The BrandLaureate SMEs Chapter Award 2007, which was announced last week is a recognition given to promising Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia which are in the position to drive the company brand further into the global and international scene. It is an effort initiated by The Asia Pacific Brands Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promote and improve the branding standards in Malaysia and Asia Pacific.
Click here for definition of SMEs. These companies are yet many steps behind the giants and trendsetters of the industry, but always remember that there are good reasons why you can find working in a smaller company full filling. Azmeen, Zaki and Jason also shared their own fascinating points of view on this. In a way, such an award is a positive indication that the company is moving in a right path, and also tells you a lot about the vision of the people behind the brand name.
The winners are divided into 2 main categories, namely the Corporate Branding, and Product Branding and a total of 71 winners are announced. Here are some of the very familiar names:
1. England Optical
The England Optical Group is presently one of the largest optical chain stores in Malaysia, and even has operation overseas, including in Singapore, Indonesia, China and Cambodia. Their current growth is supported by a franchise operation, providing high returns and relatively low risk business investment. Interested franchisees are welcome to be in touch with the England Optical team for discussing mutually beneficial business venture.
2. Golden Screen Cinemas
With more than 20 cinemas nationwide, without doubt, GSC is one of the most popular cinemas in Malaysia. The very first GSC cinema was established back in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah sometime in the 80s. Today, their flagship and the biggest GSC Cinema can be found in MidValley, Kuala Lumpur. Besides, GSC also has presence in Berjaya Times Square, Gurney Plaza, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Summit USJ, Cheras Leisure Mall and Ipoh, among other major complexes.
3. Secret Recipe
Founded in 1997, Secret Recipe has gone many years and phases of growth and today has become a household and preferred name every time lifestyle café comes into mind. The BrandLaureate SMEs Chapter Award is one of the many awards and accolades the company has received. In 2004, it won the SMI Brand Builder of The Year Award, followed by the Most Promising Franchise Award for 2005/2006. Secret Recipe opened their latest branch in Kuching in 2007 as an addition to more than 100 cafes already existing throughout the region.
4. Noor Arfa Batik
At the age of 50, most people would think of retirement. But it was not the case for Wan Mohamed Ariffin, who started his small batik business back in Terengganu in 1980, backed by a humble capital of RM1,000 of his own and another RM5,000 fund from Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA). Fast forward 20 years, the company can be proud with the now internationally recognized brand, backed by state-of-the-art batik factory that produces more than 100 types of batik.
Mayflower specializes in providing tour and travel services to local and international tourists, encompassing various services including corporate travel, ticketing, hotel reservation, nature and packaged tours and others. It is also one of the earliest homegrown companies that embarked on the car rental services, and today possess more than 800 vehicles of various makes and models. Mayflower is wholly owned by Warisan TC Holdings Berhad, a public listed company.
6. Memory Lane
Specializing in the creation, manufacturing and distribution of greeting cards, Memory Lane was established in 1974 as a sole distributor for American Greetings Corporation of USA. Most of the distributed products were imported back then, but an untapped niche in local greeting cards prompted Memory Lane to embark on their own journey of producing high quality, targeted greeting products. The company owns a manufacturing and printing factory in Sungai Chua, Kajang, Selangor.
Remember Securiforce, Remember Datuk Maznah Hamid, a dynamic entrepreneur and a motivational speaker. The Malaysia Iron Lady is definitely a person worth looking up to. In the world of men-dominated security industry, Securiforce stands out from the rest, securing multiple awards and recognitions in the process. Maznah becomes the boss of more than 4000 men staff nationwide. Her book, Motivasi Memburu Kejayaan (Motivation Towards Success), which was first published more than 10 years ago, continues to sell until this day and has gone through numerous rounds of printing.
8. Smart Reader
Smart Reader was established in 1998, providing early education to kids and kindergarten students. It established its franchise program in 1999. Today, the company does not only provide early education, but has diversified its business model to include teenagers and adults as their target market. It also has presence in Thailand, Philippines and Syria.
You can read more about 1901 here.
Where family restaurant is concerned, Malaysians most likely prefer KFC or MacDonalds. But little do they know that Marrybrown is highly anticipated brand name in middle-east countries including UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and the likes. In laymen term, Marrybrown is more popular in countries other than its own place of growing up. Still, the company stamped its name into the Malaysia Book of Record by becoming the first company in Malaysia providing fast food franchise.