Firms are positive? Good. Hire more and Higher Pay? :)

Original article in TheSundaily here. Firms upbeat on outlook for next six months, RAM Rating index shows Briefly, RAM Business Confidence Index (RAM) showed some numbers which indicated that the corporates are confident; positive sentiment for the next 6 months. It shared that the corporate segments are showing a stronger sentiment comparedto the SMEs probably because of their economies of scale, operational flexibility, client bases and bargaining power to ride through short-term economic vagaries.  (Frankly, I do not think so. I think SMEs, especially the good ones are able to steer through this even better and this is also the time these SMEs become bigger. As for corporates, the below average ones may fare much worse because they are much bigger and will take more time to adjust when slow time suddenly descends)

Then again, perhaps the survey covers a huge number of SMEs.  RAM also shared that export-oriented firms are more bullish than their domestic-centric counterparts.  (This one I am quite sure because one listed technology company I know with a huge portion of their business for export has just brought all their staffs to Europe for their company trip, their best so far for the past few years amidst the slowdown? )  Anyway, while the study showed that the SMEs are not that positive but SMEs are still optimistic with business expansion as well as hiring for the Despite the poorer performance outlook, SME respondents still expressed optimism on business expansion (55.8) and hiring sentiment (56.3) in the next two quarters. RAM concluded the article saying, “This is perhaps a welcome indication that the momentum of economic recovery in Malaysia has an element of sustainability. This is especially so when firms have continued to express intentions to expand capacities and keep up hiring as well as capital investments.” (Let’s just say I am cautiously optimistic? Haha… Favourite term for analysts…)

I am currently managing a SME group of companies. We are ‘fighting’ everyday for that opportunity to join the corporates. To be bigger and thus having more resources. Yet, competition is really tough because other SMEs and even corporates with much more resources are also vying for business within the same space. What this tells me is that the pie (business opportunity) is still big enough. That is the reason why many SMEs still have bits, pieces and even slices of that pie. Perhaps this is why SMEs are still hiring and still looking to expand further. It means I have better be working even harder. Haha. Okay, any corporates reading this who wants to have a cup of coffee with me, do let me know yeah. In the meantime, gambate to all of us here in Malaysia. Cheers.

written on 3 Oct 2017

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