Qew Group Berhad is a fully Bumiputera owned conglomerate with business ventures in investment, communications, event management, advertising, broadcasting, telecommunications, manufacturing, construction and many more. Spearheaded by Dato Dr. Muhamad Iqbal bin Mohamad, the Group Executive Chairman, their office are located in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kelantan, Terengganu and London.
The Qew Group conglomerate started off in 2009 as a small enterprise, Qew Adz, with a capital of only RM5,000. Qew Adz was mainly involved in event management and advertising, as well as other small jobs. From there, Dato Dr Iqbal registered his first private limited company, Qew Communications Sdn. Bhd in 2013. The nature of Qew Communications was similar to Qew Adz, but with a larger capital of RM100,000.
Broaden The Scope
Qew Communications went through a rapid and dynamic growth, managing to secure a couple of major projects in Putrajaya, namely the Putrajaya International Islamic Arts and Culture (PIIACUF) and the Light and Motion Putrajaya (LAMPU) project. The contract for these projects were for three years, which set to have valued to almost 10 million. Thus, from 2013 to 2015, that was their main focus, familiarising themselves with event management projects, with Qew Adz tagging along, providing the advertising aspect for the project.
While Qew Communications and Qew Adz focused on event management and advertising, Dato’ Dr Iqbal started another private limited company dealing with health products and medical devices. Qew Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd (QTech) was incorporated in 2013, and a working partnership with SIRIM, involving medical devices in hospitals throughout Malaysia. Today, QTech has broaden its scope to provide services on commercialisation of R&D products from research hubs. QTech aims to achieve a greater position by becoming a worldwide technology provider.
By now, the initial capital from 2013 has grown and brought in a good return, and by the end of 2015, it has summed to a few million.
Knowledge & Ventures
Dato Dr Iqbal continues to look for new areas to venture into. His inquisitive nature meant that he does not want to just focus on a certain type of business, rather opening his mind and empire to a broad spectrum of business opportunities. Thus in 2016, he ventured into the healthcare industry, coming out with healthcare products and vitamins. However, not business is free from the ups and downs. The same was experienced by Dato Dr Iqbal. His healthcare business was not a huge success, hence he opted to close that chapter. In the meantime, his other businesses were continuing to flourish, with PIIACUF, LAMPU and FLORIA. From Putrajaya, he pursued a new territory, which was Kuala Lumpur, winning the project for the Merdeka parade in 2016-2017 specialized in multimedia control.
His thirst for knowledge and new adventures was not focused on his business skills alone. All these undertaking was running concurrently whilst he was doing his PhD in Social Science. Through all the challenges and risk taking, he also managed to complete his studies and was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2018. Never shying away from a new frontier, Dato Dr Iqbal commits to spending an hour or two before bed to study the market and possible new opportunities. Thus, also in 2018, he again tried his hands on yet another business genre, architecture and manufacturing and printing.
Looking back, from 2009 to 2018, the accumulative total sales for almost 10 years has reached over 20 million. Yet, he believes that success is still a long way away. Dato Dr Iqbal noted that various small victory were also a success, such as being able to continue sustenance for his family, even though he had just started the business, and was facing a rough road. Obtaining his PhD whilst managing his companies, securing jobs that helped his company achieved their vision and able to multiply, and many more. He attributed all these good fortune to The Creator. What started with a small dream and the need to care for his family, has grown into a small empire and bigger targets. Thus, in 2019, Qew Group Berhad was established. At the same time, Dato Dr Iqbal opened up a new company, which came from the printing and advertising background, producing LED screens. It stemmed from the Merdeka parade project he was involved throughout the year from 2016 – 2022, which involved the largest LED screen assembled. It even made it into the Malaysia Book of World Records, with the construction and installation of the Longest Outdoor LED Screen and Multimedia Control in conjunction with the 60th National Day celebration. Thus, Lightrays (M) Sdn Bhd was born, a subsidiary to Qew Group Berhad with a paid up capital of RM1million, to carry on the business of manufacturing of LED screens, Digital display and Signage specialist and lights, and other electrical products and equipment.
From his experience doing business in construction, advertising, event management and even manufacturing, in 2019, he ventured beyond Malaysia’ borders into China and Thailand, looking for larger business prospects. However, 2020 happened. The pandemic stunted his ideas. QGB was lucky. Through smart and efficient financial management, QGB managed to stay afloat in riding through the Covid-19 phase. Dato Dr Iqbal took this time to do a lot of research and study the market, planning the next step forward for when the pandemic ended. Nevertheless, the closing of the borders rerouted his plans of injecting foreign direct investment into the company, to a more domestic input, raising capital within the nation. Covid-19 also reduced a number of his original business activities, yet creating several new fields of interest Qew Group Berhad, mainly in healthcare and telecommunication. The large capital required to develop the infrastructure for telecommunication resulted in QGB opening several opportunities for local shareholders and subscribers to be part of the Qew Group Berhad expansion.
As Qew Group expands, so did Dato Dr Iqbal’s plans for the company. Among which was to tap into as many industries in Malaysia, business corporate consultancy and advisory, under the name Qew Group Berhad. The company issued out Redeemable Preference Share (RPS) & Islamic Redeemable Preference Shares (RPS-i) deposited to Securities Commission Malaysia amounting RM700 million, to provide equity financing to all its advisory business, telecommunications, ICT, multimedia and Initial Public Offerings (IPO) projects. Through RPS and RPS-i, QGB are able to raise larger capitals to fund bigger project, achieving consistent returns and long-term capital gains for its shareholders and subscribers.
As for the telecommunication industry, we continue to expand the infra by building up and acquiring new towers. This is to ensure that our infra network expands drastically and to cater the 5G market demand. Other than that, QGB continued in project exploration and manage to venture into iron ore mining activities in Bukit Besi, Terengganu, with a target revenue at 1.5 billion Ringgit Malaysia in five years. The mining production considered as a high prospect as its market price reaches high value as well as high demand in the global market. The market target is for domestic construction and to trade internationally with an 80% increment for the next 3 years. We also gained a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the Kemaman port expansion with Gross Development Value (GDV) at RM3.5billion. Kemaman port various efforts to improve the quality of operational services and carried out various transformation. Meanwhile, we had expressed our enthusiasm to solidify the magnitude of being part of worldwide geo-port network as it expands our borders while providing possibilities to participate in programs that will have fair reaching benefits for our port industry. In addition, our latest venture is acquiring a factoring company with a target initial capital injection of RM200million on the first phase. The expected return on investment for a factoring company specializing in government contracts is in the range of 23% to 29% per annum where it offers credit facilities inclusive of Bank/Insurance Guarantee (BG) and Letter of Credit (LC).
Always keen on giving back, Qew Group Berhad also set up a program similar to Shark Tank, called Corporate Strategic Partnership Programme. The programme aims to add value to any business through corporate partnership by providing information, services, and other resources that may be limited to some business or are only accessible through the financial exchange. Among the strategies offered are joint ventures, equity strategic alliance, and non-equity strategic alliance. The programme aims to help local business to flourish and help them financially, as well as sharing experience and advises, and also bringing return for QGB.
Building An Empire From a small capital of RM5,000, now QGB has grown an empire valued at RM5billion, yet he humbly declines to be considered as successful. Tenacity, perseverance, patience and preparation are key to facing all the challenges, the turmoil of building an empire. He is a man who believes in preparation. Preparation in terms of self and knowledge. “You cannot go into battle without proper preparation.” He notes that all the experience and knowledge gained along the way has made him who he is today. And most importantly, the prayers from your family, friends and staff. Their prayers go hand in hand with success of any person. People come and go, but those who stayed, honour them. Hence, he would invite his ‘loyal supporters’ who has been with him from the start, to events and concerts that QGB manages. Dato Dr Iqbal never dreamt of achieving what he has today. But he believes that he has been put in this circumstance for a reason, and that he must fulfil that obligation to the best of his abilities.
2023 will definitely bring more challenges and opportunities for Qew Group Berhad, and with the aim of becoming the next Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, Dato Dr Iqbal is ready and prepared to face what the future will bring to Qew Group Berhad.
Qew Group Berhad which somehow prove the credibility of QGB in this investment sector. On 2022, QGB has earned two awards in Kelantan Business Entrepreneur Award Ceremony (KBEA) which are “Excellence in Islamic Financing and Corporate Consultancy” award for business and one more is The Excellence Leadership Award” for entrepreneurs’ category. In the same year, QGB also receive the Leading Male Entrepreneur Islamic Investment Award in SME and Entrepreneur Business (SEBA2022) as the company has shown tremendous growth in Shariah Compliant Investment. 2021 has witnessed the organization to receive another award Business Excellence Award, which is Promising Business in Corporate Consultancy and Advisory. He also has been awarded CEO today Global Award 2021. Crowned by the British Publishing House LTD for Encyclopedia 2020, on being one of the most successful individuals in Malaysia. QGB received SEBA Award 2020 on Outstanding Business Growth Award, won an Industry & Entrepreneurship Personality Award 2020 (Fast Growing Company – Multimedia Broadcasting), won Star Outstanding Business Award (SOBA 2018 & 2020) (Certificate of Merit up to RM25 million Category), Malaysia International Business Awards 2018 (Creative Production), awarded Certificate of Achievement 2017 (4Star Level – Professional Services) and Industry personality Awards& Entrepreneurship 2017 (Event Management).
In conclusion, Dato Dr Muhamad Iqbal hopes that more young people will take the risk of entering the business world. Dato Dr Muhamad Iqbal also hopes that QGB will continue to advance and achieve greater success in the future. All of the success has served as motivation for QGB to continue growing its business. It is hoped that each success will lead to further advancements in the future.