The Managing Director of Baiduri Finance reflects on the finance company’s recent award win and shares insights on future plans.
An interview with Haji Haliluddin bin Dato Seri Paduka Haji Talib Managing Director of Baiduri Finance
Baiduri Finance was recently awarded Finance Company of the Year for Brunei by Asian Banking & Finance (ABF), Asia’s leading publication for the banking and finance industry, in September this year for their resilience and their proactive approach to supporting businesses and individuals through innovative solutions.
In an interview, Managing Director of Baiduri Finance Haji Haliluddin bin Dato Seri Paduka Haji Talib spoke on winning the accolade, explaining that Baiduri Finance has always strived to be the leading trusted financial institution as they believe they are only as strong as the weakest link in the entire customer journey.
Placing importance on empathy, their products and services are designed to be customer focussed in a socially responsible way, he said. On top of that, Baiduri Finance not only cares about the satisfaction of their customers, but also emphasises inclusivity within their organisation.
“For example, it is one of our priorities to ensure that the succession team benefits from my tenure and is equipped with skills for a smooth transition,” said Haji Haliluddin, noting that they continuously place focus on upskilling and reskilling, especially in the leadership team in view of rapid technological advancements in the financial industry.
Baiduri Finance also places a high value on being enterprising and innovative in the market through identifying the right trends and capitalising on them as a key factor to their success.
“We are constantly in pursuit of innovation whilst continuously improving our end-to-end digitalisation initiatives to ensure sustainability and maintain relevance in the market,” added the managing director.
As Baiduri Finance remains at the top of the automobile finance industry with a lion share of the market in new vehicle financing, the managing director said that as an innovator and pioneer in leveraging technology to elevate customer experience, Baiduri Finance aims to expand their service delivery in areas that are earmarked for the future, ultimately creating a seamless and digital customer journey.
Their online services, HP Online and Baiduri Finance Mobile app, are key examples of their successful digital efforts.
These online platforms have helped ease the process of application and payment for their customers and Baiduri Finance has been able to reduce their average loan processing turnaround time by almost 50 per cent through HP online whilst HP e-payments via the Baiduri Finance Mobile app increased by over 60 per cent.
Elaborating more about the recent award, Haji Haliluddin said this is the first time Baiduri Finance participated in it.
“We are honoured to receive this award and I feel that while being a market leader is one challenge, to maintain it is another,” he said, further noting that winning the award is a testament to Baiduri Finance’s strong business model and commitment to putting customers at the heart of everything they do.
He believes the ISO 9001:2015 standard provides a competitive edge to Baiduri Finance, as they remain the only finance company in Brunei to have achieved full end-to-end compliance to the ISO standards covering all functions and processes.
First certified in 2003, Baiduri Finance went through the ISO recertification audit in late 2018 and successfully attained the ISO 9001:2015 internationally recognised standard that specifies requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS) in early 2019.
“As the only finance company in Brunei to have achieved full end-to-end compliance to ISO 9001:2015 QMS standard, we have established a robust system to regularly review every facet of our business in a structured way.”
Haji Haliluddin added that the award for Baiduri Finance has been in the waiting for a long time now and is a great recognition of their market leadership and commitment to continuous improvement.
“All of this is made possible by the team members of Baiduri Finance and the hard work that they have put in. We also owe our success to the strong support from our parent company, Baiduri Bank, our Board of Directors, our customers, business partners and other stakeholders.”
Baiduri Finance’s long-term goals are to outperform their own achievements and maintain internationally benchmarked standards. Winning the award will serve as a reminder that for a truly local institution such as theirs, competing in the international arena and staying ahead is achievable.
As with any continually growing organisation, Baiduri Finance’s strong performance over time has been achieved due to their agility and ability to create change. It is imperative to embrace new technologies and move away from legacy practices, and at Baiduri Finance, they believe that this innovation will propel the organisation into the future.
Noting challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the managing director shared that among the challenges were restrictions imposed during the period, along with reduced customer footprint. However, Baiduri Finance successfully capitalised on it by doing things faster and promoting service accessibility through HP Online and Baiduri Finance Mobile app.
“The pandemic accelerated our digitalisation efforts as we had to quickly adapt our operating model to provide contactless services whilst managing remote work, hybrid work and such. The challenges were there, but we remained resilient.”
As for future plans, the managing director shared that he is of the firm belief that organic innovation and adoption of novel concepts to address market needs always deliver unique competitive advantages. In co-creating the future, Baiduri Finance is always exploring new and innovative practices to improve customer experience. “At Baiduri Finance, the customer’s journey is of primary importance.”
As part of Baiduri Finance’s overall strategy, they are looking into expanding their offerings to focus on providing value-added services not only to improve the customer journey, but also to meet the evolving needs of customers throughout different life stages.
The needs for vehicle and financing change over time for the same customer. As the managing director explained, at Baiduri Finance, it is not just about transactions with the customers. It is about building a strong, ongoing relationship, to be there for their customers, listening to them, understanding their changing needs and offering solutions that address those needs.
“We are forever evolving and looking at challenges as opportunities for positive change and innovations. As time goes by, we have to deal with different generations of customers with different needs, expectations and behaviour. So it’s about coming up with offerings that are relevant and value-adding to the customers, and we want to be able to do this better than everyone else in the industry.”