Firms told to move out of comfort zone, venture into new industries

Posted on  07/11/2012  |  Media Centre

Industry and Primary Resources Minister YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar (R) and CEO of Baiduri Bank Pierre Imhof. Picture: BT/ Leo Kasim

Leo Kasim

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BUSINESSES must tap into emerging or new industries to achieve breakthrough growth, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) said yesterday.

In his speech during the Local Business Development Forum entitled “Creating Breakthrough Growth” at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said that businesses must move out of their comfort zone and make radical business decisions to avoid being trapped in “organisational pathologies”, which he defined as being “trapped inside their own comfortable market position”.

“We must always be open, responsive and prepared to make hard decisions to venture into novel, emerging as well as pioneering business activities,” he said.

He cited opportunities in halal and “alternative tourism” as among those that could provide the platform for breakthrough growth for the Sultanate’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), saying both are emerging industries.

Later, in a dialogue moderated by Baiduri Bank Chief Executive Officer Pierre Imhof, the minister explained that Brunei’s halal certification process is respected in the global halal industry.

“Our certification of halal is quite stringent and involves a lot in terms of processes and costs,” he noted.

“People are happy to accept our accreditation of our halal brand, because they know it comes from Brunei and that is the only (halal) certification done by government entities. Whereas in other countries, they are outsourced or are being done by the private sector, so these tend to compromise on the quality of the accreditation,” he said.

In a question-and-answer session, meanwhile, the minister said “alternative tourism”, as opposed to mass tourism, was an industry that entrepreneurs could explore.

“We cannot compete against countries such as Thailand or Indonesia when it comes to mass tourism, so we really have to market ourselves differently,” he said.

“We label ourselves as (offering) alternative tourism, in which we offer tourism products that are not offered in other countries.”

He said that Brunei could differentiate itself from other countries by giving tourists an experience that would be “enriching to individuals (both) spiritually and physically”.

Businesses, he added, needed to create a space for themselves where competitors are not present.

The Brunei Times