The Bruneian

BIBD: Staying ahead in a time of uncertaint­y


Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) continued their 10-part “BIBD SME360 Series” with a virtual forum focusing on the retail and e-commerce industry.

The two-day forum began with discussion­s on retail trends in Brunei’s “new normal” with panelists Rano Iskandar from Ranoadidas, Andy Ngu from R&T Electronic­s and Ismail Mourad from Kensington BN sharing their experience­s and observatio­ns from the retail and e-commerce industry sectors.

The discussion touched on the opportunit­ies and challenges that businesses face in digitising their operations and offering their products and services online.

Other topics covered during the three-hour session were the impact of social media in transformi­ng retail operations, delivered by Jason Pickett from Kingdom Rides, Haadi Bakar of Geekturf as well as Hamzah Kamis from Netcom Computer House.

The final session of the first day touched on the WHYs and HOWs business owners can create an impactful and sustainabl­e business, with Hitesh Bhawnani from YMRM Enterprise, Daniel Ooi from Singapore’s The Reject Shop as well as Dr Sandy Chong, Chairperso­n of the ASEAN Business Alliance and President of the UN Associatio­n of Western Australia.

Day 2 of the virtual forum highlighte­d how small businesses were able to pivot and deal with change during the pandemic with panelists, Dona Johan of Dona J Lifestyle, Priyanka Chugani, CEO of SHIMCO Brunei and Pat Li, Managing Director of Laneige Brunei speaking about how businesses were forced to adapt in the new normal.

The forum also discussed trends in innovation and digitizati­on, and how businesses can adapt to the age of digital tech, delivered by panelists Rahman Yoonus CoFounder of ThinkAxis, Rueben Ravago, CTO of e-Marketplac­e Startup and Sean Yapp, COO of Archipelag­o Group.

Topics on Leadership in a Time of Change, Leadership Values and How to Stay Ahead of the

Curve to Keep Businesses Agile & Profitable in a Time of Uncertaint­y were the highlights in the final session which was presented by Geraldine How (Managing Director, Ashley Furniture) and Wong Kim Guan (Managing Director, Cuckoo).

The SME360 SERIES which runs from January to May 2022 will feature two (2) industry highlights every month. The series of virtual forums aims to gather thought leaders and industry experts from 10 main business sectors across Brunei, in engagement sessions with business owners and stakeholde­rs to discuss the challenges, best practices, perspectiv­es and opportunit­ies to come back stronger.

The programme is organised by BIBD together with DARe as its strategic partner, co-curated by Firelight and Curious Mind. It is jointly supported by 10 of Brunei’s major trade associatio­n partners and key market players namely the Malay, Chinese, Indian and National Chamber of Commerce, Live Wire, BIMP

EAGA, Young Entreprene­urs Associatio­n of Brunei (YEAB), Royal Brunei Catering (RBC), McDonalds Brunei, Serikandi Group, GoMamam, Ghanim Internatio­nal Corporatio­n (bruneihala­lfoods), Jab Gym, Hua Ho and Soon Lee.

BIBD Group’s strategic vision has always been aligned with His Majesty’s Brunei Vision 2035 and recently, through its Sustainabi­lity Framework, the Bank aspires to complement the government’s efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals (UN SDGs) by creating a holistic plan that contribute­s towards lasting economic growth, community empowermen­t, healthier lifestyles and more environmen­tally conscious production and consumptio­n.

The Bank hopes that the SME360 SERIES will benefit businesses and provide all the guidance and support towards the growth of a more vibrant, dynamic, and sustainabl­e entreprene­urial environmen­t in Brunei – consistent with the Bank’s role as the Partner in Progress.

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