Knowledge. Skills. Network.

In 2022, Perdana Leadership Foundation debuted the PLF SME Leaders Programme themed, “Knowledge Exchange for Entrepreneurship Excellence”, a one-day mixed format event aimed at highlighting successful practices within SMEs and facilitating knowledge and idea-sharing for mutual
enrichment. The event was sponsored by Affin Bank, Pernas and Ambank.

The event kicked off with an opening speech by PLF Chairman, Tan Sri Azman Hashim, followed by a speech by Dato’ Suriani binti Dato’ Ahmad, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development & Cooperatives, Malaysia, who provided some useful insights to the 100-odd entrepreneurs in attendance. A rare opportunity to dialogue with Tan Sri Azman Hashim, also took place later in the day in a Special Dialogue where Tan Sri shared his journey from accountant to business owner and entrepreneur-banker. The session’s Q and A proved popular as there were many who wanted to know more about the banker’s business and personal drives. Tan Sri Azman also reminded the audience of the value of persistent hard work and belief in oneself.

The SME Leaders programme also featured CEOs in three panel sessions, where they dealt with various aspects of starting and running a business, including building a long-lasting business, and challenges in innovation. These panel sessions were followed by shorter breakouts lead by business owners or trainers which enabled more dialogue and discussions among participants. Short informative talks by Mr Rizal Nainy, CEO of SME Corp Malaysia, & Mr Redzuan Affandi of MDeC, complemented the interactive sessions by informing participants of the various funding options available for MSMEs as well as digitalisation routes and assistance that can be taken.

The big finale was a Closing Keynote Address by former Prime Minister and PLF Honorary President, YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who unfortunately was only able to deliver his remarks via video as he was away overseas on the date of the event. Tun congratulated the participants on their achievements and reminded the audience that there was no short cut to success. You need to “roll up your sleeves and
do the hard work”. He stressed the importance of enjoying your work, because it will boost your dedication and make achievement that much more meaningful. Tun also motivated the participants by reminding them that they were in no way inferior to those who’re already at the top.

“I know nowadays, it is popularly promoted the narrative that one should not work hard but to work smart. Indeed, why should one work for 10 hours if the result can be achieved in half the time. But such an adage should be read alongside another adage – “easy come easy go” meaning what you achieve easily will also diminish easily.”

It was a fitting close to the event, as it emphasised the values of leadership, commitment, and hard work, the qualities that successful leaders of businesses of any size are more than familiar with.

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