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Elevating Bumiputera Entrepreneurship Through Opportunities At The Airport

Malaysia Airports is committed in providing platforms to develop bumiputera capabilities in marketing their products.

KUALA LUMPUR – As a government-linked company (GLC) responsible for managing the nation's major gateways, Malaysia Airports has made it a key strategy to elevate bumiputera entrepreneurship by creating opportunities for them to develop and market their products at its network of airports.

Its latest effort in supporting this strategy was to join hands with Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB) to share retail opportunities available at the airports with members of the bumiputera Retailers Organisation (BRO). The event was attended by the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh; the Chief Executive Officer of PUNB, Encik Izwan Zainuddin; and Covering Senior General Manager for Commercial Services of Malaysia Airports, Hani Ezra Hussin.


According to Dato’ Mohd Shukrie, fostering the bumiputera agenda has always been a key strategy at Malaysia Airports, “Starting 2006, Malaysia Airports had embarked on a collaboration with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and provided between 15 to 20 retail lots to small bumiputera retailers as part of our corporate responsibility (CR) initiative. This had provided these retailers with the opportunity and market that would not have been possible otherwise due to the small nature of their operations.” 


“Bumiputera participation in terms of retail space at our international airports stands at 33% which is certainly higher than most malls within the Klang Valley area. In terms of number of retail outlets, there are 800 retail outlets within the entire Malaysia Airports network of airports and nearly 20% of these are occupied by bumiputera entrepreneurs.” 

Dato’ Mohd Shukrie added that bumiputera participation is part of Malaysia Airports’ corporate KPI. Apart from setting a target for bumiputera participation within the retail space, the airport operator also ensures that 50% of its procurement spend goes to bumiputera operators. 

Starting two years ago, Malaysia Airports enhanced further the bumiputera entrepreneur development programmes at the airport under the Commercial Reset strategy. Under this strategy, the Sense of Malaysia (SOM) initiative was curated where among others, consumers are presented with the opportunity to obtain local products which are of good quality, attractively packaged and displayed in retail lots with a distinct Malaysian flavour. 

SOM is an ongoing initiative and has also had several successful retail campaigns such as HIMPUN that focused on small and mediums (SME) brands for fashion, craft and beauty brands; and KUEHKITA that focused on SME brands for local food products.  These campaigns were a collaboration with the Malaysia Design Development Centre (DDEC), an agency under the Ministry of Rural Development, who had helped ensure that the offerings were the best that Malaysia has to offer.

Dato' Mohd Shukrie added that he was delighted to be able to work with PUNB as both organisations share the same objective in creating a resilient, progressive and sustainable bumiputera entrepreneurship ecosystem which is also in line with the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

Meanwhile, according to PUNB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Encik Izwan Zainuddin, the strategy and planning by Malaysia Airports through Commercial Reset is uplifting the standard of airport retail where not only international brands are being recognised but local champions specifically bumiputera entrepreneurs would be able to benefit from this initiative since KLIA is a definite centre for hosting millions of guests and passengers every year. Furthermore, this initiative is deemed as a stepping stone for bumiputera brands to be seen worldwide; sitting side by side with other huge range of international brands.


“Last year, PUNB has successfully introduced Tanamera (Bumiputra Retail Organisation or ‘BRO’ Member) to Malaysia Airports through its brand placement at KLIA Satellite Building. It was one of the many initiatives undertaken by PUNB to develop bumiputera entrepreneurs to a higher level. Not to forget, we also have Hamidah Kek Lapis (PUNB entrepreneur) which has been operating at Kuching International Airport (KIA) since 2016. We have assisted the company in enhancing its product branding and packaging which would be in line with the Commercial Reset initiative by Malaysia Airports”.

During the briefing, Malaysia Airports had also shared its future plans in developing bumiputera entrepreneurship including the proposal to implement business models such as joint venture, franchising, and master concession between international or established businesses with bumiputera operators. The aim of these plans is to enable knowledge transfer which will help in achieving long-term sustainability of bumiputera businesses. 

Both Malaysia Airports and PUNB aim to achieve the objectives of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 by providing further support in ensuring that bumiputera businesses from industries such as food & beverage (F&B), fashion etc. are a part of the retail space within KLIA and other international airports.

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