OUR former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad once said, "Truly successful people are the people who work hard and willing to face the challenges of life". I truly believe in this principle and it is one lesson I share with my children, my teams and the small and medium entreprises (SMEs) at every opportunity - there is no shortcut to success.
In today's highly competitive business environment, SMEs can only sustain their businesses if they work harder, rise above all challenges and keep rediscovering their businesses as well as growth potential.
In a world where the costs and risks of catering to the needs of SMEs are perceived to be too high by commercial financial authorities and the microfinance loans are too small to meet the capital requirements of the SMEs, getting companies to be listed could prove to be a boon and a solution to catapult SME growth in realising their dream to be bigger, better and more competitive as they position themselves to take on the world market.
Lately, I have been following a few interesting developments in some of the emerging economies, where the trend has been towards the expansion of capital markets and investment listings designed and targeted at SMEs. For instance, the Securities and Exchange Board of
Similarly, following the successful models in the
The listing norms are written to suit specific needs of the SMEs, promising visibility to the investor against struggling for a voice on a main exchange.
Innovative forums such as this will go a long way in helping to shape the future of our SMEs by providing them a carte blanche to avail immense opportunities for new growth. For instance, as of
Our target is to positively influence the accessibility of information on the benefits of listing to our critical mass of SMEs and help 15 per cent of our SMEs to get listed on the local bourse by 2015.
A shining example would be our very own home-grown company and former E50 Award Winner,
"From where we started, we grew to a reasonable size as we gradually improved our product quality and capacity. Our aspiration was to grow the company over and beyond this. Public listing is a necessary step in taking our business to the next level. Listing is an effective avenue through which SMEs may raise capital for business expansion.
"Ten years down the road,
"As a public-listed entity, a higher degree of transparency, disclosure and compliance is required. From a marketing perspective, listing enhances awareness of a company's product/service offerings and elevates its image considerably.
"Being a public-limited company (Plc) also instils greater confidence and comfort, particularly for overseas customers, in doing business with the company. It is also easier to attract talent as a listed vehicle.
"Most importantly, a Plc will be driven to continuously improve its operations to provide better returns to investors, and hence, has the impetus to stay at the top of its game and become the best it can be," he added.
What future holds for our high potential, listing-ready,
SMEs must face their fears and muster courage to prepare themselves for such a future.
As someone once said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
While we encourage small businesses to realise their dreams through Stairway to Listing, those who are still trying to find their footing in the domestic market are encouraged to attend the "
Jointly organised by SME Corp Malaysia,
Miti and its agencies wish to impart the latest information on various initiatives and programmes on entrepreneurship development as well as to provide inspiration and motivation to entrepreneurs who have just started their businesses and also to those who would like to expand their businesses.
For those SMEs who wish to participate in the "
See you there - hoping to realise your big dreams and turning them into reality!
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