With the economic challenges currently faced by Brunei’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the upcoming Local Business Development (LBD) Forum’s focus on building business resilience is a pertinent one.
This was highlighted by Pierre Imhof, the CEO of Baiduri Bank, during an interview with the Bulletin on the upcoming event, for which the bank is a major partner.
Explaining the bank’s participation in the LBD Forum with organisers Asia Inc Forum, he said, “First of all is a historical reason; we have been partnering with Asia Inc Forum for this event on a yearly basis for about 10 years.
“So we feel that it is a good way for us to contribute to the life of businesses in Brunei and to contribute to an event which is directly related to the major component of businesses operated in the private sector.
“This forum, year after year – and this year is no exception, targets SMEs and it is therefore, for us, perfectly relevant to be the major partner in an event which is related to the bulk of our corporate clients,” the CEO said.
He further explained that Baiduri has strong activity in corporate banking.
“Within corporate banking, the bulk of our clients and involvement is in SMEs. With Brunei being a smaller market, a large part of the private sector is made up of businesses which are totally corresponding to the criteria defining SMEs.”
Another reason he shared is that the bank believes that SMEs in Brunei need advice and support, adding that the establishment of more bridges and communication between businesses and the bank definitely help them to grow their business and to understand each other’s needs.
“Therefore, such forums are definitely the right platform to communicate better with the SMEs, understand their needs and how to support them.”
The LBD Forum’s theme is ‘Building Resilient SMEs: Strategies for Business Transformation’. When asked for his thoughts, Imhof commented that it is indeed pertinent to Bruneian businesses.
It is especially pertinent, he said, for businesses that are directly or indirectly affected by the current low global oil prices.
“A seminar which may better inform SMEs on how to handle such periods where the business is no good and how to survive, to be able to keep their business, to develop new business and to adjust the level of their costs to avoid losing money is something that is extremely timely and useful,” he added.
The upcoming LBD Forum will have discussions focused on how people can build resilient businesses that could withstand challenges, while also looking at developing the ability of businesses to survive and proactively adapt.
Set to appear at the forum are local and foreign business leaders who will share their inspiring and insightful views on how they build their businesses as well as how to overcome their challenges amidst such an environment.
Dato’ David Cheang, the founder and CEO of property development company DC13 Development Pte Ltd in Singapore, will be the featured guest speaker at the event, and he will also be discussing the topic ‘Recovering from Failure: A Case Study in Reinvention and Transformation’.
He will then take part in a question-and-answer session moderated by Shaun Hoon, the Editor of Inspire Magazine.
An open forum discussion on ‘Starting, Building and Sustaining a Business: the ABCs of Business Transformation’ will also be held with a panel comprising ShaifulAiefDatoPaduka Haji Abdul Razak, the CEO of CIC Environmental Services SdnBhd; Ambrose Nathan, Managing Director of Bizadvice; Dr. Peter Ting, the Chief of Co-Creation Group, Malaysia, and Irene Hii, the Managing Director of Valor Property Agency.
Dato Timothy Ong, the Chairman of Asia Inc Forum, will be moderating the session.The LBD Forum will take place at the Radisson Hotel on August 11.
It is an invitation-only event, but those who wish to register their interests can do so via e-mail at email@example.com or by visiting the event website at www.asiaincforum.com.