(L-R) CEO and founder of Nextacloud Technologies, Agus Muslim received ABA’s Most Promising Digitalised MSME award from Thailand’s Chairman of The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking, Kain Sarasin. Image: Courtesy of ABA

Four local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) bagged the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in Bangkok, Thailand, last weekend.

IT startup Nextacloud Technologies won Most Promising Digitalized MSME; online legacy planner, Memori MY Sdn Bhd, won Startup and IDE (Innovation Driven Entrepreneur); and founder of Printmartz Advertising’s Adrian Tan, won the Young Entrepreneur Award while President of Brunei’s Women’s Business Council (WBC) and founder of Rokiah Nursing Consultants and Services, Datin Paduka Hjh Rokiah Hj Zakiah brought home the Women Entrepreneur Award.

The recipients said the recognition would further enhance their business and hoped to inspire the local business community to be competitive internationally.

Agus Muslim, founder and CEO of Nextacloud hoped to leverage the ABA recognition to scale their blood donor mobile application, Bloodkad, beyond the country.

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

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

Nextacloud, an iCentre incubatee and graduate of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe)’s startup programme Accelerate, has digitalized more than 30 organisations and services, including online insurance payments for Takaful, DARe’s industrial land application and a mobile application for business mentoring for Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP).

Additionally, Nextacloud is one of the Brunei businesses featured in the 50 Success Stories of Digitalisation of ASEAN MSMEs.

(L-R) Memori Co-Founder, Queenie Chong receiving the ABA award for Startup and IDE from the Chairman of The Federation of Thai industries, Supant Mongkolsuthree. Image: Courtesy of ABA.

Another iCentre incubatee and graduate of DARe’s Accelerate, Queenie Chong, co-founder of Memori said they are currently rolling out a Legacy Matters programme to educate the general public on legacy planning as well as funeral management.

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

Through their website, customers are able to engage certified professionals to write their wills at less than 20 per cent of the offline market price.

After securing two major rounds of seed investment in the past 12 months, the legacy planning platform is focused on expanding their services regionally, where an estimated 80 per cent of the regional population do not have wills.

(L-R) Printmartz Manager, Michel Pasco receiving the ABA for Young Entrepreneur on behalf of founder Adrian Tan, from Thailand’s Chairman of The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking, Kain Sarasin. Image: Courtesy of ABA

Meanwhile Printmartz won their second ABA this year. The first was in 2017 where they were awarded the Most Promising category.

Founder Adrian Tan said they recently expanded to their own shop unit in Jangsak after having to previously rent an office in Kiulap for almost 20 years.

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

Printmartz provides services such as custom design and printing for a variety of items including product labels, banners, signage and souvenirs.

For WBC President Datin Hjh Rokiah, the award signified 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 the female business owners we work together with to support WBC,” said the 73 year old who began her career as government nurse before transitioning into healthcare training and consulting after retiring.

“Rokiah Nursing Consultants and Services will continue to provide healthcare training and we are also looking into providing healthcare for senior citizens house to house.”

ABA was introduced in 2007 as an initiative under the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) to recognise enterprises that have contributed to the region’s economic development of while promoting the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

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

(L-R) WBC President and founder of Rokiah Nursing, Datin Paduka Hjh Rokiah receiving the ABA for Women Entrepreneur from Thailand’s Chairman of The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking Kain Sarasin. Image: Courtesy of ABA



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