Facilitating The Growth Of SMEs In Line With Country’s Aspirations

Posted on  01/11/2011  |  Media Centre

TUESDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2011 06:53


Bandar Seri Begawan – Asia Inc Forum yesterday announced its next upcoming event, which is the Local Business Development (LBD) Forum.

The half-day forum for SMEs is themed ‘Improving Customer Engagement – A Business Growth Strategy’ and will convene on November 3 at the Radisson Hotel.

The forum will feature renowned international branding and marketing expert, Brenda Bence, who will be speaking about Smarter Branding for SMEs by leveraging on existing assets, with a focus on marketing and branding. Brenda Bence is an internationally-recognised branding expert, certified speaking professional, certified executive coach, and award-winning author of five branding books, including the recently released Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank.

After graduating from Harvard Business School, Brenda developed mega brands for Procter & Gamble and Bristol-Myers Squibb across 50 countries and four continents. Now, as the president of her own company – Brand Development Associates International – Brenda travels the world speaking, training, and coaching individuals and companies to greater success through corporate and personal brand development.

Asia Inc Forum’s Fatin Arifin said, “Based on our surveys and one-to-one consulting, a majority of our SMEs still feel they lack the knowledge to make use of the right marketing strategy to brand their companies and businesses.”

“In their minds, marketing means investing a lot of money which is what they usually don’t have in which case marketing does not become a priority,” she said. “We would like to help SMEs see that they can do marketing at a shoestring budget hence; we are bringing Brenda Bence who will help SMEs discover existing assets that they can leverage immediately on to build a robust brand marketing plan.”

She said that SMEs can expect to walk away with low-cost or no-cost marketing ideas to drive the growth potential of their business.

Fatin added that Asia Inc Forum would also be putting together a session on customer service that will be led by Mark Grieves, who is also an internationally recognised expert in creating superior business performance and growth through differentiated Branded Customer Experience, and Shaun Hoon, Growth Engineer at Catalyst who has written a book about customer service.

“Participants can therefore expect to take home winning customer service strategies that can be immediately applied to their businesses,” she said. “We are expecting this half day forum to be an interactive discussion around the theme hence, encouraging SMEs to come with lots of questions and energy.”

Mark Grieves, the Principal of BEaM Sdn Bhd, has previously created Branded Customer Experience programmes for major global corporations such as Orange, Microsoft, Royal Bank of Scotland and Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation.

According to Asia Inc Forum, he takes customer service seriously and having been a serial entrepreneur himself, believes SMEs should have their own unique customer service programme.

The Local Business Development Forum is a forum that provides a platform for the SMEs to learn and build relationships that will facilitate growth. This forum is part ofthe LBD programme that saw the three series workshop organised for 30 promising SMEs from May to July this year.

“Our partners, Baiduri Bank and Brunei Shell Petroleum, have joined us in this LBD programme as part of their commitment to help spur the development of SMEs in Brunei, and as a means to build their capabilities to compete in the local and international markets,” said Stuart Kemp, Executive Director of Asia Inc Forum. “We expect this year’s LBD Forum to facilitate the growth of SMEs in line with the aspirations of the country.”

The forum is an invitation only event, which will see the attendance of between 80 and 100 SMEs.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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