KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysians, especially Bumiputera entrepreneurs and companies, have
been asked to empower their products and services with branding, which is a critical ingredient that cannot be overlooked in order to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

Minister of Finance II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani made this call today in his keynote address at the opening of the inaugural INSKEN Global Marketing Summit 2017 organized by TERAJU(the Government’s Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit) and INSKEN (the National
Entrepreneurship Institute), saying more often than not, entrepreneurs were so engrossed
developing and perfecting their products or services that they did not invest enough time,
money and effort into promoting and branding their offerings.

“There is no substitute for delivering quality products and services, but half the battle can be won on the branding front and how we position our offerings in the market both domestically and globally,” said Datuk Seri Johari.

“Branding is essentially connecting to the emotional side of customers. It decides whether they become attracted to a particular product or service, and icebreaker of sorts, whether they can relate to it, and whether it presents itself as appealing enough for them to try.”

Datuk Seri Johari reiterated the Government’s commitment to promoting the growth of
entrepreneurship, underlining numerous efforts that continue to be undertaken to enable it to grow its contribution to the national economy and spearhead Malaysia’s transformational
journey to becoming a high income and knowledge-driven country.

Recapping Budget 2018, he said significant attention continues to be placed on promoting the growth of entrepreneurship and in order to achieve this, numerous support programmes have been devised to empower the sector’s growth both locally and globally, by way of driving greater cross-border trading opportunities and propelling the rise of the local digital and e-commerce market.

Initiatives by the Government he added, encompasses not only in providing financial and
technical assistance to businesses for the purpose of start-ups, growth, diversification and
export capability, but extend to promoting a change in mindset in the younger generation,
encouraging them to become more innovative and enterprising, and in introducing a vast suite of measures from training, retraining and re-skilling programmes – all of which are intended to arm the new generation of Malaysian entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge to being on the path of becoming global entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, TERAJU Chief Executive Officer Datuk Husni Salleh said the Global Marketing
Summit would be an annual gathering of experts in various fields of expertise in
entrepreneurship with the intention of fast-tracking and expediting the processes of transforming Malaysian and Bumiputera companies into successful global entrepreneurs.

“Despite our relatively young economic society compared to other developed markets, Malaysia has seen huge growths in entrepreneur development in recent years, with a 98.5 percent of businesses being SMEs totaling almost one million entities, and 76.5 percent of them being micro-enterprises. This proves that our economy is progressively maturing, on track in transforming our country into a high-income nation.

“While agencies like TERAJU and INSKEN are constantly supporting and educating new and
existing entrepreneurs, especially in the Bumiputera sector through a basic capacity building and easing market access, it is important that we must never forget the old adage, ‘Business sells products and services, but the consumer buys brands’,” said Datuk Husni.

The one-day Summit entitled Selling Your Brand to the World, gathers leading entrepreneurs for a knowledge sharing session that includes the co-founder of Starbucks Zev Siegl; Peter Draper, the man instrumental in promoting Manchester United into one of the most iconic names in football; Kevin Gaskell who had helped turn around BMW and Porsche in the United Kingdom; and Jonathan Yabut the Apprentice Asia winner.

The Diamond sponsor for the INSKEN Global Marketing Summit 2017 is RHB Bank Berhad
while the Gold sponsor is SME Bank Berhad. SME Magazine participated as the media partner for the event.