8 DEC 2021


Redefine, Reinvent, Recover

As the world was confronted by the Covid-19 pandemic, business owners and entrepreneurs around the globe faced unprecedented challenges that threatened the very survivability of operations—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 world.

Though contingency efforts have been employed to assuage uncertainty, questions surrounding the short- and long-term impact of business continuity still looms over us—it begs the question: How are so many existing industry trends not only surviving but thriving in this post-pandemic environment while some have sank? What strategies do successful organizations adopt to respond and Reinvent themselves to adapt to changing business needs?

While there are several future scenarios to consider as the pandemic plays out in the next few years and a decline in the global economy is predicted even long after we have conquered the virus, not all are fated to dip. Business owners need to consider several actions as they begin to Recover and position themselves to thrive in the “new normal”.

Time for SMEs to Bounce Back

A key takeaway from 2020 is understanding how to make our businesses more pandemic-resilient. Most companies have experienced significant disruptions in their regular operations while experiencing significant shifts in consumer demands and behaviour.

From retail to manufacturing, life sciences and the automotive industry, many sectors were not spared the curveballs of the crisis and thus succumbed to making incredibly tough decisions.

SMEs need to think about business continuity and how to adapt to a changed world. Post-lockdown, SMEs must revisit, realign, and execute practical operating procedures to stay relevant.

Meet experts and industry leaders at the SME CEO Forum who hold the formula to successfully implement them into your business.


Puvanesan Subenthiran

Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of 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.
Read More
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. Sivapalan Vivekarajah

Co-Founder and Senior Partner of ScaleUp Malaysia Accelerator

Dr. Siva has been an Entrepreneur and Angel Investor for close to 40 years and has a Ph.D in Venture Capital from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Read More
He is the Co-Founder and Senior Partner of “ScaleUp Malaysia” Accelerator, Malaysia’s first Accelerator for highly scalable, high growth regional companies. ScaleUp Malaysia has been ranked as the top 15 investors in Southeast Asia by Tech in Asia magazine.

He is also Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist of Proficeo Consultants, an Entrepreneur Coaching & Mentoring company that has coached more than 2,000 entrepreneurs in Malaysia over the last 12 years including the highly successful “Coach & Grow Program” (CGP) under Cradle Fund.

He is the Immediate Past President & currently Council Member of the Malaysian Business Angels Network (MBAN), Council Member of the Malaysian Venture Capital Association (MVCA), Adjunct Professor at Sunway University and the author of the book “Blue Sky Innovation: Killer Innovations That Changed The World of Business”.

Bikesh Lakhmichand

CEO / Founding Partner

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.

Read More
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.

  • 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

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.
Read More
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

At A Glance

At A Glance


SME CEO FORUM is the platform for
SME business intelligence

Who should join
SME CEO Forum?

SME Business Owners

Start-ups Founders

C – Level Professional

Head of Department and Senior Management


Sponsorship Enquiries