features

Orangebeam eyes ‘disruptor’ role

10 January 2019

The New Straits Time

KUALA LUMPUR: Orangebeam, formerly known as Perdana Builders Bhd, aims to disrupt the local construction sector via new technologies, backed by its impressive track record.

Plan to utilise its expertise to venture overseas was also on the cards, said Orangebeam Group chief executive officer Datuk Faris Yahaya in an interview recently.

“When I came on board, I wondered how we would move to the next stage to break away from the crowded market of construction companies and a brick-and-mortar industry.

“The industry is ready for change and the way to change this is through intentional disruption. It has to translate into value creation,” said Faris, who was former managing director of Cyberview Sdn Bhd.

He believes disrupting the traditional brick-and-mortar construction industry could result in value creation and would not only benefit the company but the industry and nation as a whole.

Examples include the use of artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and Internet of Things devices to improve safety at construction sites. Technology can also help optimise manpower and enhance security.

“There is also a social impact. Youngsters today are not interested to work in brick-and-mortar businesses. We want to capture the talents that we have in the country, rather than they go to other industries.

“This would give the industry sustainability moving forward and create job opportunities for Malaysians at large,” added Faris, who has more than 25 years of experience in audit, banking, financial advisory and consultancy services.

Orangebeam’s track record of completed projects includes Sasana Kijang, Menara Felda, Pavilion Residences, Bangsar Shopping Centre, the Finance Ministry building, berthing terminals at Westport, Manipal International University and housing development at Precinct 16 Putrajaya.

The current outstanding order book for the group is RM1.1 billion, made up of five projects.

Faris said studies showed that the construction sector was one of the least digitised and the outlook was bright given the growth in infrastructure spending forecast for Malaysia and the region.

“Countries like the Philippines and Vietnam are at the forefront of ramping up their infrastructure spending and it is opportune for a company like us to take a lead, here, but also expand our presence beyond our shores. The usage of technology can give us the edge. That’s the only way to differentiate ourselves.”

He said expanding overseas was part of Orangebeam’s five-year blueprint because infrastructure in Malaysia was quite matured as the country headed towards developed nation status.

“The timing is right for us, while we look at digitising ourselves and disrupting our business, we can make an impact beyond Malaysian shores,”

Faris said although he was an accountant by qualification and not an engineer, his experience in building the ecosystem in Cyberjaya had taught him that many things could be achieved with collaboration between people of different expertise.

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