If MALAYSIA SME® CEO and group chief editor Wayne Lim gets his way, 2014 will be a year of new highs, robust growth and exclusive content. At the MALAYSIA SME® Annual Stake-holders’ Meeting, held in 32 Square, Petaling Jaya on January 9th 2014, Lim re-affirmed his vision for the nation’s first SME newspaper.
Innovation will be the key factor in the ability of MALAYSIA SME® to build on the successes and challenges over the years. The SME newspaper, now in its sixth year running, has seen a multitude of changes, landmarks and obstacles.
“This company is characterised by how innovative we are. We published the first SME paper, and then produced the first SME sitcom – giving businesses tips via situational comedy. The one thing that has transformed us from a ‘nobody’ to now being recognised by industry players is solely down to innovation,” Lim enthused.
Lim pioneered and produced the local hit comedy, “Small Mission Enterprise”, which has run for two successful seasons on ntv7. The comedy starred big local names like Indi Nadarajah, Alvin Wong, Baki Zainal, Ash Nair, Chelsia Ng and Adibah Noor. Directed by veteran fun-nyman Douglas Lim, the sitcom proved to be a hit among local viewers.
He said that distinguishing MALAYSIA SME® from other publications was key because, “otherwise we would have been dead much earlier, instead of celebrating our company’s ninth year of operation.” While challenges in human resources were seemingly a mainstay of 2013, Lim is optimistic about the opportunities for growth and maturity that 2014 holds. He said, “In a business like ours, the most important ‘inventory’ is the people – it can either drive the company forward or hold the company back. I am grateful that we are in 2014, but I am also happy for the lessons of the past.”
2013 also marked a number of notable initiatives driven by Lim. MALAYSIA SME® is the founding member of the Global SME News Network (GSNN) Alliance. According to editor and head of digital media Vicky Gannason, the MSME News Network website (msmenewsnetwork.com) is a product of the GSNN Alliance, which is less than a year old.
“The GSNN Alliance seeks to gather the strengths of SME media publishers worldwide to champion the cause of SME news reporting. Now obviously we can’t do this on our own,” she said, adding that traditional newswires like Bloomberg, Reuters and Associated Press (AP) did not cater to the SME market. This is why MSME News Network has over the years established working relationships with journalists in countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria, Dubai, Italy, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.
Lim echoed this sentiment, noting that it was imperative that SMEs be given a greater voice and increased exposure to the wider public. “We believe SMEs are doing great things, but individually, they are simply too small to be noticed. We are consolidating our news reporting prowess so as to provide SMEs with a greater voice in the market.”
The cumulative effect that SMEs have makes them potent drivers and job creators in any economy. Lim continued, “We want to give them a credible platform upon which to make their products and services known, and also to let readers know of the challenges, barriers, and potential available in ecosystems both here, and overseas.”
In keeping with the innovative nature of the organisation, Lim was particularly keen to point out the recent launch of the Community Directory which replaced the Business Directory. Said Lim, “With SMIDEC having been rebranded into SME Corp, a lot of the grants and funding opportunities that were available to SMEs dried up – SME Corp became more of the coordinating department.”
This necessitated converting the Business Directory – which used to provide information on the available grants and funds as well as how to apply for them – into the Community Directory. The latter now focused on providing as much information on as many local industries as possible.
Lim went on, “We want the Community Directory to be a one-stop sourcebook for all things SME. Currently, we have 21 industries in the Community Directory.” This is meant to provide comprehensive reports and statistics regarding SMEs across as many sectors as possible.
While there is a long way to go yet before MALAYSIA SME® and sister entities MSME News Network and GSNN Alliance establish a truly international presence, signs are abound of a successful and long lived SME reporting industry both in Malaysia, and overseas. And like Lim says, it will be all down to the most important ‘inventory’ of all – the people of SME news reporting.
Website designed by AXP Market Expansion Services S/B