Ahamad Mohamad

Managing Director

Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad

2014

Top Outstanding Leaders in Asia

Ahamad Mohamad

Top Outstanding Leaders in Asia

2014

Managing Director

Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad

ABOUT Ahamad

“Self-discipline combined with honesty will open countless doors to you. Trust is the foundation of all relationships. When people know you and believe in you and are convinced that they can trust you to keep your word and do what you say you will do, they will feel that they are far more likely to get the things they want through you “

“Passion. Without doubt, passion is the key to success. If you have passion for your business or even in life, this will drive you to turn your idea into a reality. A person with passion typically exudes confidence, and confidence creates value for themselves and others by leading the way, not showing the way,” responded Ahamad Bin Mohamad,who has been Managing Director & Executive Director of Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad for over 20 years, when asked what characteristics make someone a good entrepreneur.
Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad traces its history back to 1933 when Kulim Rubber Plantations Ltd was incorporated in the United Kingdom. Kulim was later incorporated as a public limited company and was listed on the Main Board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (now known as the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad) in 1975. In 1976, Johor Corporation became the major shareholder of Kulim. Over the years, Kulim has grown to become a diversified plantation company and continues to strengthen its position by securing new hectarage whilst developing and strengthening its intrapreneurial ventures and exploring other viable business opportunities. Today, it employs some 23,000 people.

“Palm oil is a very competitive industry and vital for the economy of Malaysia, which is the world’s second largest producer of the commodity. We are also proud to announce that Kulim was amongst the earliest palm oil producers to be certified to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard and the first Malaysian plantation company in the world to have published a Carbon Footprint Report. It can help us to improve tremendously in the way we operate and run our businesses,” says Mr. Mohamad.

Even though Kulim is known as a plantation company, it does have a diversified base and is not dependent on one business to drive growth and earnings. Investing in non-plantation-related businesses aims to partially mitigate the risks and uncertainties arising from the fluctuations in CPO prices, hence stabilising the Group’s earnings base and strengthening the Group’s financial position.
“We re-entered Indonesia, expanded our oil palm land bank by approximately 40,000 hectares in Central Kalimantan and tapped into Indonesia’s oil and gas sector as part of the strategy to diversify operations. Kulim has ready involvement inthe O&G sector in Malaysia through E.A. Technique (M) Sdn Bhd and Danamin (M) Sdn Bhd and we have identified a Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (“RAPID”) in Pengerang, Johor, as a serious opportunity to invest. With the development of this RAPID project, it has accelerated the demand in the O&G and its related industries,” Mr. Mohamad explained.

“Having said that, we will continue to work on the expansion of our plantation business as well as continue to explore, identify and invest in businesses that offer superior long-term potential for growth and profitability, with the aim to minimise earnings fluctuations so as to enable the Group to provide attractive returns to our shareholders.”

As a diversified plantation company, Kulim’s clients come from a broad range of businesses and its expansive global footprint and integrated approach enable it to support its clients whenever and wherever they are needed. Apart from CPO asa main product, its lntrapreneur Ventures (“IV”) Division is involved in a diverse range of businesses including shipping and logistics, support operations for plantations, including agricultural machinery, oil palm nursery and mills maintenance, support operations for O&G sector including NOT and pipe rolling mill, facilities management and civil works as well as IT-related services.
AT THE HELM

Ahamad Bin Mohamad graduated with a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree in 1976 from the University of Malaya. Hejoined Johor Corporation in June 1979 as a Company Secretary for various companies within the Johor Corporation Group. He was involved in many of Johor Corporation’s projects, including the Johor Specialist Hospital, prefabricated housing project and the Kotaraya Complex in Johor Bahru. He is presently a member of the Board of Directors of KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Malaysia’s largest healthcare group, and New Britain Palm Oil Limited (Papua New Guinea).

Mr. Mohamad is also the Chairman and Director of several other companies within the JCorp Group as well as a Director of Waqaf An-Nur Corporation Berhad, an Islamic endowment institution that spearheads JCorp Group’s Corporate Responsibility programmes, including the unique Corporate Waqaf Concept initiated by JCorp.

Apart from doing well financially, Mr. Mohamad says that the most important factor in accelerating your life towards success is your character.

“Self-discipline combined with honesty will open countless doors to you. Trust is the foundation of all relationships. When people know you and believe in you and are convinced that they can trust you to keep your word and do what you say you will do, they will feel that they are far more likely to get the things they want through you, to get the things they want, faster, sooner, easier and with greater certainty,” he emphasises.

What has he done differently that makes him a leader in his field? “Under my leadership as a Managing Director for more than 20 years, Kulim has grown from a small plantation group operating in Malaysia, into a diversified plantation group with operations spanning over Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia. Kulim has also been involved in non-traditional plantation business including oleochemicals, food and restaurants. Market capitalisation of Kulim has also multiplied from approximately RM547 million in the mid-nineties to approximately RM4.3 billion currently.”

Finally, what advice would this successful corporate leader give a young person wanting to start their own business? “Do what you enjoy. What you get out of your business in the form of personal satisfaction, financial gain, stability and enjoyment will be the sum of what you put into your business. Design and plan a career path. Planning every aspect of your business is not only a must, but also builds habits that every business owner should develop, implement, and maintain. Prepare for the pitfalls. A good intrapreneurial person will know that failure is part of the idea game.”

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