SMEs advised to create niche markets

KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to create niche markets for themselves in order to move up the value chain.

To this end, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd group chief executive and managing director Datuk Michael Tio said SMEs must have a clear vision on what they want to do.

“SMEs must think differently and out of the box to find their blue ocean strategy and niche markets. Then, they need to position themselves and move towards that direction. If they always do what someone else is already doing, they won’t be making supernormal profits, but only normal profits,” he said at the Star Business Awards (SOBA): Engagement with CEOs – ‘Business in Malaysia – The Way Forward’ event held yesterday.

Meanwhile, in his keynote address, International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said SMEs should embark on non-traditional and innovative ways of conducting business to contribute effectively to the country.

“SMEs must now move away from doing business as usual just to survive. But rather embark on non-traditional and innovative ways as business as usual is no longer an option.

“For them to contribute effectively to the transformation of the national economy, I believe that the SMEs themselves must first transform,” Lee said.

SOBA is in its fifth year since it first started in 2010, with the aim to encourage Malaysian companies to grow and excel.

The panel of judges include representatives from the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Branding Association of Malaysia, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, Malaysian Advertisers Association, Malaysian Retailer Chains Association, Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Media Specialists Association and SMI Association of Malaysia.

The SOBA awards this year has seven Top-Of-The Class Awards categories: Best in Marketing, Best Brand, Best in CSR, Best Green Initiative, Best Employer, Best Innovation and Best Global Market. The three Outstanding Achievement Awards are Rising Star, Entrepreneur of the Year and Malaysian Business of the Year.

For details, call The Star at 03-7967 1388 ext 1240 (Melissa)/1475 (Pei Wen) or log on to Star Business Awards 2014. (www.soba.com.my)