Four Brunei SMEs bag ASEAN Business Awards (2019)

President of Women’s Business Council (WBC) and founder of Rokiah Nursing Consultants and Services Datin Paduka Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Zakiah receives the Women Entrepreneur Award. PHOTOS: DARE

BY Aziz Idris

Four Brunei small and medium enterprises (SMEs) won in several categories at the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in Bangkok, Thailand last weekend.

IT start-up Nextacloud Technologies (Nextacloud) won the Most Promising Digitised MSME, online legacy planner Memori MY Sdn Bhd (Memori) won Startup and IDE (Innovation Driven Entrepreneur), Printmartz Advertising’s (Printmartz) founder Adrian Tan won the Young Entrepreneur Award, and President of Women’s Business Council (WBC) and founder of Rokiah Nursing Consultants and Services Datin Paduka Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Zakiah won the Women Entrepreneur Award.

This year’s ABA – held as part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2019 – saw 81 businesses from the regional bloc receiving awards in 11 categories.

Brunei recipients said the awards will boost their business’ recognition and inspire the country’s business community to compete internationally.

Founder and CEO of Nextacloud Agus Muslim said they hope to leverage ABA recognition to internationally expand their blood donor mobile application Bloodkad.

The application digitises donor registration and records while pushing emergency notifications.

“We received endorsement from the Ministry of Health to integrate Bloodkad into the national system, and we are targetting to expand the application regionally next year,” said the 26-year-old.

ABOVE & BELOW: Recipients during the award ceremony. PHOTOS: DARE

Nextacloud, an iCentre incubatee and a graduate of DARe’s (Darussalam Enterprise) start-up programme Accelerate, has digitalised over 30 organisations and services, including online insurance payments for Takaful Brunei, DARe’s industrial land application and a mobile application for business mentoring for Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd.

It was also featured in the 50 Success Stories of Digitalisation of ASEAN MSMEs.

Meanwhile, Memori’s founder Queenie Chong, who is also an iCentre incubatee and graduate of DARe’s Accelerate, said, “We are rolling out our Legacy Matters programme to educate the public on legacy planning as well as funeral management.

“To celebrate our (awards) milestone, we are giving a free trial of online will writing until December.”

Through Memori’s website, customers can engage with certified professionals to write their wills at less than 20 per cent of the offline market price. They also focussed on expanding their legacy planning services regionally after securing two major rounds of seed investment in the past 12 months.

Printmartz won its second ABA, having been awarded in the Most Promising category in 2017. Its founder Adrian Tan said they have expanded their shop unit in Jangsak, having previously rented an office in Kiulap for almost 20 years.

“We are honoured to receive this award as we continue to grow our business and find new ways of helping local SMEs,” said Tan.

For Datin Paduka Hajah Rokiah, receiving the award is a culmination of a lifetime’s dedication in nursing and healthcare, and as a wider endorsement of female entrepreneurship in Brunei.

“This award isn’t just for myself but for all female business owners,” said the 73-year-old who began her career as a government-employed nurse before transitioning into healthcare training and consulting after retiring.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin