In this way, the success stories of companies featured in Smart Investor have gone several steps ahead of their competitors by exceeding customer expectations while ensuring operational excellence and delivering impressive shareholders’ value.
Takaful Malaysia for example, has set itself a lofty but achievable target of attaining more than 50% of the total market share in the insurance industry to regain its position as the market leader. The industry is worth RM12 billion in assets with Takaful Malaysia’s current share at RM4.3 billion.
The corporation is going full throttle in terms of undertaking several initiatives towards celebrating its 25 years of service excellence since early this year. It has set aside over RM10 million for re-branding and this includes above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) advertising to create a young, modern and energetic image.
It is certainly no newcomer to success, having been recognized as the country’s first Takaful operator with a strikingly interesting mudarabah profit sharing model. It is also a leader in terms of developing Takaful expertise in the workforce and it has the largest branch network in Malaysia.
Nonetheless, it realizes that it needs to overcome some of the toughest challenges such as developing a sustainable retail distribution channel, the shortage of experienced technical staff and staff retention, increased competition with new entry of Takaful operators and insufficient liquidity in Islamic investments such as bonds.
Competition clearly exists with eight Takaful players in the market and two Takaful licenses for issuance by Bank Negara Malaysia. As such, Takaful Malaysia must strive hard to maintain its market share. In addition, it is vital to have the right expertise to achieve good returns for customers and shareholders.
Like many other successful corporations, Takaful Malaysia is focusing on higher quality service for its customers and has made significant investments in IT and human capital to manage the customer experience. It also seeks to ensure service levels will improve and front liners will be trained to be more responsive and knowledgeable.
EON Bank is another corporation that is turning heads. Having dusted off its former image, the bank’s painstaking re-branding exercise is paying off well, with its customers responding positively to improvements in service quality and efficiency in terms of the speed of conducting financial transactions, to name a few.
Its re-engineering process has resulted in tangible successes. For example, in total, the bank has introduced more than 150 process changes across 60 activity groups to do away with and simplify back office activities by eliminating non-value added processes and duplication of work. Requirements of processing work have also been simplified reducing documentation and process time.
Another feather in its cap is being able to reinvent itself from what it was perceived as; a higher purchase (HP) bank for local cars, with a clever re-branding exercise that has put them in the limelight among customers and investors alike.
It is now benefitting from positive analysts’ recommendations and in the area of consumer banking and consumer banking related expertise, its senior staff are being approached to give comments and views.
EON Bank’s journey towards change first took shape in early 2008 with the bank beginning its Branch Improvement Project (BIP) that involved process changes explained earlier. Such improvements in efficiency of information flow and clarification of scope of duties between branches and HQ-units/centers, allowed the transformation process to take shape within each branch that underwent the process.
A lesser known success story that has made headlines today is Dnest Aviation Services which serves the leading executive jet and helicopter manufacturers in the world. The company also boasts the unique reputation of operating and maintaining
An elite group of Malaysians have grown so affluent that they can afford the luxury of globetrotting on their own private jet.
Recognizing the need to accommodate this growing market, Dnest went into the business of providing a private parking and maintenance area for such aircraft.
In addition, the owners need a ground lounge before they take off to some exotic destination.
Dnest clearly took advantage of this niche market segment and today, it serves some of the most high profile business executives and famous personalities that have their private jets placed at its hangars. Most of these customers are successful businessmen and by having their own aircraft, they have control over the departure and arrival to any place they wish to fly to and this increases productivity while giving them better standing when negotiating business deals anywhere in the world.
Dnest has been innovative in terms of providing support services to these businesspersons by taking care of their needs, from customs and immigrations, food and refreshments to their landing and hotel arrangements in their destination country. The company also arranges ground transport and other services for its high profile clientele.
At periods when their planes are not airborne, it is placed at Dnest’s hangar where it is taken care of by experts in aircraft services and technology. Customers also have an option to purchase a new aircraft as well.
Dnest, EON Bank, Takaful Malaysia and the minds behind the Cradle Investment Programme are striking examples of companies that set out to break the mould and create winning solutions.
The Cradle Investment Programme (CIP) was set up in June 2003 to address the needs of Malaysian technology entrepreneurs, especially in seeking “pre-seed” funding. Two years prior to this, a team of budding entrepreneurs
in Malaysia under the Technopreneurs Association of Malaysia (TeAM) were led by an inspired man named Nazrin Hassan.
Nazrin and this group realized that without support and financial assistance many promising technopreneurs would not be able to commercialise their ideas. After two years of intensive lobbying, the Development Funding idea was presented to Tun Dr Mahathir at the Budget Dialogue 2004 in May 2003. As a result, the Ministry of Finance allocated RM100 million for the Cradle Investment Programme (CIP), to implement pre-seed funding to technopreneurs under the national stimulus package in May 2003.
Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle) took over the management of CIP beginning 17 July 2007. In less than seven years, the company has funded a staggering 372 ideas under the CIP programme. A total of RM30million has been disbursed to fund these ideas.
While corporations may comprise hardworking, dedicated individuals, it is the ability to think out of the box and create innovative solutions where there are gaps in the market that truly sets apart successful companies from the rest, as they blaze a new trail.