Rising Costs – How Can Businesses Cope?


The cost of living goes in tandem with the cost of doing business. With the current subsidy rationalisation, there is impact on businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises which contributed 32.7% of the nation’s GDP in 2012*.

Is it possible to sustain and make a profit in this current climate?

Come hear a panel of speakers discussing this issue at the upcoming edition of ETP Industry Speaks on the afternoon of 9th May 2014.

Event details
Time: 4.00pm – 5.00pm (Registration starts at 3.30pm)
Date: 9
th May 2014 (Friday)
Venue: Silver Spoon, Publika


Karunajothi Kandasamy, Senior Director of the Economics and Policy Planning Division, SME Corp., Malaysia 

Ms. K. Karunajothi is currently the Senior Director of the Economics and Policy Planning Division of SME Corporation Malaysia, a lead agency undertaking policies on SME development under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. She is on secondment from the Central Bank of Malaysia to assist in the transformation of this agency to become the Central Coordinating Agency on SME Development. Prior to this assignment, Ms. Karunajothi was attached to the Economics Department of the Central Bank for 22 years. In her capacity, Ms Karunajothi has undertaken work on a range of development issues, research on economic transformation and structural policies. She holds a Bachelor of Economics Degree (First Class Honors) from the University of Malaya.

Michael Kang, Deputy President, SMI Association of Malaysia

Michael Kang receives his Degree in Marine Engineering from the National Taiwan Ocean University in 1985.

He started his career with ARC Taiwan as Franchise Executive to setup computer franchising outlet in 1985, promote to export manager in 1987. He setup computer distributor operation in Germany and Spain in 1989. He joined Macro System as an Export manager in 1991 after return to Malaysia. A year later he move to Vantage and was appointed at the Managing Director for the period from 1992 until 2000. At the year 2000 he became the Managing Director for Kye System for five years till 2005.

He is currently an Incubator Programme Steering Committee for MOSTI, Ahli Majlis Negara bagi Keselamatan dan kesihatan Pekerjaan, Board member for PSMB and is the CEO of SMB Solutions Management Sdn Bhd and SMB Connection Sdn Bhd.

Michael Kang  is currently the National Deputy President of SMI Association of Malaysia.

Nik Shazwan Nik Azam, Managing Director, Ceriatone Amplification Sdn Bhd

Nik Shazwan is founder of CeriaTone – a high-end, boutique, hand-wired tube guitar amps that generate sophisticated sounds at affordable prices, with a cult-like following and 6,000 loyal clients in more than 70 countries worldwide.

He received a scholarship to attend Carnegie Mellon University in the United States to pursue a degree in electrical and computer engineering. Nik returned to Kuala Lumpur to develop an online portal for Telekom Malaysia’s new broadband service. He left within a year to start a technology consulting company, Ceria IT, which built custom web apps. Combining his ear for music, hands for engineering, and entrepreneurial spirit, Nik trained himself with circuit construction diagrams freely available online and began selling his own home-assembled amp circuits on eBay. With sales to over 100 clients internationally and dozens of rave reviews validating the boutique quality of his products at an attractive price point, he borrowed US$40,000 from his parents and incorporated CeriaTone in 2003.

CeriaTone has now grown to a team of 15, all trained by Nik, building 60 amplifiers on average each month. CeriaTone’s established relationships with both local and international suppliers as well as the low cost of labor in Malaysia compared with that of the United States (where most boutique amps are made), enable the company to provide high-quality products at a third of the cost. CeriaTone has developed a cult following worldwide without any advertising.

Umapagan Ampikaipakan, BFM (Moderator) 


Who Should Attend
Corporate executives, entrepreneurs, working professionals, NGOs, and interested individuals.

Admission is FREE. Seats are however limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.


Industry Speaks presented by Business Circle is a platform that aims to create dialogue between leaders and experts within a particular sector, provide an avenue for immersive discussions, and share new ideas across a range of topics. It is held regularly and open to the public. For more information on previous Industry Speaks event, click here: /section/industry-speaks/

Should you have any enquiry, please email industryspeaks.etp@gmail.com.

Please RSVP by 8th May 2014.

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