Guest Of Honour
A Special Dialogue Featuring
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.
YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming
YB Fahmi Fadzil
MP Lembah Pantai
Dato' Dr. Asyraf Wajdi
Bin Dato' Dusuki
UMNO Youth Chief Malaysia
Chief Executive Officer, SME Corporation Malaysia
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.
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 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
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
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.
Venturer & Growth Catalyst, Former CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation
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.
CEO, 1337 Ventures
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, and former CEO, SME Corp Malaysia
- 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
Chief Executive Officer, Boost Biz, Axiata Digital E-code Sdn Bhd
Innovation Strategist, Alpha Catalyst Consulting (Malaysia)
CEO, Privasia Technology Berhad
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 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.
Chief Business Officer, SME Bank
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
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.
Chief Strategy Officer, Solarvest Holdings Berhad
Solarvest has been advocating for solar energy adoption and have now grown to be one of the leading clean energy companies in Malaysia.
Solarvest has also set footprints in Taiwan and the Philippines and are eyeing geographical expansion to other SEA countries as well as Asia Pacific market.
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.
Co-Founder & CEO, GoGet
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 Saliza Saari
Director, Organisational Excellence Development, Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC)
Saliza has accumulated years of experience in Lean Management in various types of industries and customized the approach to suit different process disciplines such as procurement processing, licensing process in government, services etc.
She specializes in Productivity and Quality Improvement initiatives such as Quality Environment Training, Lean Thinking and Kaizen with clients spanning from Public Services Sector, Automotive, Electronics, Government, and Academia. Saliza holds a Master in Knowledge Management from MARA University of Technology, Malaysia and Bachelor Business Management from National University Malaysia.
Sukri Abu Bakar
Director, Domestic Promotion Division, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)
Though 24 years career, Mr Sukri Abu Bakar was involved in MIDA rationalization of MIDA overseas offices, to formulate MIDA promotional strategies (manufacturing & services sectors) and monitoring MIDA overseas and domestic offices of their promotional activities and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) . Mr Sukri Abu Bakar is currently attached as Director at Domestic Investment Division, MIDA.
APJ SMB Partner Sales Specialist, Intel