PETALING JAYA : The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2016 was launched today to honour the best and brightest in Malaysians small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) businesses.
Now entering its seventh year, SOBA pays tribute to up-and-coming local, non-listed companies and SMEs striving to carve a niche for themselves in the world of business.
It also marks the achievement of enterprises that have made a difference to the nation’s economy and opened new frontiers. These awards aim to inspire, drive and steer them forward towards greater success, as well as promote business excellence and stimulate positive competition.
The event was officially launched by International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan. Also present were The Star Media Group Bhd’s chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow as well as group managing director Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.
Other guests-of-honor at the event were AmBank Islamic Bhd chief executive officer Eqhwan Mokhzanee Muhammad, BMW Malaysia chief executive officer Han Sang Yun, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd (CGC) chief executive officer Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak, and MATRADE chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkfli Mahmud. Representatives from business organisations and associations as well as past SOBA winners were also present.
In his speech, Ong lauded potential SOBA participants who are looking to challenge themselves and move beyond their comfort zones.
“The Government is very much committed to the development of SMEs in the country. A point to highlight is that SMEs have consistently outperformed the overall growth in the economy since 2004. The SME contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from around 32% in 2010 to 34% in 2014,” he said.
Ong added that awards such as SOBA by the private sector complement efforts by the Government in recognising the achievements of the private sector.
Joining the award for the first time are AmBank, which is acting as the main sponsor, and MATRADE. BMW Malaysia and CGC are both back as returning co-sponsors, while Connexion Conference and Event Centre is the official venue sponsor.
For the first time this year, the awards are further sub-categorised into enterprises with an annual sales turnover of up to or above RM25mil respectively. The change was made to recognise the achievements of upcoming small-medium businesses and start-ups as they compete on a level playing field in the awards.
SOBA is open to all local enterprises that are not part of a multinational group or listed group, incorporated in Malaysia with foreign equity not exceeding 50%.
Those who wish to participate may download the forms from the microsite at www.soba.com.my.
The deadline for entries is October 14, 2016.