Monday 29 May 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 4): Nine SMEs have emerged as winners in the AmBank BizRACE Season 3: Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), Digitalisation and Halal Quest tracks, with three winners for each track selected from over 2,000 registrations since its launch in July 2020.

And over 200 shortlisted SMEs this season were provided with development programmes in the areas of IR4.0, Digtalisation and Halal certification, AmBank said in a statement. This is also the first ever AmBank BizRACE held virtually, in keeping with social distancing requirements.

The finalists were shortlisted based on their business strategy pitch and readiness to venture into their respective areas of focus. The programme's panel of judges were represented by senior leaders of AmBank, key partners, and subject matter experts. AmBank also engaged PwC Malaysia to evaluate the process and scores of the competition. The winners for the respective tracks were:

Industrial Revolution 4.0
1. Champion: Comebest Malaysia Sdn Bhd
2. First runner-up: LTP Engineering Sdn Bhd
3. Second runner-up: Mayflax Sdn Bhd

1. Champion: BloomThis Flora Sdn Bhd
2. First runner-up: Matahari Sdn Bhd
3. Second runner-up: Forest House Sdn Bhd

Halal Quest
1. Champion: Doluvo Sdn Bhd
2. First runner-up: LM International Sdn Bhd
3. Second runner-up: Ira Noah PLT

Under the IR 4.0 and Digitalisation tracks, participants underwent one-to-one grant consultations to have their business plans and grant proposals evaluated, in preparation for their application. "Through Ambank's partnership with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Malaysian Digital Economy Corp (MDEC), AmBank BizRACE participants received more than RM14 million worth of grant approvals," the bank said.

From MIDA, 14% of its RM100 million Smart Automation Grant (SAG) were successfully obtained by the contest's participants, representing the largest contribution facilitated by a panel bank.
"The bank’s support also includes offering eligible participants with financing packages to fund their smart automation projects. The SAG is offered to Malaysian small and medium enterprises and mid-tier companies in the manufacturing and servies sector on a matching basis (1:1) based on eligible expenditures, up to a maximum grant of RM1 million per company," the bank said.

As for the Halal Quest track, AmBank Islamic partnered with Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM), Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (MATRADE), the Halal Development Corp Bhd (HDC) and industry practitioners' organised capacity building sessions to equip participants with the relevant knowledge to venture into the halal market.

“The last two years have been tough for most businesses, given the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, we do our best to assist and provide a range of initiatives for SMEs, that go beyond just financial solutions. The AmBank BizRACE programme is one of many initiatives launched by the bank for SMEs to upscale their businesses by leveraging on the knowledge, training, branding, as well as networking opportunities provided,” said Ambank Group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir.

In congratulating the winners, AmBank Group managing director of business banking Christopher Yap commended them for their outstanding drive and efforts put in that successfully took them to the finals. “In line with our core theme this year — “The Big Reset: Revive Your Business”, we hope this programme has helped them through the pandemic and that this recognition would serve as an encouragement for them in paving their businesses to greater heights,” Yap said.

AmBank Islamic CEO Eqhwan Mokhzanee Muhammad, meanwhile, said the bank is glad to have played a role in helping SMEs in their journey towards attaining the Halal certification, adding the Halal Quest track allowed the bank to go “beyond financing” by supporting SMEs that would like to tap into new market opportunities.

The AmBank BizRACE's total prize value this season amounted to RM2 million, which included development programmes centred around IR 4.0, Digitalisation and Halal certification, grant coaching, as well as media exposure for selected participants. The winners of each track were also awarded with executive development programme to Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, training programmes on Halal certification, as well as media and digital solutions packages provided by AmBank’s technology partners, Microsoft Malaysia and Maxis.

The bank's official government partners for the BizRACE this year were Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and its agencies MIDA, MATRADE and HDC, as well as MDEC and JAKIM. Its official corporate partners were Microsoft Malaysia, Maxis and Bosch Rexroth. 

Edited ByTan Choe Choe
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