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 Co-Founder 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.

This article was first published on 29 January 2022 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 178 | 


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