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BRANDT INTERNATIONAL

Powering High Growth Internet Companies & MNCs through Outsourcing

SUMMARY VIDEO

COMPANY DETAILS

SUMMARY

Brandt International is the award-winning leading business process outsourcing (BPO) firm in Malaysia, servicing clients in the Asia Pacific region. Our capabilities range from Business and Customer Experience (CX) consulting to customer management, targeted training interventions and human resources managed services.

We are investing in artificial intelligence and robotics as our next phase to power our digital transformation. Virtual AI workforce will pave the way for Brandt to have faster processing throughputs, with accuracy and consistency, allowing our clients to achieve high customer satisfaction and operational efficiencies.

We consistently grew at a CAGR of 22% for the past decade, despite the 2008 Great Recession, the 2014 oil price crisis, and the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. We had increased our headcount by 200 in 2020 due to rising demand, with plans to hire another 100 staff by the end of the year.

Our clients include household names like, Shopee, Maxis, Petronas, Grab, Facebook, Google, Public Bank, SP Setia, and Khazanah. Many of them are repeat clients pleased with our excellent service – in fact, our oldest client has engaged us for over a decade. We are also supported by MATRADE & MDEC, for opportunities to enhance our capabilities, networking and participation in Trade Missions in key markets globally.

Our long-term service contracts guarantee us income up to 2-3 years in advance on average, enabling us to create highly accurate financial forecasts. We expect to grow at a CAGR of 25% for the next 5 years, culminating in RM132 million in annual revenue in 2025. 60-80% of these projected 5 years revenue has already been secured, making it much more likely that we will be able to pay shareholders their expected returns or even exceed them.

Demand for our services is only set to grow, with the BPO market projected to grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2020-2027. 78% of business executives view their outsourcing partners favorably, with 30% planning to outsource even more processes in the future, driven by immediate business needs.

We are taking advantage of the headwinds faced by some of our biggest competitors. BPO firms in China are suffering from the US-China trade war, while centers in India and the Philippines are unable to operate at full capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In contrast, Malaysia is an attractive business location with competitive costs, good infrastructure, and a skilled, digitally-savvy workforce.

Our growth will be supported by, 1) an asset-light, highly scalable business model, 2) diversified service offerings which serve to broaden our appeal, and 3) an accomplished management team of business veterans led by Founder & CEO Dato’ Munirah Looi, a top nominee for the 2018 EY Malaysian Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

PROBLEM
Speedbumps on the Road to Growth

What keeps businesses from expanding?

► Inadequate Manpower and Expertise. Growing a business is a complicated undertaking that requires a team with many different skillsets, especially among management-level staff who are responsible for setting and executing the company’s vision. For example, it would be inadvisable to leave a marketing expert in charge of finances for two simple reasons: divergent required skillsets and the risk of employee burnout. Nonetheless, many understaffed businesses make the mistake of delegating important tasks to inexperienced and overworked staff, often with disastrous results: poor management consistently ranks among one of the top reasons once-promising businesses fail.

► Difficulties with Sourcing Talent. Given that human capital is instrumental to a business’s success, nearly two-thirds (64%) of fast-growing companies surveyed by Barclaycard in 2019 indicated that their top priority was attracting and retaining talent. Despite their best efforts, employers are not making much headway: in (unrelated) research conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management in the same year, 83% of businesses complained that they were struggling to recruit employees with the desired skillsets, leaving them without the capable workers they needed to expand their operations.

► Not Meeting Customer Service Expectations. Modern consumers have high standards for customer service, with 96% of consumers worldwide stating that good customer service was essential for them to continue supporting a brand. Failure to upgrade their customer service to the expected standard can be costly for businesses: 56% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience. Even worse, the vast majority (91%) of unhappy customers will leave without complaining, leaving companies without a chance to explain or to find out what they need to improve upon.

 

SOLUTION
Bringing Businesses, a Steady Supply of Skilled Talent through Outsourcing

Brandt International’s large, professionally-trained workforce frees up companies to focus on their core business by taking over functions ranging from sourcing & recruitment, payroll management to customer management support. By engaging us, businesses can be assured that each outsourced task will be completed by qualified workers with ample relevant experience. Unhappy customers and stressed, underqualified staff will become a thing of the past, allowing management to concentrate their efforts on expanding their core business.

Our services include:

► Consulting & Training. Our experts work with management to identify potential barriers to growth. We leverage on our multi-decade capabilities to pinpoint problems and deploy suitable interventions with surgical precision, ensuring maximum effectiveness while keeping disruption to a minimum.

► Marketing, Sales, and After-Sales Support. Brandt marketing and logistics coordination experts boost sales by successfully persuading consumers of the value of a product and delivering their purchases on time. Post-sale, customer enquiries and complaints are directed to our well-staffed support center, where customer care specialists assist customers with refunds, exchanges, and much more.

► Human Capital Management. Brandt can take over any function typically performed by an HR department, from recruitment and training to mundane tasks such as leave approval and payroll management. We also help with creating a positive and productive workplace where employees are motivated to perform well

  • Moving Towards Digital Transformation
    • We are passionate about harnessing technology to help our clients improve the way they do business. Our consultancy services include advising clients on how to develop and implement a digital transformation strategy that will streamline operations, maximize efficiency and heighten customer satisfaction.
  • AI and Robotics as the Way Forward
    • The rise of AI and Robotics means that many tedious tasks that used to be completed manually can now be automated. Known as Robot Process Automation (RPA), such technology not only saves manpower, but also makes the whole process more efficient by eliminating human error. AI will provide fuzzy intelligence to the way RPA delivers Brandt customer experience.
Brandt is investing in AI and RPA to improve our services in a variety of areas, such as:

► Customer Support Services. Most customer inquiries are simple and straightforward. To free up our agents to deal with more complex problems, we have developed chatbots capable of responding to simple questions. Customers will primarily deal with the chatbot: the call will be transferred to a human agent only if the chatbot cannot provide a solution. AI-driven chatbots will provide the intelligence to drive a virtual workforce to many key customer support services areas. It will be able to understand customer inquires and extract related information from multiple backend legacy systems to present it to the client. AI-driven chatbots will also be used in Telesales as intelligent conversational chat with the customers.

► Data Management. Manual data processing, which requires high levels of concentration and accuracy, is especially susceptible to human error. Fortunately, it is also a task that can be easily automated: data can be extracted from various sources, sorted into pre-defined categories, and updated whenever necessary with 100% accuracy.

 

TRACTION
Highly Diverse Client Base

Throughout our 16 years in business, we have worked with over 100 clients from various countries and industries e.g. Petronas, Malaysia’s national oil exploration company; and LU Global, the international arm of a China-based fintech company. At present, we are actively recruiting staff with knowledge of Hong Kong & China business practices to deal with a sudden influx of Hong Kong & China-based clients.

Trusted by Big Brands

Our list of clients includes some of the biggest and most influential companies in the region (Grab, Shopee, Astro) and the world (Accenture, Google, Facebook). Many of them engage us again and again after personally experiencing our excellent service – in fact, Maxis, our oldest client, has been doing business with us for over 10 years.

Consistent Double-Digit Growth

Our revenue has been consistently growing at a CAGR of 22% since 2009 and shows no sign of slowing down even in the middle of the pandemic-induced economic crisis. On the contrary, growth is only expected to accelerate to 25% in the next 5 years, boosted by prior investments in technology and human resources that will enable us to offer more knowledge-based, high-value services in a fast turnaround time.

Resilience in the Face of Crises

Our strong fundamentals enabled us to survive the Great Recession of 2008, the oil price crash of 2014, and the ongoing pandemic unscathed. As most businesses retrenched staff to cut costs during the pandemic-induced downturn, we actually added to our headcount: to meet strong demand for our services, we have hired over 200 new staff since January and expect to recruit another 100 by year-end. We are anticipated to close our 2020 financials with 37.5% revenue growth to RM44 million, our record-breaking year.

Award-Winning Service Quality

We consistently win multiple awards at the annual Outsourcing Malaysia Excellence Awards, an initiative by industry players to recognize and reward excellence in outsourcing. In 2016, we won 3 awards: Best Practices in CSR, Best Operations Director of a Contact Center, and Best Account Manager in Human Resources. We followed up these wins with 3 more awards in other categories in 2017.

In a nod to our international credibility, we were named “Best Outsourcing Partnership” at the 2016 SSON Excellence Awards, which celebrate the achievements of outsourcing companies all over the world.

Supported by MATRADE, Malaysia’s External Trade Promotion Agency

In 2014, we were one of 50 high-performing companies selected to participate in MATRADE’s Mid-Tier Companies Development Program (MTCDP), which helps businesses with accelerating export growth and strengthening core functions. Under the MTCDP, we will receive privileged access to potential partners, suppliers, investors and customers as well as business advice from experts, greatly benefiting our overseas expansion efforts.

Recruitment Plan Aligns with Government Initiatives

We are seeking to hire as many as 3,500 extra staff in the next 5 years to cope with a surge in demand. In line with our commitment to nurturing local talent, we are partnering with the Malaysian government to provide sponsored vocational training to unemployed youth under the HRDF PENJANA program. Upon completing training, the best-performing participants will automatically receive job offers from us.

Joining PENJANA is an opportunity for us to not only fulfill social obligations but also access a large pool of promising talent funneled to us by the government. We are eager to participate in similar projects in the future.

 

CUSTOMERS
Outsourcing is Good for Businesses

► A Flexible, Skilled Workforce. When outsourcing a business function, companies can be assured that the workers in charge will be capable professionals with relevant expertise. Outsourcing also offers businesses the flexibility to shrink, expand, or otherwise change the composition of their workforce any time without major consequences – something that is not possible with permanent, full-time staff.

► Enhanced Customer Satisfaction. Keeping customers happy with good customer service is essential to ensure their continued support. It is easier for businesses to maintain high customer service standards through outsourcing customer support services to professional centers, where all inquiries will be handled by friendly, knowledgeable customer service agents.

► Reduced Overheads. By outsourcing tasks to experienced, professionally-trained external workers, businesses can dramatically reduce their spending on training and recruitment. They can also save on other labor costs such as office equipment and employee benefits e.g. travel allowances and health insurance, freeing up funds to be invested elsewhere.

► Ability to Focus on Core Business. With most business functions taken care of, management can focus on each company’s biggest goal: growing their business by improving their core services to meet customer expectations. Freed from having to worry about day-to-day operations, they can devote all their time and intellectual resources to making the business a success.

► Leverage Industry Experts in Customer Management Operations. Within our Brandt International corporate team, we have been able to recruit and retain industry experts with multiple years of experience in setting up and operating world-class customer management operations like Maxis, Singtel, Citibank, Scicom, etc.  These individuals will be able to add value and enhance any of our clients’ current customer management processes and setup.

 

BUSINESS MODEL
Asset-Light, Highly Scalable Business Model

We do not heavily depend on capital assets – while we do rent office space and equipment for our staff, many of them can easily shift to working from home. In fact, we did exactly that during the pandemic: over 50% of staff are currently working from home while remaining just as productive as ever. This helps keep our fixed costs low and profit margins high, which can only be a boon to investors.

Relying on human capital also allows us to easily scale our operations up during spikes in demand as hiring extra manpower (no machinery, production space, or raw materials) will be our sole concern. Compared to companies that must undergo a complicated setup process every time they expand, we will be able to deliver and earn revenue immediately, resulting in earlier returns for our shareholders.

Diversified Clients and Offerings Lower Risk Exposure

We serve clients from a wide range of countries and industries, which insulates us from downturns in any single country or industry. Meanwhile, offering multiple services allows us to broaden our appeal and attract more clients, further stabilizing our financial position. Altogether, this makes us an attractive investment prospect: low-risk, with high growth potential.

Long-Term Service Contracts Secure Revenue Far in Advance

Our service contracts with clients normally apply for 2 to 5 years. In practice, this means that once we sign a contract to supply services, we are assured of steady income from that client for the next 2 to 5 years. This enables us to prepare realistic financial projections: 60-80% of revenue has already been secured over the next 5 years, towards the RM132 million revenue target we expect to earn in 2025, making it much more likely that we will be able to pay shareholders their expected returns or even exceed them.

 
MARKET

As the leading outsourcing firm in Malaysia, we are confident that a combination of an international rise in demand and Malaysia’s reputation as an attractive business location will draw ever more clients into our orbit.

► Demand is Rising Worldwide. Grand View Research expects the business process outsourcing market to expand at a CAGR of 8% from 2020-2027, representing a golden opportunity for us to expand to take advantage of that demand. Their projections are backed up by on-the-ground surveys of business executives: research from Deloitte shows that a clear majority (78%) of respondents felt positively about their outsourcing arrangements, with 30% planning to outsource even more functions in the near future.

► Favorable Local Business Environment. Malaysia was ranked the 3rd most attractive outsourcing location in the 2019 Kearney Global Services Location Index, behind only heavily-populated juggernauts India and China. The index, which assesses nations using criteria like existing infrastructure, government support, the cost of doing business, and the skill level of the workforce, gave Malaysia high scores for low costs, up-to-date infrastructure, and a digitally-savvy workforce – all factors we will capitalize on as we seek to dominate the regional industry.

COMPETITION
Regional Competitors are Adversely Affected by…

► Covid-19. Outsourcing firms in India (no. 1 in the Kearney GSLI) and the Philippines (no. 10) have seen their operations disrupted due to massive workplace Covid-19 outbreaks that sickened many employees and forced the rest to work from home. Unfortunately, internet connectivity in both nations is poor owing to outdated infrastructure, leading to a precipitous drop in productivity among employees who struggle to connect with customers over the internet from home.

The sudden disruption to firms’ usual business model is negatively impacting their bottom line: GlobalData estimates that the BPO market in India will contract by 9% due to movement restrictions that are preventing staff from working normally. This has created an opening that we are seeking to fill: buoyed by good digital infrastructure in Malaysia, our employees are well-prepared to work from home, allowing us to take over projects that would otherwise have gone to competitors in these countries.

► Trade Wars. The ongoing US-China trade war has been a net plus for ASEAN countries like Malaysia. As a result of multinational companies shifting their operations away from China for fear of incurring US tariffs, foreign direct investment in ASEAN nations rose to a record high (USD177 billion) in 2019, surpassing the previous record of USD155 billion. While China, like India and the Philippines, is a major player (no. 2 in the Kearney GSLI) in the outsourcing industry, it is likely that many firms which used to outsource operations to China will follow the current trend and relocate to Southeast Asia in the future.

Malaysian outsourcing firms are well-positioned to attract companies seeking non-Chinese options due to low costs, a business-friendly government, and a skilled and multilingual workforce that is fluent in both Mandarin and English. We are set to capture the lion’s share of new opportunities that come here due to being the biggest local player.

FUNDING

We seek RM5 million in funding to be used for:

► Enhancing Our Digital Capabilities (28%). We are investing heavily in AI and robotics to automate repetitive tasks as well as processes prone to human error if performed manually e.g. data entry. We will also utilize AI to source and analyze data that will help us improve our services e.g. consumer preferences.

► Working Capital (26%). Although steady cash flow is essential for businesses to continue operating, the nature of outsourcing contracts means that we only get paid a few months after starting a new project. The funds we receive will be used to cover project-related expenses e.g. payroll, office rental, and recruitment incurred during these few months.

► Marketing (24%). Despite enjoying high name recognition in the regional business community, we are not resting on our laurels – on the contrary, we are stepping up marketing efforts to widen our sphere of influence beyond ASEAN to the whole Asia-Pacific region.

► Debt Repayment (22%). We intend to pay off the bank loans we took out to grow our business previously as quickly as possible to reduce our liabilities & interest payments. By decreasing the amount needed to service debt, we can build a financial cushion to prepare for emergencies, increasing our likelihood of surviving tough times. Freeing up the short-term debt facilities also allow us to increase our working capital, essentially allow us to scale projects quicker.

*15% bonus shares are only limited to RM2 million and will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis *

Exit

While we are currently in a good position to either list on Bursa Malaysia or merge with a larger company, we want to further strengthen our fundamentals before taking the next step to create more leverage in negotiations.

► IPO on Bursa Malaysia. We plan to increase our valuation to RM300 million before listing to increase our chances of attracting long-term institutional investors.

► Trade Sale. We have been approached multiple times by larger firms interested in acquiring our business. Nevertheless, we will only engage in such talks after our annual revenue hits RM110 million (expected by 2023) to enhance our value to prospective buyers.

 

VISION

Empowering businesses to achieve growth and profitability by supporting them through streamlining processes, improving productivity and efficiency, and providing excellent customer service.

Mission
  • Advise businesses on effective growth strategies and ensure a smooth implementation process.
  • Perform assigned business functions using skilled, professionally-trained staff.
  • Always maintain high customer service standards and operational excellence.

 

TEAM
Led by Accomplished Business Veterans

Dato’ Munirah Looi, Founder and CEO

Dato’ Munirah is a talented entrepreneur whose business acumen and sheer dedication were instrumental to our success today. In recognition of her ground-breaking achievements, she was shortlisted as one of the top 3 nominees for the prestigious EY Malaysian Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2018. She is also a life member of the International Society of Business Leaders – a distinction reserved for the most prominent industry leaders in the world.

As a woman who has been shattering glass ceilings in business for more than 20 years, Dato’ Munirah is a passionate advocate for women in the workplace. She is currently the president of Professional Women Network (Malaysia) a global organization dedicated to advancing women in leadership, as well as Women Extraordinaire Foundation a non-profit organization focused on community development for women. Her advocacy has won her accolades at the 2014 Malaysian Women of Excellence Awards and the 2015 World Women Leadership Congress and Awards.

Dato’ Munirah looks forward to bringing our business to greater heights to prove her conviction that women can achieve anything if they put their mind into it. Her expertise in customer experience, business transformation, and change management – she once served as Citicorp’s Global Customer Experience Director – will be a valuable asset as we seek to enhance our services and entrench our reputation for excellence in the business community.

 

Andrew Chong, COO

Andrew’s 20+ years in the workforce as a customer service and HR expert have seen him hold leadership positions in some of the region’s biggest companies e.g. Shell, Maxis, Singtel, Smart Philippines and Astro. During his tenure at these companies, he frequently led small, elite teams spearheading innovations in customer service, tele-sales, and digital transformation. He has also garner numerous customer service awards for all these organisations.

Owing to his experience in HR, customer services, and digital transformation, Andrew has been entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing all our operations. He is enthusiastic about putting his skills to use to make our shared vision for the company a reality.

 

Richard Chew, CTO

Richard is an IT specialist who has worked on business intelligence, technology compliance, and digital transformation. Prior to joining Brandt, he served 14 years at Citibank, where he was in charge of maintaining digital infrastructure and implementing digital transformation strategies as their Head of Technology in Malaysia.

Richard’s expertise will be key to strengthening our digital capabilities via upgrading existing infrastructure, investing in new technologies, and equipping staff with digital skills. He is working on acquiring an existing digital marketing agency for Brandt, which will enable us to absorb their talent and learn from their best practices.


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