Bruneian women win prestigious awards

James Kon

Two successful enterprising women in Brunei Darussalam, founder of Kunyit 7 Lodge at Kampong Ayer Dayangku Kemariah binti Pengiran Haji Duraman and co-founder and Managing Director of FLUX OS Sdn Bhd Supna Rania Karwanamurthi, were presented prestigious awards at the Women 2020 Entrepreneurship Summit: Perspectives of the Global Woman of Impact organised by Go Negosyo in the Philippines recently.

Go Negosyo is the advocacy of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE), a non-profit organisation advocating for a change in mindset and attitude.

Dayangku Kemariah and eight others from ASEAN member countries received the Women of Impact Award while Supna Rania Karwanamurthi and another two women received the Breakthrough Award from the ASEAN Business Council and Negosyo.

The awards were presented by CEO and President, RFM, Joey Concepcion, with Philippines Senator Cynthia Villar and Alice Eduardo, CEO and President/ Sta Elena Construction and Development Corporation, a leading Philippine construction and engineering company.

The Bruneian recipients and the other awardees also met Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte after the summit. Dayangku Kemariah on receiving the award said, “The award meant that the strength of a woman cannot be underestimated. If we strive, persist and work with integrity and be a voice to the people around us with the right intentions or niat, Insya Allah we will achieve what we want to do. I am humbled and honoured by the award as we are currently going into our next phrase. We are extending Kunyit 7 Lodge to Kampong Bolkiah. It’s going to be called [email protected]

Dayangku Kemariah binti Pengiran Haji Duraman and Supna Rania Karwanamurthi with other awardees in a group picture with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines

The Kunyit 7 Lodge founder was also spotted wearing a uniquely distinctive bright blue dress at the event. She explained, “I picked the dress due to gender equality. The dress is made by local Bruneian designer Fadzil Hadin who is based in Dubai. I sent the measurements to him and the dress arrived in time from Dubai before I left for Manila.”

Meanwhile Supna Rania Karwanamurthi highlighted the Breakthrough Award is for the achievement in the contribution towards the development of local Bruneians in the oil and gas industry. She explained, “We were the first company in the oil and gas industry to train and develop Bruneians into senior positions such as rig managers and our entire rig crew is almost local. We were able to achieve this while ensuring a safe and quality efficient service were provided to our client for cost savings in today’s volatile oil market. Our company’s vision is aligned with supporting His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Vision 2035.”

Speaking on the award, she added, “The award is a recognition for the hard work and commitment that my Co-Founder/Executive Director Syafiq Raj and I have put in all these years in ensuring that we deliver our commitment for the development of local Bruneians and building our company’s capability to be on par with international companies. We would not have been able to achieve all these achievements without our team members who all have the same commitment to support Brunei Vision 2035 as we believe we need to stand united first for the future of Brunei and the generations to come.”

Supna Rania Karwanamurthi said, “We are blessed in Brunei with a stable government and a peaceful country that His Majesty has continuously provided for all these years to us Bruneians. I pray the award will inspire more Bruneians to do more to support the government to build our local capabilities to support Brunei Vision 2035 for a more sustainable economy with the operators in Brunei as well giving more opportunities and trusting Bruneians to do more specialised services.”

She said the company’s success “is also due to the strong team that we have where we prioritise the employment of Bruneians and permanent residents first as we believe in giving opportunities to all regardless of their race because their capability and commitment to our company’s growth are the reasons why we have been able to achieve and reach where we are today. We as leaders need to recognise and appreciate the talents we have in our own people because they will be the future for Brunei. We need to invest in them while commitment from them is needed as well.”

On the future plans of FLUX O.S Sdn Bhd, she revealed, “We want to continue to increase our footprint and capability in services provided by international companies in Brunei. This will allow us to provide more in country value for Brunei. We are also committed to develop locals as we have done for the past six years.”