Based on thorough analysis of 2018’s forum feedback, The SME CEO Forum returns in 2019 to address the evolving challenges and threats to Market Access. This year, the forum brings with it insights on opportunities and advantages that SMEs can utilise to overcome difficulties in achieving new market avenues and diversification.

SME CEO Forum 2019 aims to spearhead the empowerment of the SME Ecosystem. It has gathered renowned, highly-influential public and private sector representatives who are eager to share their knowledge and discuss ideas and solutions with participants on how to ease the challenge of Market Access and Diversification on the SME Ecosystem.




Part of an SME’s growth journey is adding new products and tapping into new markets bringing additional revenue over the short term, and long-term sustainable growth. Accessing a new market is one of the biggest challenges an SME can undertake. It requires a company to rapidly respond to evolving markets and potential obsolescence in a calculated manner that would leave a favourable impact.

Typical strategies for SMEs include diversification of sales channels, repositioning of products to appeal to a new consumer base, and exporting its products. It takes resources and careful planning, but companies that manage diversification successfully are often companies that are best positioned to survive an economic downturn or take full advantage of a booming economy. This will allow SMEs to get noticed, realise their potential and not lose out opportunities to established outfits.


Through Export

With an ever-growing globalised economy, it is increasingly difficult to sustain growth with just the local market alone. With rapid advancements in communications and logistics, exports are not only viable, but essential to growth.

Research recently conducted, reveals that most Malaysian SMEs who export are focusing on markets beyond the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, notably, contributing to 82% which by far exceeds the 55 per cent exporting within APAC.

However, exporting requires significant resources, such as research and planning, finding overseas connections, and especially financing. Although SMEs were once seen as a risky segment for financing, commercial banks are increasingly targeting SMEs as they themselves seek to diversify their revenue base.



Market Diversification

Market diversification, commonly accompanied by product diversification, is the effort of growing into business segments previously untouched. It is accomplished by either targeting new client groups or adding new products/services within existing markets. It is an effective growth strategy favoured by both SME and MNCs alike.


Diversification Important

Most enterprises tend to launch depending on one or two key clients, assimilating their own growth together. This exposes themselves to uncomfortable levels of risks, in which their sustainability heavily depends on these accounts. Diversification alleviates this problem by introducing new channels of revenue, addressing the question of market entry on multiple levels and ensuring a crisis does not severely cripple a company’s efficiency should it occur.




“If it is so important, why isn’t everybody doing it?” Nothing important and effective is going to be simple. SMEs are challenged in terms of size, resources and management abilities. Appropriate market research and milestone planning is essential for its success. Comparatively, SMEs with successful diversification efforts perform better than their peers across the globe.

SMEs own the advantage of versatility when introducing new market segments. They are free of corporate bureaucracy and trade barriers. Small and medium enterprises also have the option of starting with small scale entry to slowly build the momentum. This allows them to identify starting key-clients with much higher efficiency, plus a feedback of market data prior to full-scale investment.


Plays A Role?

At our Forum, you will get a chance to understand: - What sets apart profitable and sustainable diversification?
- What are the tools and data necessary to make this decision?
- Who are the people who has done it in Malaysia?
- How to identify and harness the resources in making meaningful business decisions?


Supporting Organisation

Official Airlines

Media Partner