UEM provides reform blueprint
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UEM provides reform blueprint

Conglomerate UEM is a government-linked Malaysian company whose reforms could act as a model for the others to follow. Sudip Roy talks to chief executive Dato Ahmad Pardas Senin to find out why it’s ahead of the pack.

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MAYBE IT’S THE huge oval boardroom table that dominates the room or the flashy PowerPoint presentation that is shown for Euromoney’s benefit but the first impression that a visitor gets of conglomerate United Engineers (Malaysia) is of a modern and sophisticated company. It was not always so. For many people, UEM is synonymous with a debt-crippled company that had to undertake a painful and gradual restructuring that is still not complete. Today, however, UEM is arguably one of the better managed of Malaysia’s government-linked companies, certainly within state investment arm Khazanah’s stable of companies.

The chief executive, Dato’ Ahmad Pardas Senin, speaks in an impressive and convincing manner. He is articulate and mindful to drop such phrases as “value creation”, “entrepreneurial mindset” and “performance monitoring” into his conversation. Although in themselves they do not prove much, they at least convey the idea that he is trying to establish a corporate culture at the 100% government-owned entity.

In many respects, the conglomerate is ahead of the other GLCs in reforming itself.

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