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Orangebeam – The Disruptor

1 February 2019

MALAYSIANBUSINESS / FEBRUARY 2019

SOMETHING huge is brewing within Orangebeam Group, an established construction and development company formerly known as Perdana Builders Bhd.

As of Jan 1, 2019, the company officially took on a new name and the two core businesses associated under Perdana Builders Bhd, Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd and Senandung Budiman Sdn Bhd are now known as Orangebeam Construction and Orangebeam Development respectively.

The company holds a third management division that goes by Orangebeam Services.

Orangebeam Group chief executive officer Datuk Faris Yahaya says the move is part of the company’s transformation exercise and was made known to the staff on December 14 last year during a townhall meeting.

“Moving forward, we need a brand that breaks away from the legacy and one that reflects the direction I’m taking the company to,” explains Faris, who joined the company in August last year.

He shares that the name Orangebeam was chosen as it represents what the company aspire to be — bold, disruptive and hungry to create that difference.

“Orange represents our intent of being disruptive, innovative and future looking. And ‘beam’ exemplifies strength and has the critical function of resisting loads by distributing them horizontally into vertical forces.”

“It could put us on a solid foundation and footing before we go out and tell the world that we are here, we’ve been around for 30 years and now is the time for us to take that lead,” he adds.

To date, the company has completed more than RM13.7 billion worth of projects in total.

Name change is one thing but more importantly, as the company charges on into the new year, Orangebeam looks at a bold new direction to disrupt the way it builds and develops the future by combining the company’s sector expertise with the right level of technologies in delivering highlytechnical and specialised offerings to its customers.

“Going forward, we will focus on transforming the construction and development divisions of the business through the combination of established expertise and selective technologies.”

“To do that, we have developed a bold blueprint centred on intentional disruption of the construction and building industry. At Orangebeam, this disruption means we will focus our efforts on value creation that drives meaningful impact across three main areas: human, environment and the economy,” says Faris.

Faris also believes that disruption in the construction industry is much needed in Malaysia but notices that many construction companies are in their comfort zone or scared of cost to do anything revolutionary.

“But I believe that the industry is ready for change and the way to change this is through intentional disruption. It has to translate into value creation,” he adds.

He shares that 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.

A report by McKinsey back in 2015/2016 that looked at how industries adopt technology showed the construction and building industry was the second least digitised sector.

Faris says that Orangebeam wants to take the lead role in disrupting the industry as it 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,” adds Faris.

However, he agrees it’s a rather challenging and tall order for them to do so.

“But we are up for the challenge. I am an accountant by qualification and not an engineer, but my experience in building the ecosystem in Cyberjaya, when I was heading Cyberview Sdn Bhd previously, had taught me that many things could be achieved with collaboration between people of different expertise,’ he says, adding that Orangbeam is open to collaborate with other players in the industry to elevate the construction sector further.

Orangebeam’s sector expertise includes large-scale highly technical infrastructure projects such as port projects, highways, bridges, dams, pipelines, terminal reservoirs and other civil engineering works.

This includes the wharf, yard and access bridges developments for Westports. With a current total wharf length measuring 5.8 kilometres, our builders constructed Container Terminal (CT) wharfs 5 to 9 (except CT 8-1), measuring 2.7 km and valued at more than RM1 billion.

Orangebeam’s highly-technical and specialised offerings also include green and sustainable developments such as the Diamond Building, the HQ for the Malaysia Energy Commission in Putrajaya – first office building in Malaysia to obtain the Green Building Index platinum rating, and the first outside of Singapore to obtain the Green Mark platinum rating.

The company was also responsible for the development of the multi-awardwinning Low Energy Office building for the Ministry of Energy, Water & Communications in Putrajaya.

Some of the public infrastructures that it worked on includes the LEED Platinum rated Manipal International University, Ministry of Finance at Putrajaya, Precinct 16 of Putrajaya, and highly complex hospital buildings such as Ramsay Sime Darby ParkCity Medical Centre and Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara.

“By end of 2020, Thomson Hospital aims to have a full capacity of 600 beds, 10 operating theatres, 10 centres of excellence, an advanced imaging centre, catheterisation laboratory, over 100 specialist clinics and more than 1,000 parking bays.”

“The current outstanding order book for the group is RM1.1 billion, made up of five projects. Moving on, we hope to achieve another RM1.5 billion order book in 2019.”

Faris says that the aim to disrupt the local construction sector via new technologies is also in line with the company’s plan to utilise its expertise to venture overseas.

He adds 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,”

“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.”

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