DESPITE an uncertain economic outlook following May’s historic election, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia are booming, reporting double-digit growth over the year.
The SME100 Survey, carried out by SME Magazine, looks at the top 100 companies by business performance in Malaysia and has been measuring SME progress in the country since 2009.
Participants of the survey registered a 73 percent growth in revenue and a 97 percent growth in profit.
“We saw a lot of uncertainties last year leading to the general election. However, from June onwards, we can see visible signs of reinvestments and growth among our SMEs,” said William Ng, group publisher of Business Media International, the publishers of SME Magazine.
The dramatic May 9 election saw a complete overhaul of the government. The incumbent United Malay National Organisation, which had ruled in some iteration for over 60 years, was ousted by the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
The victory was a shock that left many businesses adopting a more cautious stance on expansion and investment until there was greater clarity on the new government’s policies and direction.
This is slowly being achieved with the new administration’s 2019 budget announced in November. Ng hopes this will lead to even greater growth.
“We trust that with the first Pakatan budget having been announced, there will be greater certainty, which will lead to more robust growth and stronger consumer sentiments,” he said. “This in turn, hopefully, will translate into stronger growth across all sectors.”
Those companies that made it into SME Magazine’s top 100 also received awards based on “quantitative and qualitative criteria with a focus on growth (turnover, profit and market share) and resilience (best practices, sustainability and vision),” according to their website.
The Professional and Business Services sector make up the highest number of the top picks at 17 percent, followed closely by the Telecommunications and ICT sector at 15 percent. Tied at third place are the Food and Beverages sector and the Construction, Property Development and Building Materials sector at eight percent.
Malaysia is widely heralded as one of the top countries in the world to start a business.
It takes just 19 days to set up, according to the World Bank. The required paperwork that constitutes the majority of the new business registration process can be completed online through the Companies Commission of Malaysia’s website.