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Lessons through tough times prepare companies for future

Lyna Mohamad

As businesses struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, some look to take tough lessons learnt and thrive in the future.

Mortar Events, which had just concluded its contract with Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC) under the i-Usahawan programme had grown from three people at the start of 2019 to eight.

I-Usahawan is a programme under the Ministry of Energy to nurture youth entrepreneurs and to help them secure their first contract.

Mortar Events’ Managing Director Mohammad Fathullah Fuad bin Haji Abdullah said the past two years have been hard because of the pandemic, which have impacted the company’s growth. The i-Usahawan programme and the BGC contract had helped sustained them, he said.

“We believe that the programme has benefitted us a lot. Through the contract, we have gained more exposure for handling corporate events, and increased our portfolio.”

ABOVE & BELOW: Mohammad Fathullah Fuad bin Haji Abdullah; and Hajah Haryanie binti Haji Bujang. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

However, he said the demand for corporate events had dropped due to the pandemic, and had pushed the company to initiate its own events outside the scope of the contract.

“For instance, we have created our own series of virtual events, such as Volt,” he said. The company has also expanded its services to digital marketing, social media management and website development.

Meanwhile, owner and Managing Director of Munch Brunch Canteen (MBC) Hajah Haryanie binti Haji Bujang said one challenge MBC faced was the increased price of materials during the pandemic.

MBC was supplying consumables and sundries to BGC under an i-Usahawan contract, and price increases meant some items were no longer available.

She said however, they were able to overcome the challenge and find solutions with the support and advice from BGC.

She hoped the company, with the experience and knowledge gained over the course of carrying out the three-year contract, will be able to grow and diversify the business.

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