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BIBD At-Tamwil: Improving lives and building businesses

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Approaching its 20th anniversary, Brunei-based finance company BIBD At-Tamwil Bhd. is stepping up efforts to increase its market share and profitability in a small market with stiff competition.

As one of only two financing companies in Brunei, BIBD At- Tamwil enjoys the healthy rivalry with Baiduri Finance. While Baiduri Finance has a larger market share as it caters to the mass market, BIBD At-Tamwil achieves higher profitability because it services a niche market.

In order to thrive in a limited market, BIBD At-Tamwil has introduced new products to improve the quality of life of Bruneians. In a pioneering project, it will soon offer car rental services, a move that addresses the country’s public transport shortage.Initially focused on car loans, BIBD At-Tamwil has diversified into the financing of heavy equipment and white goods. And as its customers are already account holders at parent company BIBD, the company is able to offer convenience to its customers.

“You need a car here. If you notice, it’s very difficult to get a taxi. We’ re hoping to build excitement and boost demand for car rentals,” said Managing Director Irwan Lamit, who also pointed out that its pay-as-you go model of financing plans to utilize Japanese-made cars.

“Our aim is to provide flexibility of renting a car and paying a fixed monthly fee without having to worry about additional issues and fees,” Lamit added.

As local agencies extend assistance to foreign investors in setting up their businesses, BIBD At-Tamwil is committed to improving the lives of its customers and contributing to the country’s objective of attracting more international business.

Reliable, strong connectivity between DST and Brunei

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Despite working in a small market the past 21 years, Brunei’s leading telecommunications provider, DST, remains strong and successful because of a continuous effort to understand its customers’ changing lifestyles and expectations.

Given the challenges of a limited market, DST formed various strategies to address demand and keep up with fast-changing consumer preferences. With access to the latest developments around the world, Bruneians, like other consumers, have become more demanding of the types of products, services and technologies.

DST CEO Suhaimi Hussain. Credit: DST

These include making large-scale investments in infrastructure and technology, while ensuring that these strategic investments provide long-term financial viability and stability.

“Expectation is high among consumers, especially because they have more international exposure and access to new technologies. We have to think clearly about what, when and how we invest, especially because consumers have changing expectations. We have to make sure that what we introduce have the right returns and we must keep up,” CEO Suhaimi Hussain said.

At the same time, DST closely communicates with its business partners to gain a clearer picture of the industry and what it can offer next. One of these partners is NEC Corp. from Japan.

“As we collaborate with experienced industry players, we are also engaging in a long-term business partner relationships that will allow us to rise to a different level, achieve our goal and meet customer demands,” Hussain said.

 Recently, DST invested in a regional telecommunications company in a bid to create more strategic partnerships.

Insurans Islam TAIB instills trust in Bruneians

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Despite the upheavals that plagued the global economy over the past two decades, Insurans Islam TAIB in Brunei has thrived in the country as it adapted to a fast-evolving industry.

A subsidiary of TAIB (Perbadanan Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei), Insurans Islam TAIB is the first financial institution in Brunei Darussalam to offer “takaful,” or Islamic insurance, and conduct its activities in accordance with Shariah law.

Insurans Islam TAIB enjoys a prominent market share in Brunei.

Fully aware that its business is built on trust, Insurans Islam TAIB has gained the confidence of its customers because of the stability and growth shown by its parent company and the country’s positive economic prospects despite a slump in global oil prices.

“Oil prices have plummeted, but there is hope that they will increase. It is our principle to try hard and not get despondent about anything,” said Managing Director Osman Jair.

Although vehicle insurance accounts for the bulk of its business, the insurance firm is unfazed because it has built up a wide clientele of commercial clients, whose numbers are rising amid a boom in entrepreneurship.

Aside from its traditional activities, Insurans Islam TAIB has also formed a financial literacy and awareness subcommittee to educate the public about insurance and risk management. It also participates in international conferences to meet other industry players and gain knowledge of new products and services that it can offer its fellow Bruneians. 

Insurans Islam TAIB’s growth has also involved investment in the latest technology. It implemented a new insurance management system that raised the efficiency of its workforce and improved customer service.

“We want to be more connected through IT and also make our staff and Bruneians understand the future of the insurance industry,” Osman Jair said.

SWEE builds solid foundations for Brunei

Sep 28, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Since it began operating in Brunei in 1967, SWEE has maintained a good track record in carrying out and completing many government projects.

The construction and engineering company, a member of the Goldentree Group of Companies, has built some of the country’s most important structures such as pipeline

The iconic Sungai Kebun Bridge in Brunei was built by SWEE and its joint venture partner DAELIM. Credit: SWEE

projects, water reservoirs and treatment plants, the Brunei National Stadium and the Royal Pavilion and Hangar.

In the last few years, SWEE has also participated in significant projects such as rehabilitating the airfield pavement at the Brunei International Airport, upgrading the storage reservoir of the Mengkubau Dam and widening the Jalan Residency.

“Brunei’s private sector development is considerably small, so most large-scale projects involve government funding. The government played a huge role by establishing a flexible regulatory framework that encourages collaboration between the community and international firms,” Chairman John Toh said.

Most of SWEE’s projects are collaborations with the Brunei government, with whom it has a strong, long-standing relationship. Through joint ventures with international companies, SWEE has taken part in larger scale projects such as the Temburong Bridge and Sungai Kebun Bridge.                              

“As a policy of the company, we make sure to finish our projects on time. This has given us a very good reputation with the Brunei government,” said Toh, who is grateful for and proud of the opportunities granted by the government to take part in its infrastructure projects.

For nearly 50 years, SWEE has participated in projects that have improved the business

environment and provided more convenience to Bruneians, all of which have provided it with in-depth knowledge of Brunei, its unique culture and its people.

Also, it prioritizes local manpower in its hiring process and provides training to them throughout the entire project.

“To fully understand the market, you need patience to understand their current conditions and needs. So, we see ourselves as part of the community,” Toh stressed.

Brunei 2016 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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