When Deputy Chairman and Group Managing Director Mustakim Mat Nun joined KPower Berhad in 2019, it was a pivotal move. He came in, took charge and changed the name of the game. And since, the group’s share price has been on an upward trend. “We put the company on a completely different direction when we took over,” Mustakim says.
“We took KPower from a property and textile-based company and transformed it into a renewable energy and utility-based company, positioning ourselves as the leading EPCC contractor for the renewable energy industry.
And we’ve been well received here in Malaysia as well as South-East Asia, managing to lock in around MYR1.8 billion [US$426 million] in contracts.”
Within the next couple of years, Mustakim is looking to shift gears, taking the company from engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contracts to asset ownership, putting KPower with investors and becoming the concession owner itself.
And longer-term, he has his eyes on pushing KPower-branded products out into the renewable energy market. “That includes the digitalisation of renewable energy and big data analysis,” he reveals.
We all have to actively move towards the common goal of saving the world and doing it together.
“We also want to come up with our own technology and designs, so we can become a complete renewable energy company with the technical know-how and the capability of distributing our technology and products to other companies.”
However, the most important element of all of this is KPower’s employees. “To achieve this, we must focus on the development of our people,” Mustakim stresses. “There’s a scarcity of people skilled in renewable energy. It’s hard to find people with that knowledge and education. And as more companies venture into the renewable energy business, they are also sourcing from the same pool of workers we are.”
While it’s going to be quite the challenge, it’s also critical to the company’s ongoing success. Instead of focusing on what he can’t control, Mustakim chooses to focus on what he can control – culture.
“I’m working to develop a culture of results. Basically, I lay out the plans for what we strive to achieve over the years and align the management team and staff with this ambition,” he says.
“At the same time, efficiency has to be linked to KPower’s reputation. Therefore, everyone has to work with integrity. The renewable energy sector is tightly regulated, so we must be diligent. Trust, integrity and reputation are very important to us. By having this embedded in our culture, we will also experience a greater efficiency in our workforce.”
To get ahead, it’s important to keep up with innovation. “We must embrace the right technology,” he says. “The ability to analyse and maximise the available data by leveraging our experience and expertise is very important to us.”
Just as crucial are its strategic business relationships. As the company continues evolving itself for future growth, expanding its footprint into the ASEAN, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East under the sustainable energy and utilities segment, these partnerships will become even more indispensable.
“In this industry, we cannot run away from engaging with a variety of supply chains, utility companies, regulators and even the government itself,” Mustakim explains.
“The same is true for our technology partners, service providers and manufacturers; they all help us to ensure we are able to execute and complete projects on time. We treasure these relationships.” It all goes back to the integrity Mustakim mentioned. For him, it’s important that KPower and its partnerships bond over a shared vision.
“When we build these relationships, it’s not going to happen over a week or two. They’re built over the long-term because that’s how trust and integrity come into the picture,” he says.
“We align on the shared vision. And we help them to operate efficiently, even if that means going the extra mile to offer assistance. Then they are able to support us in return. That way, we can grow together, especially as we take on bigger projects internationally.”
The renewable energy industry is highly complex. And in order for it to really take off in Malaysia, Mustakim believes it’s vital that an ecosystem comes together.
“KPower can’t be the only captain on this renewable energy ship,” he says. “We need to have a good supply chain and good collaboration going with other companies and technology providers to create better investments for investors.
“We all have the same objective, and it’s not just profitability. We want to create a better world. Therefore, we can no longer work in silos or promote individualistic objectives. We all have to actively move towards the common goal of saving the world and doing it together.”
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