As businesses grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, some are looking to learn hard lessons and thrive in the future.
Mortar Events, which had just concluded its contract with Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC) under the i-Usahawan program, had gone from three people at the start of 2019 to eight.
I-Usahawan is a Department of Energy program to train young entrepreneurs and help them land their first contract.
Mortar Events Managing Director Mohammad Fathullah Fuad bin Haji Abdullah said the past two years have been difficult due to the pandemic, which has impacted the growth of the business. The i-Usahawan program and the BGC contract helped sustain them, he said.
“We think the program has given us a lot. Thanks to this contract, we gained greater visibility for the management of corporate events and increased our portfolio.
However, he said demand for corporate events had plummeted due to the pandemic and prompted the company to launch its own events outside of the contract.
“For example, we created our own series of virtual events, like Volt,” he said. The company has also extended its services to digital marketing, social media management and website development.
Meanwhile, owner and managing director of Munch Brunch Canteen (MBC), Hajah Hariya binti Haji Bujang, said one of the challenges MBC was facing was the rising price of materials during the pandemic.
MBC supplied consumables and sundries to BGC under an i-Usahawan contract, and price increases meant that some items were no longer available.
She said however that they were able to overcome the challenge and find solutions with the support and guidance of BGC.
She hopes that the company, with the experience and knowledge acquired during the execution of the three-year contract, will be able to grow and diversify its activities.