the Congress, saying, “The Congress is something that I really enjoy – I’m here every year and it is always amazing to see the different speakers in action. “One always gets so much inspiration from these speakers regardless of their industry, or the stage of development they are in.
As the MALAYSIA SME® Congress Ambassador, Ali Noordin said the congress provided a great venue for all the market players to gather in the same place, and share their experience as well as build up the networking among each other. Although education is becoming more affordable, and some of the knowledge can be easily picked up through reading or other mediums. However, some of the experience are not being taught in the university, people can only pick up those knowledge through their daily experience especially regarding the business environment.
The congress is great. Well done MALAYSIA SME®. As a foreign partner, we learned a lot from the speakers as well. Business people and top person shared their model and idea and we learned from them. We didn’t think about it before and after the speech, we went to mentoring session and it was wonderful. For my point of view, Hong Kong SME is similar to Malaysia SMEs but in Hong Kong government support for SME not so exciting comparable to Malaysia. In Malaysia, the government truly supports Malaysian SMEs. Coming to this Congress, I realised that Hong Kong government should provide for the SMEs like Malaysia.
Actually I am a very big follower of MALAYSIA SME® Congress from what they are, from Shah Alam to Sunway and now Setia Alam. I really think this congress is developing really well and progressing and the amount if people soaring. SMEs in Malaysia to date has taken a lot of front seats in terms of awareness, compared to previous years when they first started, very little noticed given to people like us. I am very thankful people like Wayne Lim can afford especially knowing him and all his innovative ideas, SME has become to be a lot more interesting. They covered people who are like me, in the hair business. Previous years, we have to work hard to be noticed but this time around SME being part of the growth of awareness and I really think that MALAYSIA SME® Congress helped to be involved really well. My personal congratulations to Wayne Lim and the team for the inspiring event.
I was one of the speaker last year and this year is amazing event. Enthusiastic! I do believe that when entrepreneurship is scaled up the Malaysian economy will also be scaled up. SME day is a very good initiative. SME day is encouraging for SMEs to take out and take their business to the next level. SME will try to grow their business, especially on this day. As for my business, through networking now I have 21 kebab store, it is very meaningful for me. MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2013 is very inspiring and this is one of the best in term of entrepreneurship endorsed in Malaysia. Keep up the awesome job. Congratulations to Wayne Lim and the whole team.
An entrepreneur dealing with tax and accounting software as well as information technology, Calvin Tan came to know about the congress through the MALAYSIA SME® newspaper. Being an avid reader of the newspaper, he elaborated that the interesting thing about the event is that it gave him the opportunity to meet some of the respectable business people that he has been looking up to such as Skype co-founder, Johan Gorecki who was one of the speakers this year. At the end of the interview, Tan said that he will help spread the word about the congress next year and congratulated the team that worked on the event by saying “It is very beneficial. Job well done!”
One thing about the MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014 that impressed founder and MD of Nelson’s Franchise Dato’ Nelson Kwok was the notable continuity and improvement from past Congresses. “The participation is getting better every year, and so is the quality. This year’s Congress has definitely been about continuity and improving on previous successes and that is so important for an event such as this,” the franchise veteran enthused. He went on, “I think the main purpose of the Congress was executed really well, and that was to have all these young and budding entrepreneurs learn from the Congress speakers. As entrepreneurs in their early 30s, they are at the growth stage now.”
“The MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014 was very successful. I was especially impressed by the guest speakers Dr Soraya Ismail, Mr Johan Gorecki and Mr T. T. Teoh. Their success stories and journey towards success were very inspiring, said Dato’ Sri Steven Eng. “This event has benefited a lot of participants. I hope that MALAYSIA SME® will continue to have this kind of events in the future and that they will do lots more in helping current and existing SMEs.”
McMillan Woods Global president Dato’ Raymond Liew was suitably impressed with the turnout and reception at the recently concluded MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014. The veteran accountant, and owner of one of the world’s biggest accounting networks was all smiles on a day that saw him looking very relaxed and raring to provide advice and counsel for young up-and-comers. Said Liew, “The theme ‘Evolution’ is so appropriate, taking into the consideration that the economy is somewhat slowing down. “SMEs should evolve to become more relevant instead of continuing their old ways in business. The presence of high powered individuals made the entire conference all the more exciting,” said a visibly upbeat Liew.
“This is my second time here. I feel it is very good. You can see the response, the crowd, it is getting bigger. It is a good platform, I think, for young entrepreneurs, to inspire them. Some of these speakers are from overseas. It is interesting, I would say, and it should be continued,” said Dato’ Liaw of MRCA. “I think Wayne did a really good job for this. A lot of young people want to get inspired, to learn from all these mentors,” he complimented.
According to International SOS Sdn Bhd General Manager David Ng, the MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014 was an interesting and fruitful event for every attendee. “The content is good and very-well structured,” Ng said. “This is a premium SME event that gathers all the entrepreneurs under one roof,” he highlighted. Ng commented that this is the event that is needed by the Malaysian business community, which could act as a knowledge-sharing platform for entrepreneurs. “This could actually help to accelerate the community’s growth,” Ng said. “Besides the networking, I think the value this Congress brings is the sharing of ideas, success stories and most importantly, bitter experiences,” Ng explained.
Arriving half an hour prior to the event, Dr John William Xavier was impressed at the way the event was organised and said, “The SMEs who are not here, ought to be here. SMEs often feel marginalised because they feel like they can’t compete with the big corporations. This is our forum, it lends support to the community. This is a good way to start, grow and become big.” On the future of MALAYSIA SME® Congress, he is certain that he will still be attending by saying, “As long as you keep people feeling good, they will come back.”
When MALAYSIA SME® queried about his thoughts on the event, Ku said, “I see many people here today. This shows that people are very interested in what is going on in the SME community”. He added, “They are trying to find out how they can access help to enhance their business and what is new in the industry.” Ku, an SME entrepreneur himself, has been involved in many events catered to SMEs. This is the first MALAYSIA SME® Congress that he has attended. He elaborated, “This is a good event. It should definitely continue in the future.”
Gannason Marimuthu came for the event with the sole purpose of learning the curve of entrepreneurship from the experts. A business man himself, he is glad that there are such forums as the MALAYSIA SME® Congress to furnish him with precious professional insights. During an interview with MALAYSIA SME®, Gannason, who also expressed his aspiration to be included in the list of the motivational speakers at the Congress, jokingly said “Who knows, in a few years time, it will be me who would be one of the speakers.”
Incontrol Tech Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Harvinder Singh was impressed with this year’s MALAYSIA SME® Congress, with speakers from varying industries to share their experience with the audiences. “The speakers not only shared about their success stories but also the difficulties they faced,” he highlighted. “Doing business is not difficult, but it requires a lot of information,” he explained. “With the MALAYSIA SME® Congress, and entrepreneur can learn from others who have been through the similar path and experience.”
One of the VIP attendees at the MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014 was Kamae Lee, a business owner. She is the founder of Simply K, a brand housing an array of hair bands and hair accessories. These items are carefully and thoughtfully designed by Lee herself. This successful entrepreneur was previously featured in MALAYSIA SME® as well. When asked what she thought of the Congress, she stated, “The Congress is a very good event. We get to meet a lot of other business owners and famous people. They share their business experiences. This is very beneficial to all those who participate.
Josh Lim of AllDay Media said, “The MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014 is an excellent event because it attracted quite a number of people whom I had intended to meet with. I find the event to be very informative. “I am also glad to know that MALAYSIA SME® is there to push SMEs further up the ladder of success. I think with any conference, 50% is the talks itself but the other 50% will make up the people you meet. The right networking and social media is good for any business.”
Ventura Advisory and Consultancy Services chief venture officer John Chan believed that the content of MALAYSIA SME® Congress is very useful for the business community.“By participating in this event, it allowed us to learn more about the current trend of the business environment which is very useful for the entrepreneurs,” he said. Chan said, “All the speakers are very knowledgeable in their respective industry and prepare to share with the attendees, I believed that the audiences are getting a lot of valuable advice from the speakers.”
When asked by MALAYSIA SME® on what his thoughts are about the congress, Chin said, “The people who are here are important, they are decision makers.” He also agreed to the fact that the event was a reliable platform for any businesses to network and seek opportunities as it is a gathering of entrepreneurs from various and the presentation that was done can be applied to any businesses. Chin attended the event with his company’s director Natalie Sit, who said she was happy to be part of the event and agreed with Jason when he said the event was a good place for businesses to do their networking.
According to Henre Tan, the event wasn’t just a business symposium, but also a crowd pulling event. “From the way it was promoted to the topics that was brought up, the special interim activity such as ‘lucky draw’ it made the business owners interested in attending the event.” He also said, “It’s an event that is much localised but it would be nice if the issues and context were to be more regional.” Tan came all the way from Singapore for this event and mentioned that he did enjoy the presentations done by the speakers
One Professor Dato’ Dr K Barani proved was visibly impressed at the scale of the MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014. The founder of Destina 1 International noted that he was thoroughly impressed with the line-up of speakers, the sheer number of participants, and in particular, the rich opportunities for networking. “I came here with my family because it seemed like a very impressive event, and I am glad I decided to be here,” he said. Barani went on, “I can tell you that in the few hours that I have been here, I have already noted quite a few potential networks and business partners – at the end of the day, it is all about the networking.” In particular, Barani was happy to see that there was such a diverse group of people in attendance, all of whom came from so many different types of backgrounds, and yet were all united in their entrepreneurial drive.
According to Juita Viden group executive director Peter Foo, MALAYSIA SME® Congress is a very fruitful event for every participant. “This is a very happening event, that not only provides a good venue for entrepreneurs to network, but also for exhibitors to showcase their product and services to the participants,” he explained. “The quality speakers from the respective industries shared very helpful tips and advice for audiences and I believed this encouraged the local business community to move forwards,” Foo emphasised. He highlighted, “The speakers’ presentations were very interesting and inspiring, because we were offered the chance to listen to their story not only the successful part but also the challenges along the journey.”
CEO-Roundtable Sdn Bhd chairman and CEO Michael Oh pointed out that evolution is very important for every business. “Companies should not just follow the old business models or it will face the risk of failure due to tense competition in the market,” he explained. Oh continued, “Evolution is a must for all entrepreneurs, because there are a lot of changes in today’s business environment. “Entrepreneurs have to make sure they stay relevant with the market, and always provide the right products and services to the consumers.” As for the MALAYSIA SME® Congress 2014, Oh emphasised that this is a very good and useful event for the local businesses, especially SMEs, to share their experience and acquire fresh ideas and knowledge through listening to the speakers’ presentations and networking with other participants. “This event brings together industry players from different sectors under one roof, which is not available elsewhere,” Oh stated.
“SAMENTA was the brainchild of our former chief minister Lim Chong Eu. That time, all the associations like doing big businesses. So nobody took care of small businesses. The late Tun Lim asked us to form the association,” said Koay. “Due to the fact that we are a private initiative, we have to get income to run the association. You have the businesses, you can create the linkages. Formerly, you may be focused on fiscal issues, but nowadays, with social media, and the Internet, we become very much closer,”