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KUALA LUMPUR
8 DEC 2021

 

Redefine, Reinvent, Recover

As the world was confronted by the pandemic, business owners and entrepreneurs around the globe faced unprecedented challenges that threatened the very survivability of their establishments.

The abrupt spread of the virus forced many to transform the way businesses are run and redefine their footprints to stay relevant in a rapidly changing environment.

As more sectors are now allowed to operate under the National Recovery Plan (NRP), industry experts stress that continued support towards SMEs must be maintained to ensure they get back firmly on their feet and reinvent amidst a changed landscape.

Although the opening of economic activities is observed to be a silver lining after a relentless lockdown season, SMEs should remain vigilant and consider sustainable methods to futureproof their businesses and recover post-crisis.


Time for SMEs to Bounce Back

A key takeaway from 2020 is understanding how to make businesses more pandemic-resilient.

Post-lockdown, SMEs must revisit, realign, and execute practical operating procedures to stay relevant.

To support SMEs in their post-lockdown recovery, the SME CEO Forum returns on the 8th of December 2021 in Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar with a comprehensive program that is tailored to aid SMEs navigate and relaunch themselves in this evolved market condition.

Focusing on three key pillars: ‘Financing’, ‘People and Talent’, and ‘Digitalisation’, the forum will feature an expert line-up who will be focusing on topics to promote growth and encourage innovation among SMEs.

Special Guests

Speakers

Rizal Nainy

Chief Executive Officer, SME Corporation Malaysia


Rizal is currently the Chief Executive Officer for SME Corporation Malaysia, a Government Agency that is mandated to spearhead the development of small and medium enterprises, implement and monitor strategic SME programmes, coordinate SME programmes for Ministries and Agencies as well as being the Secretariat to National Entrepreneurship & SME Development Council (NESDC) chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
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Rizal graduated from Imperial College, University of London with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering, and later went on to obtain a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Charles Sturt University Australia.

One of his primary responsibilities is to plan, implement, monitor and value-add strategic SME development programmes aligning with the 12th Malaysian Plan, National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 and Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, which will ultimately increase Malaysia's GDP, exports and job creation. Collaborating with Ministries, agencies and strategic partners is one of his key tasks especially in the area of facilitating and developing SMEs. By reviewing and evaluating value-added initiatives, he will make sure more innovative and high growth SMEs will be formed especially under key programmes such as Programme for Enhancement of Strategic Industry and High Growth Enterprise (PRESTIGE), Inclusive Innovation, 1Innocert and National Mark of Malaysian Brand Certification programmes. Rizal has vast experience in business development, entrepreneurship, business advisory, economics and policy, international cooperation, coordination of SME programmes, 4th Industry Revolution, SME digitalisation and e-Commerce.

Prior to joining SME Corporation Malaysia, Rizal has six years of strategic transformation experience under the Prime Minister's Department to strategise and drive the National as well as State Government and Economic transformation programmes. He was assigned to several high profile projects such as Electrical & Electronics key economic area (particularly in LED, Semiconductor, Solar and Industrial Electronics), Innovation, Nanotechnology, Electric Vehicles, Rail, Smart Grid as well as carrying out Programme Management and Business Re-Engineering. He helped to catalyse the transformation of Malaysia’s economy especially Electrical & Electronics being the leading export sub-sector by working closely with relevant stakeholders, developing the SMEs and setting precedents for economic efficiencies.

He has also 16 years of varied experience with Shell Company locally and globally, and held various positions in Strategy & Portfolio, Business Development, Sales & Operations, Network Planning, Project Management, Engineering, HSSE and Internal Audit within Shell Malaysia as well as Shell Asia Pacific. His professional expertise includes Oil & Gas Downstream Retail Business.

He has built strong professional networking with Ministries and Agencies, MNCs, GLCs as well as NGOs in assisting and developing the SMEs especially in the areas of Industry Revolution 4.0 and Digitalisation of SMEs in charting and aligning them towards the Megatrends.

Specialties:
Government Relations, Transformation & Business Re-Engineering, Electrical & Electronics, Innovation (developing high growth and innovative SMEs), Strategic Planning, Business Development, Strategy & Portfolio of Oil & Gas Retail Business, Sales & Operations of Oil & Gas Retail Business, Programme Management, Performance Management, Project Management and Audit Management.

Mr. Lim Kee Yeong

Executive Director, Enterprise Banking, Affin Bank Berhad


Mr. Lim Kee Yeong is the Executive Director of Enterprise Banking, Affin Bank Berhad (“AFFIN BANK”). He joined AFFIN BANK in September 2016 with the responsibility to develop and implement strategies that drive the growth of the Enterprise Banking Division for the Bank.







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Mr. Lim holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration, both from Wichita State University, Kansas, USA. Under his leadership, AFFIN BANK Enterprise Banking’s unique differentiation initiatives, including the Bank’s digital flagship initiative, SME Colony, have gained local and international recognition for its contribution to supporting the Malaysian SME ecosystem.

Mr. Lim brings with him more than 27 years of experience in banking and finance, primarily in commercial and SME business at both local and foreign banks. He frequently participates in speaking engagements on SME business-related topics as an industry expert by invitation from business associations and government agencies.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah

Chairman, PIKOM Think-Tank ‘Future Digital’

Executive Chairman, ASX-listed Netccentric Limited

Founder & Executive Chairman, Commerce.Asia Group of Companies



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Ganesh Kumar Bangah is widely known as a serial entrepreneur, startup investor and technology industry leader. Many observers within the tech industry continue to view him as ‘the Bill Gates of Malaysia’, a description first coined by the New Straits Times and reinforced by Business FM and various other media outlets.

There are good reasons for this.

Ganesh was the Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 and recognised as one of Asia’s most influential people according to Society Magazine 2015. He was also regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s Top 30 Tech Founders by Tech In Asia in 2016, and described as ‘one of the most inspiring Malaysian technology entrepreneurs’ by Top 10 of Malaysia.

In 2020, Ganesh acquired and subsequently became the Executive Chairman of Australian-listed Netccentric Limited that owns the largest influencer platform in Malaysia, Nuffnang, with its community of 15,000 influencers throughout Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. Due to various acquisitions and innovative approaches for the digital growth industry, Netccentric has today become synonymous with being ‘Asia’s Pioneering Digital Growth Ecosystem’.

The Netccentric-Nuffnang Group acquisition followed on the heels of Ganesh having founded the Commerce.Asia Group in 2017. An ‘All In One e-Commerce Ecosystem’, Commerce.Asia has grown tremendously within the past four years, resulting in a database of over nine million SMEs across seven countries with over 102,000 sellers that sold over RM3.4 billion worth of products in 2020.

Turning the clock further back to when Ganesh was in his 20s, he had founded MOL Global Inc. when he served as its Chief Executive Officer for 15 years and was certified by the Malaysia Book of Records as the youngest CEO of a Malaysian public listed company. Ganesh had subsequently built MOL to become Southeast Asia’s leading online payment gateway, before MOL became the region’s first internet company to be listed on the NASDAQ market of the United States in 2014.

Ganesh is a former Chairman of the National Tech Association of Malaysia (‘PIKOM’) and today serves as a member of the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (‘PEMUDAH’) and a Board Member of the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (‘MAGIC’).

Today, Ganesh is also Chairman of PIKOM’s think-tank arm called Future Digital, a role he describes as his ‘contribution to nation-building to steer the industry along the right path’.

Ganesh is guided by the belief that the world’s challenges can be solved through entrepreneurship. In his own words, his life mission is “to build the next generation of entrepreneurs”.

He believes that true entrepreneurs are not just motivated by money alone. Instead, it is all about creating impact to improve societies while building a better world for our children, and the generations to come.

Low Ngai Yuen

Chief Merchandising Officer, AEON Group


Low Ngai Yuen is a multiple award-winning workaholic. As a passionate entrepreneur, she supports causes around the arts, culture, blended learning, access to technology and sustainability.

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Yuen is heavily involved in many city-liveability and placemaking initiatives that increase productivity and citizen-initiated. She is the President of the 21 year old Kakiseni that champions the arts and its advocacy; as well as founding WOMENgirls, an NGO dedicated to program interventions to remind women as role models to younger girls to achieve their potential.

Known also as an acclaimed film producer, director and TV veteran, Yuen started her career as part of the inception team of the adventurous and youthful radio station, WOWfm; 97.6. Following that, she was seen actively hosting 3R, an Asian TV award winning women empowerment TV programme. Yuen found her calling in directing and producing; and soon, storytelling in any format became her fixation. From 1999 to 2008 she has created, written, produced and directed numerous highly rated TV programmes in Malaysia and the regional countries.

2021 will be the year Yuen releases the acclaimed social film on humanity called Orang Itu onto Netflix that scored a 10/10 from film critic, Tan Sri Johan Jaafar in The Star and is named the top 5 must watch Malaysian film starring Datin Sofia Jane, Carmen Soo, KK Wong, Namron and Tony Eusoff.

Yuen also sits as an independent director contributing to 2 public listed companies; GDEX Berhad and OCK Berhad. GDEX is a logistics and freight company while OCK is in the business of telecommunications network services and energy.

Surina Shukri

Venturer & Growth Catalyst, Former CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation


Surina Shukri is a globally-recognised and respected thought leader in digital transformation, innovation, diversity & inclusion.




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She was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the lead government agency responsible for accelerating development of Malaysia’s digital economy and building an inclusive, technologically integrated society.

She played a central role in steering MDEC through the disruptions caused by the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic with her tenure spanning three Prime Ministers.

She spent the bulk of her professional career in New York City, including 17 years as an investment banker, strategist and digital transformation leader at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest financial institution in the world.

She was named among the World’s 50 Most Influential People Revolutionising Governance in the inaugural Agile 50 list by Apolitical & World Economic Forum. She is a fierce champion of women in leadership and technology.

She is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania / The Wharton School's prestigious dual-degree Management & Technology Program and is a lifelong learning student of the School of Hard Knocks -- life itself.

Bikesh Lakhmichand

CEO, 1337 Ventures


Bikesh is the founding partner of 1337 Ventures, Malaysia’s first Accelerator programme that has invested in over 60 innovative digital startups across diverse areas spanning gaming, social networking, education, big data, proximity marketing, wearable technology, fintech and recently social enterprises.
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1337 Ventures is the mastermind behind Alpha Startups, an intensive design sprint based bootcamp that has helped numerous startups like Eat Cake Today and Gigfairy that went from idea to exit in just 12 months. Beyond helping to discover, validate and transform high-potential startups into businesses of the future, Bikesh is also actively involved in helping Malaysian corporates digitally transform their organizations and advance the professional careers of their employees.

Bikesh is also the co-founder of iTrain, Southeast Asia’s leading digital technology powerhouse that has empowered over 5,000 companies in advanced digital technologies and Leet Capital, one of the 10 licensed equity crowdfunding platforms that are helping SMEs and startups grow via alternative funding.

The diverse experience and skills he brings is an invaluable commodity for the many entrepreneurs, corporates and professionals “playing to win" in the digital future.

Achievements
  • 100 Most Inspirational Linkedin Icons In Malaysia - 2020
  • Top ICT Education Provider - ASOCIO ICT AWARD - 2019
  • Top 100 Accelerators in the World - Crunchbase - 2019
  • Best Accelerator Program (ASEAN) - Rice Bowl Awards - 2019
  • Best Accelerator Program (Malaysia) - Rice Bowl Awards - 2019
  • Top 50 Influencers to shape Malaysia’s Digital Economy - Digerati 50 - 2016 - 2017
  • Top 100 Leaders of Tech Accelerators - 2015
  • Top 50 Influencers to shape Malaysia’s Digital Economy - Digerati 50 - 2014 - 2015

Datuk Dr. Hafsah Hashim

Director, SIRIM, and former CEO, SME Corp Malaysia


Besides sitting on the Board of SIRIM Berhad, where she is also Chairman of the Investment Committee, Tender Committee and SIRIM Tech Venture Sdn Bhd, Datuk (Dr.) Hafsah Hashim also holds directorship in Zurich Takaful, Serunai Commerce Sdn Bhd, Arab Malaysia Chamber of Commerce, Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (MAIWP) Dagang Sdn Bhd and USains Holding Sdn Bhd.
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She was the Chief Executive Officer of SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp. Malaysia) for nearly 14 years. Under her leadership, SME Corp. Malaysia formulated the internationally acclaimed SME Masterplan that charts the direction of SME development until 2020. Qualifications:
  • Honorary Doctorate in Management and Entrepreneurship, Universiti Tenaga Nasional
  • Honorary Fellow, ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations
  • Master of Business Administration, Aston University, UK
  • Bachelor in Applied Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Eric Chong

Chief Executive Officer, Boost Biz, Axiata Digital E-code Sdn Bhd


Eric Chong is CEO of Boost Biz, merchant solutions provider under homegrown financial services company Boost. Boost Biz offers digital payments and eWallet solutions for merchants, with a strong focus on digitalising tier-3 & -4 MSMEs that transform and help them thrive in the digital economy.



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He has 20+ years working in Senior Management/C-level roles including Corporate Governance having served as a Board Member for five telecom companies in Malaysia. His extensive experience has enabled him to build a diverse background with experience in the FMCG, Logistics & Supply Chain, Consumer Electronics, the Telecom/Technology sector & Digital Financial Services sector. Eric has worked in 6 countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore & Australia.

Azim Pawanchik

Innovation Strategist, Alpha Catalyst Consulting (Malaysia)


Azim Pawanchik is a leading expert on innovation in Asia, specialising in innovation strategy, innovation analytics and organisational transformation.
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He has consulted major corporations and government agencies across industries, in developing and executing their innovation and digital transformation strategy. He also managed many innovation related projects on strategy development, corporate culture change, organisational realignment, and mergers and acquisitions, working with the management, right up to board members. He is a respected innovation thought leader having spoken in Europe, Middle East, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, and has co-authored two books on innovation. An entrepreneur at heart, Azim is also the driving force in materialising Asia’s first digital innovation and transformation management software. Combining predictive analytics, machine learning, gamification and behavioural economics, the software has the cognitive capability to accelerate and embed innovation and transformation in organisations.

Puvanesan Subenthiran

CEO, Privasia Technology Berhad


Mr. Puvanesan is one of the founding members of Privasia Group, and was appointed as the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Privasia Group on 4 May 2009.


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He was appointed to the board of Privasia Sdn Bhd on 4 August 2004. He is also a member of the Investment Committee.

He graduated with BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from London South Bank University and holds a Diploma in Economics from the National Council for Educational Awards, Ireland.

He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a Chartered Accountant with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).

He has completed the Senior Management Development Program and Program for Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School. Prior to this, Mr. Puvanesan was a senior in the Business Advisory and Assurance Department of BDO Simpsons Xavier in Ireland and upon his return to Malaysia, was the Chief Financial Officer of the Makmal Jaya Group.

Mr Puva is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

Dr Gopi Kurup

CEO of Axiata Enterprise


Gopi is the Axiata Group Head of Enterprise. He leads and manages enterprise strategy, emerging businesses, technology platforms, base management and branding to grow all the regional Enterprise client segments.

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For 25+ years, Gopi has worked across the IT, telecommunications and insurance industries developing expertise in driving transformation programs, product portfolio redesign and management, innovation management and next generation networks.

Gopi was a Managing Director within Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology group based in Hong Kong. Working for the Technology Consulting practice, he helped organisations to transform their business through the management and implementation of new apps, platforms, architecture and technology. Prior to joining Accenture, Gopi was the Chief Executive Officer of Telekom Malaysia R&D and Head of B2B Product Management. He also served as a Manulife Malaysia Independent Non-Executive Director for Technology for the areas of fintech, insurtech, digital & analytics strategies & advisory.

Gopi has a Ph.D in Next Generation Networks from Australia’s Monash University. He also holds an MSc. in Microwaves & Optoelectronics and a B. Eng in Electrical & Electronics, both from University College London.

Gopi is based in Kuala Lumpur.

Nurbayu Kasim

Chief Business Officer, SME Bank


Cik Nurbayu started her career at SME Bank in 2013 as the Head, Kota Kinabalu Enterprise Centre and later assumed the role as Regional Head, Sabah Region from 2015 until 2017.


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With her extensive and hands-on experience in the SMEs and Commercial Banking market, she was appointed as Head, Business Banking at SME Bank Head Office and held various other positions in the Bank which include Head, Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre. She then assumed the role of Executive Vice President/Business Head, Enterprise Network and was leading the Bank’s Enterprise Centres nationwide.

Nurbayu carries with her 21 years of experience in the banking industry Prior to joining SME Bank, Nurbayu had worked with CIMB Bank Berhad in various positions and departments.

Nurbayu is a Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) and obtained her ACCA from Dublin Business School, Ireland. She is also a Certified Credit Professional (CCP) from Institut Bank-Bank Malaysia (IBBM) and has a Certification in Islamic Development Banking (CIDB) from Islamic Banking & Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM).

Chen Fong Tuan

Chief People Officer, Berjaya Corporation


Fong Tuan aims to make a difference, one life, one career at a time, a technologist at heart, Fong Tuan started his career with Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia’s power utility company, where he was a scholar.



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Discovering his passion to bridge the gap between data, influence and people, he moved into the HR space holding senior HR leadership roles with global MNCs and blue-chip corporations: Coca Cola, OCBC, Watson Wyatt, British American Tobacco, Maybank Group, B. Braun Asia Pacific and most recently Samsung.

He then joined to head HR for one of Malaysia’s largest and most diverse consumer group – Berjaya Corporation. At Berjaya, Fong Tuan leads the people strategy and execution, driving change and business transformation. He has been recognized with multiple accolades including Southeast Asia HRM Watchlist, HR Excellence Awards Grand Winner, HR Asia Best Company To Work For and Asia Recruitment Awards amongst others.

He is a qualified professional engineer, a first class honours Electrical & Electronic Engineering degree, an MBA in Organizational Behaviour and a CFA.

Leon Liew

Chief Strategy Officer, Solarvest Holdings Berhad


Mr. Leon has over 10 years of experience in the energy and oil & gas sectors and brings strong strategy, business advisory expertise and holistic experience from the energy industry, covering power generation, transmission, distribution, retail and policy setting from both private players and regulatory bodies perspective.
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He started his career with Schlumberger Limited ("Schlumberger") where he was involved in oil & gas exploration across the globe, and held various roles during his tenure in Schlumberger namely operations, technical, and business development. Subsequently, in 2018, Mr Leon joined Sarawak Energy Berhad ("SEB") and headed the corporate development division where he spearheaded SEBs strategic foresight and innovation development, new energy venture and corporate continuous improvement.

Francesca Chia

Co-Founder & CEO, GoGet


Francesca Chia is the Co-Founder and CEO of GoGet, an on demand workforce technology platform that connects businesses to reliable part timers, called ‘GoGetters’.
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Francesca is pushing boundaries in the technology industry and the traditional labour market of Malaysia. She brings with her insights on the future of work, how businesses will adjust models to suit new labour requirements and how empowerment is possible through technology innovation.

Francesca graduated with a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and was inspired by social enterprises because they redefined traditional ways of doing business and running a non-profit. Prior to launching GoGet, Francesca was a Management Consultant in The Boston Consulting Group for 4 years.

She was based out of the Southeast Asian office and had a year in the Australian system, where she was specialising in Industrial Goods, Organisation, Telco Media and Technology as well as Public Sector. Her time in The Boston Consulting Group taught her about business models and built her analytical mind.

GoGet turned out to be that game changer - redefining the traditional part-time job opportunities and on-demand fulfilment with better information flow and technology innovation. Today GoGet is the leading technology platform for part-time jobs in Kuala Lumpur, by connecting businesses in the city to trusted and verified GoGetters.

Since 2014, GoGet has created millions worth of job opportunities and works hand in hand with MDEC for the eRezeki program to uplift the nation’s B40 segment to higher income brackets. GoGet is paving the way for businesses to be leaner and more ready for the future with technology. No longer do businesses have to incur full time costs of a hire, but rather they are able to stay lean and be flexible with part time labour on a task by task basis.

Her role includes managing and growing the overall business. She leads a team of 26 and has oversight on Marketing, Operations, GoGetter management, Product Engineering, Admin and Finance. GoGet received the Certificate of Outstanding Achievement from YAB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri for exemplary implementation of Design Thinking and commitment towards approaching problems with an innovative mindset.

GoGet was also invited as a one of the selected ASEAN start up to speak in the World Economic Forum, Hanoi 2018 to discuss the Future of Work. Francesca is also an Alibaba eFounders Fellow from the program jointly created between Alibaba and UNCTAD. Most recently, Francesca was invited to speak at a summit in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly 2019 about the platform and how it is specifically addressing the Sustainable Development Goal #8: To promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive.

Francesca was announced as the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Young Global Leader. In terms of national contribution, Francesca has been appointed by former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to join the National Employment Council (NEC), representing the entrepreneurship and innovation sectors,

Hafiza Anom Abdul Hamid

Chief Business Officer, Awanbiru Technology Berhad (Awantec)


Puan Hafiza Anom has more than 21 years of experience in Sales, Strategic Marketing and Business Development area in IT industry.



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She has in depth experience in setting up a new sales team and support team which covers the workload of managing the company sales execution and team, Order processing, Presales team and training implementation team. She brings in the know-how and expertise from local and multinational companies where she had served managerial positions in, such as Microsoft, Oracle, HeiTech Padu and Maxis, to name a few.

At A Glance


At A Glance

 

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