10 December 2018

Alliance Bank Announces Winners of BizSmart Challenge 2018 During Live Televised Event

Press Release
10 December 2018

Alliance Bank Announces Winners of BizSmart Challenge 2018 During Live Televised Event

Press Release

Kuala Lumpur, 10 December 2018 – Ms. Mandy Leong, founder and owner of Chriszen Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., was named the grand prize winner of this year’s BizSmart Challenge 2018 during a live televised event at Eco Majestic Semenyih, Selangor, on 8 December 2018. The BizSmart Challenge 2018, the first reality TV programme in Malaysia by a financial institution, was organised by Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad in collaboration with EcoWorld Development Group.

As grand prize winner, Chriszen, a local beauty and skincare brand, won the RM250,000 cash. The brand also clinched one of the category awards, the Astro Media Award, which was a media coverage prize worth RM200,000.

The first and second runner-ups for BizSmart Challenge 2018 were Klezcar, a car rental service company, and OhMostWanted, cosmeceutical brand that combines cosmetics and pharmaceutical properties. Each brand won RM200,000 and RM150,000 cash respectively.

The Manulife Sustainability Award was awarded to Homegrown Farms Semenyih, a sustainable farming service provider, while IGL Coatings, which produces high quality, eco-friendly cleaning and protection products for cars, household and industrial use, took home the Visa Retail Award. Each brand won RM100,000 cash.

Alliance Bank’s Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Joel Kornreich said, “We were impressed by the tenacity and practical ideas demonstrated by our finalists every week during the Challenge. Their passion for their brand, entrepreneurial spirit, and strategic skills will serve them well.”

Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Chairman of Eco World Development Group Bhd added, “All our finalists demonstrated great passion in what they do. This is amazing to watch as it demonstrates strength, determination and purposefulness in the tactics used to grow their business by these aspiring young entrepreneurs.”

The BizSmart Challenge is Alliance Bank’s flagship programme that helps SMEs take their business to the next level with business training, coaching, mentoring, and networking. Since its launch in 2013, the Bank has received over 1,300 submissions from SMEs nationwide.

In additional to the cash and media coverage prizes totaling RM1 million, the Bank also extends up to RM5 million in collateral-free financing to the Top 20 finalists of this year’s Challenge. “We believe that this facility will greatly help our finalists develop their business,” added Mr. Kornreich.

In support of this year’s BizSmart Challenge, a few alumni of the programme returned as Advisors to the Top 12. They are Ms. Christy Ng, Founder of Christy Ng Shoese, Mr. Branden Kuan, Founder of NutriBrownRice, Ms. Amy Zheng, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amazin’ Graze, Ms. Beh Lee Yen, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Happy Bunch. Other Advisors of the BizSmart Challenge include En. Azran Osman-Rani, Chief Executive Officer of Naluri Hidup, and Puan Fozia Amanulla, Chief Business Development Officer of Alliance Bank.

This is the fifth year of the BizSmart Challenge, which is open to Malaysian SMEs that have been in operations for up to five years. This year, the Bank received over 400 submissions from interested SMEs nationwide. Of these, 20 were shortlisted to undergo structured business coaching, and joined in the mentoring sessions and networking opportunities. Later, 12 finalists were selected to be featured in the 7-episode series which has been on air on Astro Awani and AXN Asia since early October 2018.

This year’s BizSmart Challenge reality TV programme is supported by co-partner EcoWorld Development Group Bhd. Other partners include BFM 89.9 - The Business Station, Visa Malaysia, Manulife Insurance Berhad, and Astro Malaysia.

Past episodes of the BizSmart Challenge and further details can be found at www.alliancebank.com.my/BizSmart.

Celebrating the Top 3 winners in a snapshot. (From left to right) En. Malek Ali, Founder and Managing Director of BFM 89.9; Mr. Joel Kornreich, Group CEO of Alliance Bank; second runner up, Puan Noor Diyana of Oh Most Wanted; Grand Prize Winner, Ms. Mandy Leong of Chriszen; first runner-up, En. Muhammad Shahril bin Sidek of KLezcar; Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Chairman of Eco World Development Berhad, and Mr. Ernest Kwong, Head of Group SME of Alliance Bank.

One for the books! Top 3 Winners are joined by hosts, Top 12 finalists, guests, and judges on stage. (Left to right) Mr. Jason Lim (far left), Chief Marketing Officer of Manulife Insurance Berhad; Second runner up Puan Noor Diyana (seventh from left) of Oh Most Wanted, Mr. Joel Kornreich (ninth from left), Group CEO of Alliance Bank; Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin (middle), Chairman of Eco World Development Berhad; Grand prize Winner Ms. Mandy Leong of Chriszen; Mr. Ernest Kwong, Head of Group SME, Alliance Bank; first runner-up Muhammad Shahril bin Sidek of KLezcar; Mr. Jason Phua, Head of Business Development, Visa Malaysia; En. Malek Ali, Founder and Managing Director of BFM 89.9; Ms. Freda Liu, Programme Host of BizSmart Challenge 2018; En. Suhaimi Sulaiman, Group Editor-in-Chief, Astro Awani, and En. Luqman Hariz (second from right), Programme Host of BizSmart Challenge.

BizSmart Challenge 2018 Top 12 finalists flanked by En. Malek Ali, Founder and Managing Director of BFM 89.9; Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin (sixth from left), Chairman of Eco World Development Berhad; Mr. Joel Kornreich (second from right), Group CEO of Alliance Bank; and Mr. Ernest Kwong, Head of Group SME, Alliance Bank.

About Alliance Islamic Bank Berhad

Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad and its subsidiaries, Alliance Investment Bank Berhad and Alliance Islamic Bank Berhad, is a dynamic, integrated financial services group offering banking and financial solutions through its consumer banking, SME banking, corporate and commercial banking, Islamic banking, investment banking and stockbroking businesses. The Group provides easy access to its broad base of customers throughout the country via multi-pronged delivery channels which include retail branches, Privilege Banking Centres, Islamic Banking Centres, Business Centres, and Investment Bank branches, as well as mobile and Internet banking.

About Eco World Development Group Berhad (EcoWorld Malaysia)

EcoWorld Malaysia is a public listed Malaysian company involved mainly in property development. Currently, EcoWorld Malaysia has a presence in the Klang Valley, Iskandar Malaysia and Penang where it is developing 20 projects over approximately 8,126.4 acres of land with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM87.5 billion. Its product range includes affordable, upgrader and luxury homes, integrated high-rise developments and green business parks. Through Eco World International Berhad (EcoWorld International), the brand has also extended its reach to the United Kingdom and Australia.

In 2017 and 2016, EcoWorld Malaysia was honoured to be one of the Top 10 Developers at The Edge Malaysia Property Excellence Awards and also proud to be named ‘Best of the Best Employers - Malaysia’ in AON’s Best Employer Studies.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Agnes Ong

Vice President, Group Communications
Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad
E-mail: agnesong@alliancefg.com
Mobile: +03-2604 3378/ +6012-672 4245

Ms. Diana Chin

Group Head,
Communication EcoWorld
Email: diana.chin@ecoworld.my
Mobile: +603-3344 2552/ +6012-234 0159