Show of cultures

CROWDS of people gathered Saturday night at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre to enjoy multicultural performances from around the region at Progresif Cellular’s 3rd Cultural Night.

The three-hour programme was held in conjunction with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 71st Birthday celebration.

The event’s guest of honour was Edzwan Zukri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adnan, a Board member of Progresif.

He was accompanied by Paul Taylor, the CEO of Progresif, as well as members of management and stakeholders.

Other invitees and attendees included partners from the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports (MCYS), Brunei Tourism, the Indonesian, Philippine and Indian embassies, as well as Filipino, Permai (Indonesian) and Indian associations.

The event’s guest of honour, Board member Edzwan Zukri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adnan, with Paul Taylor, the CEO of Progresif
The event’s guest of honour, Board member Edzwan Zukri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adnan, with Paul Taylor, the CEO of Progresif
Fun quizzes with members of the public. – PHOTOS: JAMES KON
Fun quizzes with members of the public. – PHOTOS: JAMES KON
A Chinese lantern dance
A Chinese lantern dance

The night showcased the rich diversity of cultures in Brunei through a series of dance and song performances.

They included the traditional Iban welcoming dance ‘Ngajat’, the Bollywood dance and Chinese lantern dance, among many others.

The event culminated with a final performance entitled ‘United Towards a Progresif Brunei’, which brought together all 116 performers of different nationalities and cultures together to end a night filled with creativity.

Apart from the performances, Progresif also gave away prizes through some fun quizzes participated by audience members.

From Borneo Bulletin

Progresif to hold Cultural Night in conjunction with His Majesty’s 71st birthday

PROGRESIF Cellular Sdn Bhd will be hosting its third Cultural Night at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre tomorrow at 7.30pm, where members of the public will be treated to a night of music and multicultural performances from around the region.

The three-hour event is held in conjunction with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 71st birthday celebrations.

The night will showcase the rich diversity of cultures in Brunei through a series of dance and song performances; from the traditional Iban welcoming dance Ngajat to performances by the Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and Filipino communities in Brunei.

The event will culminate in a final performance entitled ‘United Towards a Progresif Brunei’ which brings together all 116 performers of different nationalities and cultures together to end a night full of creativity.

One of the many performances that the public can expect during the show tomorrow at JP Amphitheatre
One of the many performances that the public can expect during the show tomorrow at JP Amphitheatre

Apart from the performances, there will also be fun quizzes with the audience participation to further enliven the Cultural Night. Admissions for the event will be free of charge and is open to members of the public.

The event will be attended by Progresif Board Members, company management and representatives from the High Commissions and Embassies.

From Borneo Bulletin

Farming tips on your fingertips

THE local tech start-up AGROME IQ that provides agricultural business intelligence and analytics technology to farmers yesterday launched SPROUT (iQ), its first consumer product that allows virtually everyone to grow their own crops through its educational platform.

AGROME IQ Founder Vanessa Teo also shared plans to roll out the new product to the Asean region and later in the global foray as it takes off in its exciting journey.

Brunei-based AGROME IQ was launched in September last year and provides agriculture business intelligence and data analytics platform that provides farmers with the information to make effective decisions on their farm management process.

The idea came towards the end of Teo’s PhD in Agriculture Modelling with IBM and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) when she identified that most farmers do not have access to the right information to support their decision-making to develop more profitable and sustainable farm systems.

AGROME IQ uses their platform to directly provide applicable information and technology to support growers to create more productive and efficient farm systems.

Sprout IQ 1_1
Sprout IQ 2_1

Since AGROME IQ’s launch, various clients in the country have signed up. It is in talks with one of the largest rice exporters in Vietnam and also working closely with the Brunei Government to help farmers improve crop yields via its program. Recently, they established their second office in the UK at the Royal Agriculture University, Cirencester.

During SPROUT (iQ)’s launching at the Progesif Cellular Sdn Bhd headquarters in Gadong yesterday evening, Teo explained that the extension of their services is aimed for the consumer market, catering towards the urban farmer.

SPROUT (iQ) is paired with the AGROME (iQ) platform’s agricultural business intelligence and data analytics elements. The new platform is an urban farming educational platform and workshop series which addresses the needs of people who want to learn how to start farming and the processes involved.

“By the year 2050 there will be nine billion people living on earth. Food security and food sustainability is a key issue that everyone on the planet faces,” the company said in a statement. “AGROME IQ is making a step in the right direction in terms of optimising farming systems not only for today but also forecasting and paving the way for future innovations and creations in the high technology and productivity arena for agriculture.”

The company added that SPROUT (iQ) was launched in Brunei to highlight their partnerships and supporters, both government and private sectors, as their supports have been instrumental in the startup’s development.

“We are happy to announce that local telecommunications company Progresif Cellular will provide us funding to help run the Sprout (iQ) platform in three selected schools. We will be progressively launching the platform in Asean over the next year and hence, bringing the platform to our clients in the region,” said Teo.

Meanwhile, the revolutionary Indonesian hyperlocal transport, logistics and payments startup Go-Jek Co-Founder Dayu Dara Permata, who was special guest at the event, spoke of her impression of Teo.

“I met Vanessa a year ago in one of the most prestigious Women Leadership Initiatives in Southeast Asia, where we spent a week together to talk about some of world’s most pressing issues and ideate solutions to solve it. Every woman leader in that leadership camp I met was special, but Vanessa was truly one of a kind. She shared with me how she is extremely passionate about empowering the most marginalised profession in this world, that is the farmer, and thus sustaining global food security.”

Vanessa said that the launch of their new product aligns with their vision of helping growers with the right information to begin and efficiently maintain their farming journey.

“We have focussed on modernising the process of traditional learning by integrating the platform and workshops so that growers can receive farm management guidelines on a daily basis while also, sharing with the community their progress and produce,” she said.

Also present at the event were the CEO of Brunei Economic Development Board Soon Loo, and CEO of Progresif Paul Taylor.

From Borneo Bulletin

Localisation core focus of Progresif, BGC

PROGRESIF Cellular Sdn Bhd (Progresif) has pledged to continue with its efforts to stay progressive in support of the country’s Vision 2035 aspirations.

One of the ways the company is helping to realise this ambitious vision is through employing more locals in its workforce, said Normah binti Ahmad, Progresif’s Government Relationship Manager, yesterday during the 14th Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration where Progresif was one of the participating exhibitors.

“When Progresif first started, we only had about 123 employees and currently we have under our employment 263 staff where 95 per cent are locals, and this is not the only progress we are making, but god willing, Progresif will be providing more sophisticated technology with the bringing in of the 4G network,” Normah told the Bulletin.

Progresif has also been active in supporting a number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities – mostly colla-borating with parties such as Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), where it has started constructing a new building to help young entrepreneurs, she noted.

One of the recent successes from such collaborations is DART – Brunei’s first taxi and ride booking service app – while Progresif has also assisted a select group of UBD students with their car-making project.

Normah binti Ahmad, Progresif Cellular’s Government Relationship Manager during an interview
Normah binti Ahmad, Progresif Cellular’s Government Relationship Manager during an interview
Progresif senior officials in a group photo during the exhibition at the 14th Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Progresif senior officials in a group photo during the exhibition at the 14th Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Hari Raya Aidilfitri

These aside, Normah also highlighted that it is Progresif’s hope to step onto the international arena by marketing Progresif not just as Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd, but as a Bruneian product.

The opening of its branch at the Brunei International Airport has helped support Brunei’s Tourism Development Department’s efforts in promoting tourism to the country, with Progresif offering a number of attractive mobile packages for tourists coming into Brunei.

“We are also in support of education in Brunei with the offering of our data plan for students; these are the two areas that Progresif takes pride in as the response has been very encouraging and positive,” she added.

She further disclosed that the company is aiming to grab 30 per cent of the market, stating that it plans to achieve this by constantly innovating and progressing in terms of their offered products and technologies.

Brunei Gas Carriers’ senior management pose for photo during the exhibition. – PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
Brunei Gas Carriers’ senior management pose for photo during the exhibition. – PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Meanwhile, John Douglas Cook, Managing Director of Brunei Gas Carriers (BGC), another exhibitor at the event, mentioned that BGC currently has 70 per cent of fleet staff who are Bruneians.

“This is part of the initiative towards creating a 100 per cent local workforce as we move forward; a key aspect of BGC at present is the development of Bruneian seafarers from cadet level all the way up to top-ranking officers.

“BGC’s current business opportunities are centred on the provision of shipping services to Brunei LNG – to help in the export of LNG to customers in the region. Today, we do that safely and reliably – a key aspect of our day-to-day work, which goes hand in hand with the development of a skilled Bruneian crew.”

BGC’s short term target is to become a fully-fledged self-functioning ship owner and ship manager by 2020.

It currently has a close working relationship with Shell, which provides them with operational support.

“At the same time it is also about looking at other aspects of shipping within Brunei where (BGC) can help grow and perhaps diversify its business to help support some of the ongoing developments, such as Hengyi Industries in Muara or (providing) maritime expertise to the Brunei Marine Department,” said the managing director.

“We aim to be the leading developer of local shipping and maritime skills, and we will grow BGC in support of Brunei Vision 2035.”

From Borneo Bulletin

Cultivate Bistro opens at Progresif HQ

PROGRESIF Cellular yesterday announced that Cultivate Bistro as being the first business to set up shop at the Progresif Headquarters in Gadong.

Cultivate is not just any regular café. As a local food business, Cultivate seeks to help other micro, small and medium food companies discover their own potential and explore possibilities for business within the confines of a cultural and community hub that is Progresif headquarters.

At the same time, Cultivate will run a full-fledged kitchen with an enticing menu, serving both local and western cuisine.

Cultivate Bistro Manager Afizah Sim said, “At Cultivate, we seek to bring a dining experience to customers who wish to enjoy comfort food in a relaxed environment.

“At the same time, we want to provide a platform for home-based food businesses, giving them an opportunity to use Cultivate as a space for a few months to give them a glimpse of what it is like to run a food and beverage establishment.

“In doing so, they can explore and learn about the many ways to get their own businesses to grow out of their homes,” she said.

“If these businesses feel ready to establish their own branch, they would be better equipped with real world knowledge having gone through the experimental period. Otherwise, they could also return and use our infrastructure if they need to build more exposure,” she said.

Cultivate Bistro Manager Afizah Sim (third from left) and her team
Cultivate Bistro Manager Afizah Sim (third from left) and her team

Progresif Chief Marketing Officer Devin Edwards said that Cultivate’s presence at its headquarters will reinforce the company’s commitment to support the development of local entrepreneurship.

“We’re pleased to have Cultivate established its branch at the Progresif Headquarters. We look forward to seeing them in action as they work on helping small local businesses develop further.

“Cultivate’s presence at our headquarters is aligned with our objectives for the headquarters to become a cultural and entrepreneurial hub for the local community,” he said.

As an added feature to the business, patrons of Cultivate will get the chance to see live broadcast sessions brought by deejays on Progresif Radio.

Progresif Headquarters seeks to become a central hub for all local, cultural and entrepreneurial activities.

The support for creative talents and local entrepreneurs will ultimately help stimulate the creative scene which can become an engine of growth for the local economy.

From Borneo Bulletin

Progresif unveils Startup Lab

PROGRESIF Cellular announced yesterday its latest initiative to support the growth of innovation through its Startup Lab as part of the commitment to support entrepreneurship which is one of the pillars of the company’s corporate social responsibility.

Joining the initiative as the first company at the Startup Lab yesterday was Dart Logistics Sdn Bhd. Dart Logistics will be introducing its DART app, which is claimed to be the first ride booking service in Brunei.

“Startups play an important role in shaping an economy because of their ability to innovate new products. By having the Startup Lab, Progresif is creating an environment that gives new companies the chance to grow and thrive in a highly competitive business environment,” said Devin Edwards, Chief Marketing Officer of Progresif.

strtup lab

The establishment of the Startup Lab is another example of the company making strides in supporting the growth of local innovation, he added.

“The investment into creating the Progresif Startup Lab reflects our outlook on innovation. By looking at future possibilities, we can bring ourselves closer to it and reap the benefits of the results,” he said.

The Progresif Startup Lab is located at the company’s new headquarters in Gadong and is designed to accommodate multiple startup businesses that will gain full access to support services that are essential for their business.

Radi El Fassed, Head of Product and Business Development, said that Progresif has been deeply involved in startup initiatives since 2015.

“We have provided training for the Brunei ICT Awards (BICTA), DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) Startup Bootcamp and the IGNITE Entrepreneurship Challenge. The Progresif Startup Lab is the next logical step and enables startups to take full advantage of everything Progresif has to offer in areas like marketing, finance, legal and network services.”

Meanwhile, Zul’Amali bin Dato Paduka Haji Idris, founder of Dart Logistics, said the support provided under the Progresif Startup Lab will help improve the business foundation of the company.

“We are excited to be part of this new development with Progresif and look forward to working closely with them in growing our business.”

“As Brunei’s first ride booking service, Dart Logistics aims to become the most trusted transport option. We believe that the DART app has the potential to create more jobs for locals, boost earnings of taxi drivers and improve passenger experience at the same time.

“One of our main objectives is to partner with local taxis with the DART app which will give taxi operators access to passengers demands throughout the day and night, while still utilising the metered fares. Ultimately, we want to improve the variety of choices for transportation in Brunei,” he said, adding that that service is expected to be ready in the coming weeks.

Registrations to become part of Progresif Startup Lab are now open. Applicants can visit

Taken from Borneo Bulletin

CoNECT With Progresif: UBD Students Get Heads Up Into Industry


Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), through the Centre of Networking, Employment and Career Training (CoNECT) is organising an on-campus corporate profiling event, in collaboration with Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd (Progresif).

The event, “CoNECT with Progresif”, consists of a number of career talks and workshops, two competitions, as well as a Progresif popup booth for three days from 10th April until 13th April 2017 at UBD’s Main Library and Business Library. The corporate profiling event, the first of more to come, was officiated by Associate Professor Dr. Mohammad Ayub Sadiq @ Lin Naing, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), at the Learning Commons space of the UBD Main Library.

The objective of the collaboration is to provide the opportunity for students and Progresif to engage with one another and exchange information through career-related activities, in line with UBD’s long standing effort to equip its students and graduates with the skills relevant to the Brunei and international market as well as part of Progresif’s continuous commitment to be a positive influence in the local community.

During the three-day event, students and alumni of UBD have the opportunity to be involved in one-on-one interaction with Progresif representatives, participate in talks on “Job Hunting”, “Industry Insight” and “Entrepreneurship Principles” as well as a CV-writing clinic facilitated by the Progresif team. In addition to that, UBD students can team up for the “Business Competition” or compete individually in the “Hot Seat Competition”, which is open only to final year students. They stand the chance to win hands-on experience of an interview situation.

Last year, Progresif signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UBD to establish a strategic relationship to foster collaboration in the areas of education, innovation, research and development.

Taken from UBD News



What better way to demonstrate our commitment to helping people connect than by investing in tomorrow’s communicators? We believe in being endlessly curious, because big questions can lead to big breakthroughs.

Progresif proudly sponsored the Brunei Times Young Journalists Camp, a three-day workshop for aspiring journalists. The program gave 25 young writers a taste of a career in the professional media, teaching Year Seven to Upper Six students the elements of reporting, news writing and news photography. The students also learned tips on how to make the most out of their interviews and honed their skills by covering a live news event. The camp was held at the Brunei Edutainment Wonderland Carnival at Jerudong Park and Country Club Amphitheatre.

Posted in CSR



We believe that performing arts is the best form of self-expression and the true interpretation of our mission, the freedom to do more. To support this, we collaborated with Relentless Entertainment, an organisation that nurtures dance and the art forms for youth in Brunei. Progresif sponsored “Poppins The Musical,” an adaptation of the beloved children’s story about a magical nanny that showcased the great talent of Bruneian actors, singers and dancers. During two weekends in March, more than 6000 people attended performances held at Jerudong Park

Posted in CSR



Whether told on a smartphone or on the big screen, we know everyone has a story to tell. That is why we proudly sponsored a workshop to cultivate the next generation of storytellers and invited Brunei feature film director and Origin Films founder Siti Kamaluddin to share her talent and knowledge with area youth.

The “Yasmine” director encouraged students to be progressive and tell their own stories. During the two-day workshop she explored the ins and outs of acting and filmmaking with students from Raja Isteri Girls High School, Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College, Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School, Muda Hashim Secondary School and Sufri Bolkiah Secondary School. Apart from the invaluable lessons in film and acting techniques, students were also inspired to explore their own creativity, follow their passions and live their dreams.

We are excited to be part of a progressive industry that’s always pushing the edge of technology… and we’re intent on starting something special.

Posted in CSR