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Bangchak committed to improving Health Standards for Thailand

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The Bangchak Petroleum Public Company Limited is a Thai energy company with core business operations in refining crude oil and associated non-oil businesses, and is the renewable energy leader in Thailand with expansion into the green energy business, embracing the company’s commitment towards sustainable business development in harmony with the environment and society, domestically and internationally.

Introduction

Under the initiative to promote healthy communities, Bangchak Petroleum PCL plans to provide access to public health services and facilities to members of the refinery communities. Good health and well-being are core sustainable development goals adopted by the company and have been an integral part of the corporate and employee culture from the very onset. The project started in 2013 as a staple initiative for the community, culminating from years of working closely with community leaders to address the needs of the community. The health and eye care services are carried out in areas where access to public health services are beyond the reach of the people.

Framework and Strategy

Bangchak has two levels of CSR, namely in-process and after-process CSR. The Healthy Community Initiative is seen as a natural extension of existing in-process CSR, optimizing refinery operations to the highest safety standards with no adverse effects on the health, safety and environment of the communities. As the only urban refinery in Thailand, the safety and well-being of the community is integrated into every fabric of Bangchak’s business operations and this initiative serves as a benchmark of effective operations.

The initiative comprises of four inter related projects organized and managed by the Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations Office, and supported by the Bangchak management and employees who serve as volunteers. The initiatives can be broken down into four interrelated projects – health and medical checkups, eye checks under the Waen Kaew Model, cataract removal and the health complex. The first three projects are organized and managed by the Community Communication and Public Relations Office, and the fourth is jointly managed with the Ministry of Defense. Besides professional medical staff required in the projects, the rest are employees of the company who volunteer their time and effort to implement the projects.

Health-Medical Check-Ups: The health checks, which were introduced in 2000, provide mobile basic medical and health services, including lung examinations (X-rays), ear-eye-nose- throat (EENT) checks, dental care, medical consultations, sanitation and personal hygiene. Upon its introduction, records of lung examinations and EENTs were used as key indicators of health improvement in the community.

Eye Checks (Waen Kaew): Eye checks were introduced in 2003 to provide eye examinations and eye wear for the community.

Cataract Removal: The program was launched following the results of a survey from the Waen Kaew Project, which found several cases of cataracts in the community. Since the Waen Kaew Project did not have the facilities or funds to treat the cases, it was a natural extension of the initiative to incorporate this service into the existing programme. The project is run jointly with Banphaeo Hospital’s Eye and Cataract Excellence Center, a public organization specializing in eye and cataract care and removal.

Health Complex: The Health Complex provides literature and advice on healthy lifestyles and measures to take to prevent certain diseases.

Achievement and Impact

To monitor the general health of the community an 80 percent pass rate is taken as normal. Since the health records were formally kept with the introduction of the Healthy Communities Initiative, the results have been near perfect with over 98 percent cases recorded as normal. The programme was well received by the community, with an approval rate of 85 percent in its efforts to prevent adverse effects on the environment and community. Bangchak is committed to continue with the programme to improve the health and safety standards of the communities. The success of the programme is also reflected in real-time data showing improvements in air and water quality.

Future Direction

Bangchak has been committed to ensure the quality of life of the Thai people from its establishment over 30 years ago. This commitment is best illustrated by the continuous efforts to improve the lives of members of the communities staying around the refinery in the middle of Bangkok through various public health services. The Healthy Communities Initiative started in 2013 as a Bangchak community initiative, culminating from years of working closely with community leaders. The good health and well-being of the community, is an integral part of the Company’s business operations, and associated projects are designed to address this concern and ensure that Bangchak fulfills its commitment to community health and safety. As a CSR Role model in Thailand, Bangchak proves that this model is not only viable but also sustainable and beneficial for all parties.

Entrepreneurship

Women on Top in Tech – Daphne Ng, CEO of JEDTrade

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Daphne Ng is the CEO of JEDTrade, a blockchain technology company focused on trade, supply chain, and financial inclusion projects in ASEAN. She is also the Scretary-General at ACCESS and Exco. of Singapore Fintech Association

What makes you do what you do?
I was introduced to blockchain technology in 2016 after I left my corporate banking career after 10 years. It was my mentor who first got me interested in this technology, which I then went on to delve further into, on its potential applications in the lending and trade finance space – domains where I came from.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
Being in the space for 2 years and actively involved in the ecosystem, I was able to bring on the projects, network and a good degree of thought leadership in this vertical. Early on in the startup journey, our team faced many challenges. And to me, the key to rising above failures are two essential factors – resilience and support. While resilience is innate, I received a lot of help be it in terms of connections or advice. ‘Nobody succeeds without help’ rings very true for me.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
From the start, I focused on my domain expertise in trade finance and the application construct of how blockchain and DLT can be applied to these use cases. Also, my strategy from the start was to build a technology company made up of 80% tech and engineers, which is also our key competitive advantage today. At the end of the day, deliverables are about strategy and execution, which includes building and leading an ‘A’ team.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
I have many mentors, which includes our company advisors (all of whom are well-known in this industry) and mostly informal mentors I meet via my connections, and on various occasions and circumstances. Creating opportunities also means putting myself in the right place, at the right time. And in my case, these were mostly organic and genuine friendships formed from the initial connection.

How did you make a match if you and how did you end up being mentored by him?
To me, a match in values is very important. It also takes humility to ask for help and be willing to listen to advice, which is important in order for mentorships to be successful – be it formal or informal.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
I love this question! I am passionate about building strong teams and helping my people grow. I abide by the 3Rs when identifying talents: resourcefulness, resilience and right values. And then I invest in the ‘potential’ and this means giving them room to lead, make decisions and take risks.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
My support of diverse talents, skillsets and characters can be seen in the make-up of our core team – all helming specific roles and each bringing their own value to the table. We need the sum of all parts to build a great company.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
Great leaders emerge in times of failures and challenges, never abandoning the team, and always putting the team’s interests before her own. And I consciously live by these mottos every day.

Advice for others?
My advice to other entrepreneurs: be resolute and dare to be different. If you are going to follow others, then you will end up on the same path as them. No right or wrong; but I would rather chart my own path. This June, we are officially launching our blockchain project, Jupiter Chain (www.jupiterchain.tech), which have garnered much interest in the industry, even before we made it public. We believe this project is the epitome of marrying innovation with practical implementation, and we want to be the first to truly operationalize blockchain for our ecosystem projects in this region.


If you’d like to get in touch with Daphne Ng, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daphne-ng-%E9%BB%84%E7%91%9E%E7%8E%B2/

To learn more about JEDTrade, please click here.

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Callum Connects

Jace Koh, Founder of U Ventures

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Jace Koh believes cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Understanding it will enhance your ability to run and manage your business.

What’s your story?
My name is Jace Koh and I am the Founder of U Ventures. I’ve always been inclined towards investment and entrepreneurship. I’ve played a hand in starting businesses across these industries – professional services, cloud integration, software and music. I believe that succeeding in business is tough, but that’s what makes the rewards even sweeter.

What excites you most about your industry?
Everything excites me. These are my beliefs:

  • Why is accounting important?
    The accounting department is the heart. Cash flow is like blood stream, it pumps blood to various parts of the body like cash flow is pumped to various departments and/or functions in a business. It is vital to the life and death of the business.
  • Is accounting boring?
    Accountants are artists too. They paint the numbers the way they want them to be.
  • What makes a good accountant?
    A good accountant can tell you a story about the business by looking at the numbers.
  • Why is budgeting and projection important?
    Accountants are like fortune tellers, they can predict the numbers and if you wish to understand your business and make informed decisions, feel free to speak to our friendly consultants to secure a meeting.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore, and here’s where I want to be.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my favourite city. We have great legal systems in place, good security and people with integrity. Most importantly, we have a government that fosters a good environment for doing business. I recently went for a cultural exchange programme in Hong Kong to learn more about their startups. I found out that the Hong Kong government generally only supports local business owners in terms of grants. They’ve recently been more lenient and changed the eligibility to include all businesses that have at least 50% local shareholding. But comparing that to Singapore, the government only requires a 30% local shareholding to obtain government support. In the early days of starting a business, all the support you can get is precious. It’s great that we have a government that understands that.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best time ever to plant a tree was 10 years ago as the tree would have grown so big to provide you with shelter and all. When is the next best time to plant a tree? It is today. Because in 10 years time, the tree would have grown big enough to provide you shelter and all.

Who inspires you?
Jack Ma. His journey to success is one of the most inspiring as it proves that with determination and great foresight, even the poorest can turn their lives around. I personally relate to his story a lot, and this is my favourite quote from him, “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve faced multiple rejections throughout my business journey, and recently came across a fact on Jack Ma about how he was once rejected for 32 different jobs. It resonated very deeply and taught me the importance of tenacity, especially during tough times.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I live a life with no regrets. Everything I do, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, happy or sad, and regardless of outcome, it’s a lesson with something to take away.

How do you unwind?
I love to pamper myself through retail therapy and going for spas. I also make a conscious effort to take time off work to have a break outside to unwind as well as to uncloud my mind. This moment of reflection from time to time helps me see more clearly on how I can improve myself.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan! Good food with no language barriers and the people are great!

Everyone in business should read this book:
I don’t really read books. Mostly, I learn from my daily life and interactions with hundreds of other business owners. To me, people tell the most interesting stories.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re not just corporate secretaries, we’re “business doctors.”
U Ventures is a Xero certified advisory firm that goes beyond traditional accounting services to provide solutions for your business. You can reach us on our website: http://uventures.com.sg/

How can people connect with you?
Converse to connect. You can reach me via email at [email protected] or alternatively, on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacekoh/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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