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Frequently Asked Questions



The Star Outstanding Business Awards 2020 is established to promote excellence and stimulate positive competition, showcasing achievements attained by outstanding businesses. In addition, SOBA 2020 aims to:

  • To recognise the role and contributions of outstanding local businesses towards the nation and the economy;
  • To motivate and inspire home-grown businesses to aim for productivity thus excellence in their products and services;
  • To celebrate and highlight the achievements of local enterprises that have contributed to the growth of the community; and
  • To inspire and encourage local businesses to promote Malaysia and showcase its products and services to the world.




SOBA is unique because the awards are not sectoral in nature and SOBA has unearthed credible trailblazers in the Malaysian business community for the past 11 years.

Since inception, 450 awards have been presented till date and SOBA has been meticulous in selecting their awardees every year. Particular attention will be given to local businesses that export their products or services, as they help to promote Malaysia as a global centre of commercial excellence. It is envisaged that those who are awarded The Star Outstanding Business Awards 2019 are looking towards listing on Bursa Malaysia in the not too distant future.





The awards are further sub-categorised into companies that have sales turnover of up to or above RM25 million respectively. This is to recognise the achievements of upcoming small-medium businesses and start-ups as they compete on a level playing field in the awards.

There are twelve (12) awards in two (2) broad categories, but you may apply for more than one category.

Top-Of-The-Class Awards (up to RM25mil turnover & above RM25mil turnover)

  • Best in Marketing
  • Best Brand
  • Best in CSR
  • Best Green Initiative
  • Best Employer
  • Best Innovation
  • Best in Retail
  • Best in Customer Service
  • Best Use of Technology

Outstanding Achievement Awards

  • Rising Star
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (Male / Female / Young )
  • Malaysian Business of the Year *




In addition to the existing SOBA Awards, this year we are introducing 2 new categories namely, Best in Customer Service, which will recognise companies providing exemplary services to their clients and Best in Retail will acknowledge and promote inspiring and innovative retailers across the country. These award categories have been tailored to portray the feel of the current times and trends, and will ultimately represent the proud achievements of outstanding companies.

Keeping pace with the current times and trends, SOBA has progressed to introduce “Online” submission in addition to the Manual submission. This effort bodes well especially for businesses which are out of Klang Valley.





In order to qualify as an applicant for any of the award categories listed except for the Rising Star Award, local enterprises must meet the following requirements:

  • Not part of a multinational group;
  • Not part of a listed group;
  • A company duly incorporated in Malaysia in accordance with the Companies Act, 1965;
  • Foreign equity holding does not exceed 50%;
  • Company has not submitted any proposal for initial public offering (IPO) up to the closing date of SOBA 2020 which is 4th December 2020.
  • Must submit audited financial statements for past three (3) consecutive financial years; and
  • Companies that have won the Platinum Award three years in a row in the same category shall observe a one-year cooling off period before applying for that category again




In order to qualify as a candidate for the Rising Star Award, local companies must meet the following requirements:

  • Not part of a multinational group or listed group;
  • Not part of a listed group;
  • A company duly incorporated in Malaysia in accordance with the Companies Act, 1965;
  • Foreign equity holding does not exceed 50%;
  • Must submit latest audited financial statement or management accounts
  • Have been in operations for less than three (3) years and
  • Past winners of Rising Star are not eligible to apply




Eligibility Requirements for Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Male/ Female
  • He/ She must be a Malaysian citizen running the company
  • Individual must be an owner / largest shareholder who is mainly responsible for the recent performance of the company, that is at least three (3) years old
  • Past winner of Entrepreneur of the Year (Male/ Female category) shall observe a one - year cooling off period before applying for the same category
  • He/ She must be at the age of above 35 by 4th December 2020

Eligibility Requirements for Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Young
  • Individual must be a Malaysian citizen running the company
  • Individual must be an owner / major shareholder who is mainly responsible for the recent performance of the company that is at least three (3) years old
  • Past winner of Entrepreneur of the Year (Young) is not eligible to reapply for the sub-category but may apply for the Entrepreneur of the Year (Male or Female ) subcategory if the requirements below are met.
  • Individual must be at the age of 35 and below by 4th December 2020




The Malaysian Business of the Year award is the pinnacle award of SOBA. There will be two winners - one of it is a company having sales turnover of up to 25 million and the second, company with sales turnover of above 25 million.

This prestigious award is awarded to the local companies which have received high ratings in the other award categories and is generally the best in the market with an exemplary track record in most areas.





Panel of judges is made up of representatives from Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), Branding Association of Malaysia (BAM), The Federation of Malaysia Chinese Commerce Association (FEMACCA), Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Malaysia Entrepreneurs' Development Association (PUMM), SME Association Malaysia, Outstanding Entrepreneurs (OE), JCI Malaysia, Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Malaysia KL (DPMM KL), PIKOM, Malaysian Digital Association (MDA), ASEAN Retail-Chains & Franchise Federation (ARFF) and SME Corporation Malaysia.




Presentation to the judges is not required. There won’t be any site visits by the judges as well. Evaluations are based on the guidelines submitted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to address all areas to show why they deserve to win in the respective categories.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications through Online and they are able to include a video clip of their company’s profile or milestone to support their application.

Online Submission




Final entries submission ends on 4th December 2020




Judges are selected from our Strategic partners and are highly reputable business savvy figures or who are esteemed individuals held in high regard. The judges are grouped into several panels to ensure there is an avenue for cross-checking and sharing of views to moderate discussions. Further information : Judging of Entries





You can collect a copy of the submission pack from The Star Events Business Unit at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Alternatively, call +603 7967 1388 ext 1871 (Lily)/ 1039 (Poh Ern)/ 1104 (Shamenei) Mon – Fri, 9am – 5.30pm for information and assistance.

OR

Please visit The Star Outstanding Business Awards microsite at www.soba.com.my




There is a non-refundable processing fee of RM1,000/= for companies with sales turnover above RM25 million and RM800/= for companies with sales turnover up to RM25 million for each award category application. Payment medium is only via Online Transfer or Cash Deposit, payable to STAR MEDIA GROUP BERHAD Bank details :

Account name: STAR MEDIA GROUP BERHAD
Account number: 3077462323
Bank name: Public Bank Berhad




There are no other fees besides the application fee. Star will be selling tables and its related marketing purchases for an example Supplement Kit and others. It is optional to purchase the dinner tables but participants are encouraged to purchase tables to show support in the event the company wins.

Participants also have the option to take up ad space in SOBA supplements. The supplement will be distributed at the Awards Night ceremony. There will be a post Award Night supplement as well. Both supplements will be printed and circulated digitally in the National Edition of The Star newspaper and online portals.





The Awards Night will be on March 2021. Venue and date will be disclosed closer to the date.





Results will only be announced on the Awards Night ceremony itself. The Organiser will not be releasing anything prior to the Awards Night. All participants are encouraged to be present at the Awards Night ceremony.





For the Categories:

: Top-Of-The-Class Awards – Platinum, Gold and Silver per category

: Outstanding Achievement Awards – A Grand Winner per category

Prizes will be accorded based on two tiers :

  • Up to RM25m turnover
  • Above RM25m turnover

*Prizes may vary according to Judges recommendations





All Winners stand to win the following:

  • Free editorial publicity in SMEBiz pullout / MetroBiz section, The Star & Star Online platform

Top-of-the-Class Awards

Platinum winners : RM 50,000 worth of ad space ( print & online)

Gold winners : RM 30,000 worth of ad space ( print & online)

Silver winners : RM 20,000 worth of ad space ( print & online)

Outstanding Achievement Awards

Grand Winners : RM 50,000 worth of ad space ( print & online)

  • Preferential rates for additional ads in The Star carrying the SOBA logo
  • Coveted trophy at the Awards Night
  • Use of SOBA logo/monogram on corporate and A&P collaterals
  • Exposure through publicity (print and online)
  • Opportunity to attend and speak at special workshops/talks aimed at helping companies grow and move forward
  • Free 3 months dimsum subscription for all employees in the company





For all FINALISTS

  • Free 2 months dimsum subscription for all employees in the company
  • *Note: Terms and conditions apply. The free subscription will be given based on the email provided by the company.

For all PARTICIPANTS

  • Certificate of Merit
  • One Complimentary seat (for company CEO/Head of Co.) at the Awards Night
  • Opportunity to self check, network with key business professionals and the business fraternity
  • 1-year free digital access to The Star e-paper and 4 regional e-papers ( The Jakarta Post, The Nation, The Philippine Daily Inquiry and China Daily Asia Weekly) upon submission of SOBA 2020.





All decisions made by the Organiser shall be final and binding.





Yes, all submissions are kept confidential in a safeguarded place and privy to the Organiser. The submissions will only be used during judging sessions.

Enquiries : +603 7967 1388
ext 1871 (Lily)
1039 (Poh Ern)
1104 (Shamenei)


Contact Us

Star Media Group
c/o The Star Events Business Unit,
Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11,
46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

For enquiries, please email:
soba@thestar.com.my

03-7967 1388 ext 1871 / 1039 / 1104

(Mon - Fri, 9.00am - 5.30pm)