Learning about Branding at the Local Business Development Forum

I attended the Local Business Development Forum at the Grand Hall of Empire Hotel and Country Club on the 18th November 2010.

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The links to the slides were given to the participants, and since it was made available on the AsiaIncForum Website, I assumed it would be OK for me to upload it to scribd and embed it into SMEbrunei. Unfortunately, the presentation on Branding by Dr. Wilson Chew was not made available. I’ll go through my notes and share them.

Dr Wilson Chew’s presentation on how branding is not just applicable to big corporations, but can also be done by Micro and SME’s. Considering that all big corporations started from SME’s themselves. He further pointed out in rebuttal of a previous discussion on Public Private Partnership is not essential, it only matters that SME’s “Just Move”. His presentation on branding reminded me of a book entitled Origin of the Brand. His 10 Rules of Branding were:

  1. Perception is Reality – Brands are only in people’s minds, and often in terms of those brands logo. and most people remember brand logos very well.
  2. The power of being the first – People remember the first president, the first man on the moon, but rarely remember those that came after thme.
  3. Create a new category – So if you are not the first, you can become the first in a new category. People will remember Barack Obama as the first Black President (should I say coloured?)
  4. Narrow you Focus – Specialization by sacrificing vestigial or unnecessary products will help in focusing your main successful product. E.g. Nokia was originally in almost every electronic equipment, but they prospered when they focused on Mobile Phones.
  5. Differentiate your Brand- Make your Brand different from others out there. Show off what makes it unique or better than the competitors.
  6. Build your brand with PR – PR or Public Relations or Advertisers help SME’s profit by building awareness of the brand.
  7. The power of a great name – brand names should be short, unique, memorable, easy o pronounce and English sounding.
  8. Be absolutely Consistent – do not stray into other categories, as Mercedes had once ventured from luxury cars and into commercial transport (Busess, Trucks, etc) their reputation never really recovered.
  9. You need an Archenemy – Cocal Cola has Pepsi, Adidas Has Nike. Competition between the 1st and 2nd often create free publicity through discussion and debates.
  10. Sometimes you need a 2nd brand – if you are to venture into other categories, create another brand. Toyota tried and failed getting into the Luxury Car segment, but they succeeded when they created another brand in Lexus.

The Brunei Economy by Doctor Roger

MNCs or SMEs: Perspective from Singapore by Professor Tan Kim Song, Singapore Management University

STEP Centre’s BEST Awards 2009/2010

On the 1st of December 2010, The Science, Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre between BSP and MOE held the Prize Presentation for the Brunei Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Awards for 2009/2010 at Bridex.

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The projects are actually Research and Development in nature, but most of the project have some commercial value. The Secondary Schools and Tertiary Schools (Form 6 and Vocational/Technical). The schools consists of St. George, Chung Hwa, Chung Hua, Chung Ching, Sekolah Menengah Masin, STPRI, Sufri Bolkiah, SMSO, MD, MS and MTSSR. I found that in most cases, that these students were doing projects that were well beyond their syllabus. In a few there were students doing University Level projects. I would know, I took Chemistry in UBD. Of course these students had helped from MIPR, Agricultural Centre, MOH, BSP and UBD. But I was still impressed.

The judges consisted of officers and staff from  MIPR Agriculture Department, BSP, LiveWIRE and MOE.

The projects consisted of Research in Agriculture, uses of Natural Pesticides, Natural Fertilizer, Natural Fungicides, Solar Powered Fish Feeder, Coconut Battery, Hydro Electricity, Natural Medicinal Products, Fuelless Lawn Mower, and a more efficient farming techniques.

Hope to see some of them participating in future CIPTA Awards, Think Big Biz Plan Awards, or even the LiveWIRE Business Awards.

Expo Usahawan Hari Belia

2-3 August 2010 – Expo Usahawan Hari Belia

This was held at the Dewan Serbaguna of the Indoor Stadium in Berakas. The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) celebrated the Youth day (Hari Belia) at the indoor stadium, where his majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam attended. His Majesty then went on the view the exhibition of Young Entrepreneurs, and related associations such as the

  • Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources’ (MIPR) Entrepreneurial Development Centre (EDC)
  • Baiduri Bank
  • BIBD
  • Pusat Pembangunan Belia
  • LiveWIRE Brunei
  • Warisan Ummi
  • Noriah Bakery
  • Hidayah IT & Learning Centre
  • NHI Marketing

more pics on FB:

Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2010

23 June 2010, Wednesday night – The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2010 for Brunei was held at the Grand Hall of Empire Hotel Resort.

The Special Achievement Awards Category were:

  • Woman Entrepreneur of the Year – Hjh Khadijah Binti Mohamed of Megamas Training Company Sdn. Bhd.
  • Young Entrepreneur of The Year – Haji Mohammad Rahimin of Rafiqun IT Services (RITS)

The Outstanding Entrepreneur Awards were:

  • Haslina Taib – CEO of BAG Networks Sdn Bhd
  • Danny Chua – Director of Brunei Transporting Company
  • Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Razak Bin Hj Muhammad – Executive Chairman of CIC Enviromental Services Sdb Bhd
  • Haji Mahmud Bin Haji Mohamed – Managing Director of Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd
  • Ambrose Nathan – General Manager of G4S Security Services Sdn Bhd
  • Francis Lau Choo Yew – Managing Director of LCY Development Sdn Bhd.
  • Mohamed Zackiriah Nazeer Ahamed – Managing Proprietor of Nazmi Textile Mall
  • Haji Hambali Awang Tengah – Managing Director of Perusahaan Al-Mizan
  • Wong Nyen Fook – Director of Supercrete Sdn Bhd
  • Jeremy Tan Kai Teck – Managing Director of TLT Entreprise

The Most Promising Entrepreneur Awards Were:

  • Lim Biaw Kwei – Director, Finance & Admin of A-Fontane Company
  • Haji Awang Bin Hj Mohd Daud – CEO o HAHD Engineering & Associates
  • Hajah Rafiah Haji Momin – Managing Director of HRD Services
  • Norhana Haji Abdullah – Managing Director of Primeart Sdn Bhd
  • Tsia Boon Hua, Richard – General Manager of Schindler Liftec Sdn Bhd
  • Jessi Chin Lee Jin – Sole-Proprietor of Tchung Real Estate
  • Chiong Siong Khai – Director of Teca (B) Sdn Bhd

Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards:

  • LiveWIRE Brunei Sdn Bhd
  • Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd

To know more about the APEA click on the following links:

International Halal Market Conference 2010

The International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) 2010 was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) on the 5th and 6th of June 2010.

The Guest of Honor for the conference was Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna. The conference covered on topics concerning the past, present and future of the halal market. Among the topics discussed were:

  • updates concerning the Brunei Halal Brand Initiative.
  • the international market trends and how halal can be the megatrend.
  • how a huge company like nestle is making halal as a business model.
  • Halal Finance and investments.
  • National Halal Programmes from countries that are close by like Singapore, Thailand and Philippines, as well as those in Australia, UK and Bosnia Herzegovina.

Details of the Conference can be read from the IHMC official website.

There were several issues that were raise from Questions and Answers sessions as well as the discussion dialogue held at the closing of the conference. Among them were:

  • How each country has made their own halal certification process and branding,  may benefit from putting a single halal certification for all countries. as this would help the countries to import and export to each other more easily. OR to have a single marketing company for all the halal certified countries/companies e.g. diamond marketing.
  • The issues of different countries may be practicing process that may seem dubious to each other. e.g. the use of stunning before the slaughter, or using machinery for slaughter.
  • Promoting Brunei Halal Brand by having companies undergo a sort of American Idol version for Halal Business or Business plan. and then have them present at the next IHMC.
  • Promoting CSR or Community/Corporate Social Responsibility as an Islamic way of doing business.

View the facebook photos here.

International Halal Expo 2010

The International Halal Expo (IHPE) 2010 was held between 3rd June til 6th June 2010 at the International Convention Centre (ICC). The opening was graced by His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei Darussalam.



After the launching ceremony, His Majesty visited most of the booths and stalls in the Expo. His Majesty was keen to know about the current status of local entrepreneurs as His Majesty often asked a few entrepreneurs the well being of their business.

Among the Expo participants were local and international entrepreneurs and businesses, banks, insurance agencies, Business Development Services, Food Manufacturers and Suppliers, Bakeries, Restaurants and government agencies. On the 5th and 6th of June 2010, there was an International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) in a separate hall in ICC, which was participated by local and internationals.

Picture that was taken at the event can be viewed from my facebook page.

Playing Games to Educate ourselves financially

Last Saturday on 8th May 2010, Some LiveWIRE participants/members played an expensive board game called Cashflow 101 created by Robert T Kiyosaki, the guy who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad, Cashflow Quadrant and other Rich Dad Series books.

The game is similar to Monopoly. Monopoly teaches the players about real estate, the value of land and the buildings on it. Cashflow expands the idea on how rich people become rich through Business, Real Estate and Stocks.

The game starts with the player choosing  their color, then uses a small rat statue of that color, and places a cheese of the color onto their dream on the outer track or fast track. Then the player chooses a job card ranging from a janitor, teacher to a lawyer or a pilot. The cards contain a simple financial statement of assets, liabilities,income and expenses. the person then copies them down to a form provided. The player will get the amount of cashflow (=income – expenses) everytime they pass the “paycheck” square. other squares on the board affects the player’s financial statements. e.g. Continue reading