The BrandLaureate SMEs BestBrands Awards 2016-2017



MHB’s official photographer Andy Kho and I together with our muses recently attended the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation’s (APBF) The BrandLaureate SMEs BestBrands Award 2016-2017 gala dinner on 1 March 2017 at The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The prestigious gala dinner was attended by over 1,000 guests comprising corporate leaders, brand owners and leading personalities, and over 60 companies and individuals received The BrandLaureate Awards.

“Take Ownership of Your Brand for Your Brand Sustainability and Continuity” was the theme of this year’s Awards. In today’s competitive business landscape, it is of paramount importance that brands take ownership as a positive brand image will greatly affect the consumer’s confidence and trust towards the brand and that will ultimately determine if a brand succeeds or fails.

To think that a brand will develop by itself once the basic groundwork is done would be wishful thinking. A brand must be built and capitalized on to maximize its potential and this requires the brand owner and brand custodian to take ownership and drive the brand to fulfil its vision.

I personally think (having dealt with many brand owners) that here in Malaysia, many traditional brands (both local and international) sometimes lack the marketing and branding strategies as well as skills to develop their brands and thus some remain stunted or even fail. The fact that some brands even fail to grasp the very basics of marketing – the four (4) P’s of marketing/ the marketing mix which are Product, Price, Promotion and Place, leaves me quite intrigued as to what their marketing strategy (assuming they actually have one) really is. It’s no wonder then that many businesses fold even though they have a product/ service with potential.

Each of the winners received a 24k gold-plated trophy and a glass-framed certificate. The trophy reflects the theme, showing the journey of the brand’s growth and development, from the beginning where it has to rise from the broad base, which is heavily competitive to reach the pinnacle of success, where the brand is now the market leader, filled with dynamism and distinction.


We were entertained by a jazz band, FAZZ, a powerful performance by the highly talented Dayang Nurfaizah and a lively lion dance performance

Dr. KK Johan delivering his welcome address


In his welcome speech, Dr KKJohan, President of The BrandLaureate congratulated the champions of SMEs Brands for their win and spoke on the Award’s chosen theme,

“None of us are born successful. Success is a commitment, the more committed we are, the greater the rate of achievement. Likewise, brand success is a journey, where you as the brand guardian must drive the brand to its desired level of success.  Successful businesses have strong brands and if you want your business to be successful, you need to work on your brand. Taking ownership of one’s brand shows your leadership and commitment to the brand and business.” He also added, successful brand leaders are those who has no fear and who will go out of their ways with their out of the box ideas and eccentricity to build their brands.

He then concluded his speech by urging SMEs, “Reaching for the sky is what all of you SMEs must do and should do. Don’t be restricted by conventional guidelines that restrict your mindset. Soar high with your ideas and realize it. Put wings into your brand and your personal self and take the world by storm and create phenomenon to build your legacy. Life is short, time and tide waits for no man and no brand. You either do it or be done and I am sure you do not want to be done!”

The SMEs BrandLaureate Brand Leadership Award is awarded to outstanding leaders who have played key and pivotal roles in building their brands to be market leaders. They are known for their strong and dynamic leadership, entrepreneurial acumen, wisdom and foresight. In building their brands, they have played an equally important role in helping their countries develop economically, through the areas of investment, business opportunities and employment.

Meanwhile, The BrandLaureate SMEs Business Couple of the Year Award 2016-2017 celebrates and honours outstanding couples and partners who have built successful brands and business under their stewardship. They have demonstrates strong leadership and are in unison in their vision and mission for the brand, and this year the award was presented to Dato’ Richard Teo and wife, Datin Winnie Loo of A Cut Above.

The prestigious event also saw the launch of Dr KKJohan’s Quote book Volume 2, and a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate The BrandLaureate SMEs Awards 10th Anniversary. Three (3) specially chosen organizations; IJN Foundation, Malaysian Parkinson’s Disease Association and National Kidney Foundation Malaysia received a RM30,000 donation from one of the night’s award recipient, Winner’s Dynasty Group. Receiving the cheque on stage from the Chairman of The BrandLaureate, YBhg Tan Sri Rainer Althoff and Dr KKJohan were Chairman of the IJN Foundation, YABhg Toh Puan Dato’ Seri Dr Hajah Aishah, President of  Malaysian Parkinson’s Disease Association, Ms Sara Lew, and Mr HW Chua, CEO of  National Kidney Foundation Malaysia.



The BrandLaureate SMEs BestBrands Award 2016-2017: Winner’s listings

The BrandLaureate SMEs Man of The Year Award 

  • YBhg Dato’ Chevy Beh, Founder & Managing Director of Asian Healthcare Group Berhad

The BrandLaureate SMEs Woman of The Year                                     

  • Puan Puteri Mariana Abd Majid, Chief Executive Officer of Mutiara Teknologi (M) Sdn Bhd

The BrandLaureate SMEs Business Couple of The Year                                  

  • YBhg Dato’ Richard Teo and YBhg Datin Winnie Loo, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director of A Cut Above Sdn Bhd

The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand Innovator of the Year                                  

  • James Y.G. Tan, Founder & Managing Director of Joven Marketing Sdn Bhd

The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand Strategist of the Year                                   

  • YBhg Datuk Mohamed Faroz Bin Mohamed Jakel, Group Managing Director of Jakel Group of Companies

The BrandLaureate SMEs Master Builder of the Year                                      

  • David Mizan Hashim, Group President of Veritas Design Group

The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand Entrepreneur of the Year                                          

  • Mr Jeffrey Soo, Founder of Fire Fighter industry Sdn Bhd

The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand Technopreneur of the Year                                      

  • Mr Na Boon Aik, Managing Director of Binasat Sdn Bhd

The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand Social Entrepreneur of the year                             

  • YBhg Dato’ Sri Nicky Liow, Founder of Winner Dynasty Group


The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand Leadership Award

  1. YBhg Dato Ong Theng Soon, Executive Director of Binastra Land
  2. YBhg Dato’ Francis Ng Tian Sang, Chairman of Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre
  3. YBhg Dato’ Ar. Saiful Anuar Abdul Aziz, Managing Director of Arte Axis Design Group
  4. YBhg Dato’ Tan Hon Chung, Chief Executive Officer of Directd Retail and Wholesale
  5. YBhg Dato’ Hjh Tuan Hasnah Tuan Yusoff , Founder & CEO of Munawwarah Design
  6. Pok Sum Loong, Managing Director of Wirtgen (M) Sdn Bhd
  7. Ee Ching Wah, Founder & Group President of R.E.A.L Education Group
  8. Hamie Appala Nakkiah, Group Managing Director of Biforst Logistics


The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand of Distinction Award

  1. BAC: Brand Excellence in Education – Law
  2. Chek Hup: Brand Excellence in Food & Beverage – Premium Coffee
  3. Fire Fighter: Brand Excellence in Fire Fighting Solutions
  4. Inovar: Brand Excellence in Floor Solutions – Laminate Covering
  5. Jakel: Brand Excellence in Fashion – Textile and Apparel
  6. Joven: Brand Excellence in Consumer – Water Heater
  7. Lord’s Tailor: Brand Excellence in Fashion – Premium & Bespoke Suites
  8. Q-dees: Brand Excellence in Education – Pre-School
  9. Veritas: Brand Excellence in Architecture & Design Solutions
  10. Wirtgen: Brand Excellence in Industrial – Road Construction Solutions


The BrandLaureate SMEs Signature Award

  1. Ariani: BestBrands in Retail – Muslimah Fashion
  2. Biforst : BestBrands in Integrated Logistics Solutions
  3. Conspec: BestBrands in Innovation – Landscape Services & Solutions
  4. DirectD: BestBrands in e-commerce – Mobile Devices Communications
  5. Eco-Brown: BestBrands in Consumer – Brown Rice
  6. Jati: BestBrands in Consumer – Rice
  7. Koong Woh Tong: BestBrands in F&B- Traditional Chinese Supplement
  8. Lexis Hotel: BestBrands in Hospitality – Hotels & Resort
  9. Mega Fortris: BestBrands in Manufacturing – Security Seals
  10. Mutiara Teknologi: BestBrands in ICT Solutions
  11. Q-Dees: BestBrands in Education – Link & Think Methodology


The BrandLaureate SMEs Corporate Branding Award

  1. Airestec: BestBrands in Industrial-HV AC – Refrigeration Technology & Solutions
  2. Big Onion: BestBrands in Food & Beverage – Food Catering
  3. Binasat: BestBrands in Technology – Integrated Telecommunication Solutions
  4. Binastra Land: BestBrands in Property
  5. Cofreth: BestBrands in Industrial – Facilities Management
  6. Exact Engineering: BestBrands in Information Technology – Telecommunication Services & Solutions
  7. Green View Islamic School: BestBrands in Education – International Islamic Education
  8. Gribbles: BestBrands in Healthcare – Diagnostic Laboratory Services
  9. Health Lane: BestBrands in Wellness – Pharmacy
  10. I X Telecom: BestBrands in ICT- Virtual Network Operator
  11. Ken Rich: BestBrands in Manufacturing – Personal Care, Household and Industrial Solutions
  12. Nutric: BestBrands in Direct Selling – Anti- Aging /Wellness Solutions
  13. Polyseed: BestBrands in Green Advocacy
  14. Quann: BestBrands in Information Technology – Security Service Provider
  15. RC Precision BestBrands in Manufacturing – Equipment Assembly and Contract
  16. REAL Education: BestBrands in Education – Integrated Education Provider (childhood- secondary)
  17. ST Tiew Dental: BestBrands in Wellness – Oral Care Services & Solutions
  18. Stone Empire: BestBrands in Interior Design – Dimensional Stone
  19. Teong Huat: BestBrands in Healthcare – Medical Plasters & Solutions
  20. Tokai Engineering: BestBrands in Environment – Safety & Security Solutions
  21. UDPS: BestBrands in Energy – Integrated Engineering Solutions & Services


The BrandLaureate SMEs Product Branding Award

  1. Asadi: BestBrands in Fashion – Footwear
  2. AUEI: BestBrands in Education – Vocational Training
  3. Beunos: BestBrands in Lifestyle – Kitchen Wardrobe Designs
  4. CellMaxx: BestBrands in Wellness – Nutritional Supplement
  5. Children Islamic Centre: BestBrands in Education – Pre School Islamic Education
  6. e-Remit: BestBrands in e-Commerce – Digital Remittance
  7. Mediscience: BestBrands in Healthcare – Disposable Equipments & Solutions
  8. Zell – V: BestBrands in Wellness – Cellular Therapy Solutions



For more info, head over to

Photo credits: BrandLaureate and Andy Kho (

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