Asia Inc sets sights on nurturing SMEs

Posted on  03/11/2012  |  Media Centre

Dr Peter Ting of the USCI Blue Ocean Strategy Regional Centre speaks during an Asia Inc workshop in July this year. Picture: Courtesy of Asia Inc Forum


Saturday, November 3, 2012

ASIA Inc Forum said yesterday that it has its sights firmly set on nurturing the growth of Brunei’s small and medium enterprises in light of the upcoming Local Business Development (LBD) Forum on November 6th.

Themed “Creating Breakthrough Growth”, the LBD Program aims to continuously nurture the development of Brunei SMEs by assisting them to develop and grow their businesses through quality learning and the building of relationships with their peers in business and other relevant organisations, Asia Inc said in a statement yesterday.

Asia Inc Forum programs manager Delwin Keasberry said it is imperative that Brunei’s SMEs understand their potential for growth “beyond survival”.

“Growing a business presents a group of challenges for entrepreneurs and business owners. There is the challenge of scalability, human resource, quality, sustainability and so on. Most businesses, dependent on the stage of growth, experience the same or very similar kind of challenges when it comes to growing their enterprises.

“We believe that it is critical for small and medium enterprises to understand and manage their growth possibilities and to focus beyond survival,” Keasberry said in the statement.

“Asia Inc Forum has undertaken various workshops, seminars and forums for SMEs focusing on, amongst others, the areas of marketing, branding, human resources and customer service. We have seen many SMEs benefit from this training and exposure, but we still too often sense a lack of energy in the SME sector.

“Together with our partners, we are hungry to see innovative SMEs apply fresh thinking, design new products and services here in Brunei and to create products that buyers really want. Many small businesses feel that they are too small to have an impact on the market and so resort to playing it safe in the words of Seth Godin, they ‘pick the fruit that’s already grown instead of planting their own seeds”‘, Keasberry said.

Dato Paduka Awang Hj Ali Hj Apong, Deputy Ministry at the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of the Brunei Economic Development Board said during the LBD Forum in 2011 that “the scope of growth of our businesses should not be limited to the local environment”.

“They must be brave enough to take a bold step forward towards venturing and bringing their products and services into overseas market and achieve significant success to be on par with regional or international players within their respective industries,” the deputy minister was quoted as saying. “Our businesses have to be internationally competent and they must not be complacent with what they have already achieved. Being innovative can be the key to their success but it eventually comes down to the bottom line and that is the true ability to progress and grow towards a sustainable path.”

Asia Inc said the forum will provide participants with the opportunity to assess and rethink their current business strategies through a dialogue with Dr Peter Ting, a Blue Ocean guru.

The Local Business Development Forum is organised in partnership with Baiduri Bank, the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Microsoft, Indramas and SKSWood. It will take place on November 6 at The Empire Hotel & Country Club and is expected to bring together 80 to 100 local entrepreneurs.

Interested parties may contact Fatin Arifin at 2226555 or for more information. The Brunei Times