SHEMSI: Striving Towards A Sustainable Future

Welcome back to an all-new Head’s Up. In this newsletter issue, we are bringing you an interview with Amarjit Kaur, Director of SHEMSI, a consulting and training firm focused on consultancy services related to sustainability implementation in organisations through the implementation of management systems and sustainability reporting.

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Announcements 

SME Digital Guidebook And Quick Guide

MDEC has launched the SME Digital Guidebook and Quick Guide for the Food & Beverages (F&B) and retail industry, providing essential guidance and information, crucial as we seek to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and set us on course towards economic recovery.

To download the digital guidebook, visit https://mdec.my/100-godigital/


By Poojalexmi,

In a pandemic teeming with conscious consumers, businesses had to reconsider sustainability as a principle key player. This would mean looking at the aspects of environment, social equity and economic progression as a whole instead as a different entity.

According to the 2021 update made by Securities Commission Malaysia (SCM) of the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (MCCG), companies should manage the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities for a sustainable growth.

ESG is a set of criteria companies need to fulfil that is often looked for by investors that are socially responsible. Quoted in a New Straits Times article, Sunway University’s Economics Professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng, said, “Non-ESG compliance will result in loss of investment opportunities with avoidance by foreign investors (investment funds) and sanctions imposed by international authorities”.

With ESG investing becoming well known, consulting and training firm SHEMSI made it their mission to aid businesses to run in a profitable and sustainable manner. They offer consultancy, training and auditing to improve their client’s business outcome by using a risk-based approach to connect client’s existing policies and management to sustainability.

SHEMSI offers consultancy services related to sustainability implementation in organisations through the implementation of management systems and sustainability reporting. They hope to work with clients who are ambitious, and help them understand and manage the impacts their activities have on the environment, economy and society. Ultimately, they strive to help clients achieve their sustainability goals.

Breaking Down Barriers

Being no stranger to barriers, SHEMSI has had their fair share of obstacles that was thrown their way. As a micro enterprise, they have always had to compete with larger, more well-known firms for business opportunities. Unfortunately, being a woman also comes with its own sets of challenges.

“I do at times sense that as a woman I have to put in more effort than my male counterparts to prove myself, in order to be fully accepted and respected, particularly whenever I work in a male dominated setting,” says Amarjit Kaur, Director of SHEMSI.

She questions if this could be partly due to the gender biasness given birth by our Asian sensibilities. Being well-accustomed to barriers, she knows the hardest part would be to challenge perceptions and stereotypes about women entrepreneurs and leaders.

On gender related challenges, she believes in tackling the issue by raising awareness on unequal opportunity between men and women. Besides that, it could also be done by promoting and supporting gender equality policies at organisational and community levels.

She adds that education on gender equality that starts from home and in schools would also serve us well especially with programmes that encourage young girls to build their confidence and self-esteem.

As the business ecosystem expands, she believes women entrepreneurs will be encouraged with a supportive environment at home and at work that will allow women to have the freedom and resources to thrive with their business.

“Women entrepreneurs would also benefit from leadership development programmes which would equip them with the necessary skills and confidence to fulfil their roles,” she says.

With Time Comes Wisdom

Being a seasoned entrepreneur, one of the lessons Amarjit has learned is to value people as her greatest asset. She believes in ensuring her employees’ wellbeing which includes mental and physical health and personal development are taken care of.

Taking failure in her stride, she sees them as a way to learn more about her weaknesses and work on areas in need of improvement.

Sustaining Sustainability

With the pandemic on the rise, lockdowns were a necessary caution. This resulted in SHEMSI losing several business opportunities. Being a business that relies on the word of mouth, they persisted by continuing to work and deliver quality services to their existing clients.

Fortunately, with industries and government policies pushing for sustainability, it created a demand for their work. Amarjit further shares that SHEMSI could use with more funding from potential investors to help them expand in terms of human resources, which will allow them to take on additional work and achieve more.

To ensure SHEMSI continues their business and meet their purpose, Malaysians could play a part by demanding for organisations and the Government to embrace sustainability.


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