The topic of building a resilient business will take centre stage as the Local Business Development (LBD) Forum takes place at the Radisson Hotel today.
Organised by Asia Inc Forum with major partner Baiduri Bank, this year’s edition of the annual event carries the theme, “Building Resilient SMEs: Strategies for Business Transformation”.
A number of local and foreign business leaders will be sharing their insights and views on how they build their businesses and overcome obstacles in a challenging business environment.
The featured guest speaker at the event is Dato David Cheang, the Founder and CEO of property development company DC 13 Development Pte Ltd in Singapore.
Speaking in an interview with the Bulletin yesterday in the lead-up to the event, Dato Cheang said that he will be sharing with attendees the various challenges he faced over the years and how he overcame them.
“I had to deal with my parents’ debts because I was the personal guarantor. It was really tough, a fact that was hard to accept. I had to overcome millions of dollars of debt. The debt didn’t come from my own failure in my business,” he said.
His story is one of a comeback; after having to deal with bankruptcy and this great debt, he has managed to have an immensely illustrious career in property and real estate that spans over a decade.
Asked if he had any wise words he could share for businesses with regard to overcoming adversity, he said, “Having a positive mindset and attitude is very important.”
“I think first of all, having a vision is important and breaking it down into smaller goals. You also have to be realistic to the extent where you can achieve it if you work hard.”
He also highlighted the importance of learning and getting a helping hand from “people who have been there and done that”. All this, he said, can help businesses overcome obstacles.
Asked if he had any advice for budding entrepreneurs and startups in Brunei, he said, “First of all, never ever give up. Have hope. Dream big. What is also important is to be daring.”
“I say never give up because, as new startups and young entrepreneurs, I am sure they will face a lot of setbacks and failures, so the most important thing is to stay focused and not give up on whatever you do and whatever you have set your eye on, which is the vision; the goal.”
“Regardless of the obstacles that you face, and although you may have doubts and start asking yourself, ‘am I doing the right thing?’, you just have to push it further – give yourself that additional push.”
He also spoke on the importance of being “daring enough” to take an opportunity and see it through.
“Many times opportunity is right in front of you, but because sometimes even as young entrepreneurs we tend to weigh the pros and cons, do a lot of feasibility studies, consider this, consider that – sometimes by the time you’ve decided, the opportunity is gone.”
At today’s forum, Dato Cheang will be discussing the topic, “Recovering from Failure: A case study in Re-invention and Transformation”.
The event will also feature an open discussion on “Starting, Building and Sustaining a Business: The ABCs of Business Transformation”, which will be moderated by the Chairman of Asia Inc Forum, Dato Timothy Ong.
This session will feature a distinguished panel comprising Shaiful Arief Dato Paduka bin Haji Abdul Razak, CEO of CIC Environmental Services Sdn Bhd; Ambrose Nathan, the Managing Director of Bizadvice; Dr. Peter Ting, Chief Co-Creation Group, Malaysia; and Irene Hii, Managing Director of Valor Property Agency.