For many people, 2019 has been a real tough one. The descent of the Khaleesi into genocidal madness coupled with her eventual demise at the hands of her nephew cum lover (he really does know nothing); the untimely death of our beloved genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist; the realisation that many of our favourite celebrities from the 90s turned out to be either sex crazed maniacs, fraudulent weirdos or maniacal sex-crazed fraudulent weirdos. We've witnessed far too many cold-blooded massacres in schools, places of worships, places we were supposed to feel safe in. We saw cities, forests, jungles on fire, lit by our indifference and fueled by our bigotry.
For us, 2019 has been really challenging too. The ongoing trade-war between the two largest economies, the instability caused by the Brexit kerfuffle and the devaluation of the Ringgit chipped away at our revenue. The slowdown of the market affected our collection and liquidity. Even some of our Startup clients have been forced to call it a day. All in all, it sounds like 2019 has been a damp lump of coal! You might very well think that, but we couldn't possibly agree!
You see, for all its doom and gloom, 2019 is just like any other year. Sure, there are untold catastrophes and calamities (and yes, most of them are man-made), but amidst the ashes and detritus of these disasters, we often see humanity at its best. We see glimmers of hope. This year, we saw a teenager standing in UN, calling out world leaders for their inaction towards safeguarding our planet's future. We saw the Kiwis standing together, after a heinous act of terror, to reform their gun laws in order to prevent the same from happening again. In Australia, a 14-week pregnant volunteer firefighter stayed to battle the raging bush fire in her neighbourhood. The Ethiopians planted a world record 353 million trees in 12 hours!
We've seen our fair share of ups in 2019 too! While revenue has dropped, our profit has remained largely the same due to increased efficiency. We have further decreased our carbon footprint by moving into an office space with a Gold GBI Rating and becoming almost entirely paperless. Our patent team has been bolstered by the arrival of Sew Yeng and Joel. Our entrepreneurship project with the Chin refugee ladies (Lametna Project) has made a healthy 5 figure sum in the first year. Our Startup Assistance and pro-bono work has helped around 20 local start-ups, social enterprises and non-profits.
Looking forward, we will continue to increase the social impact of our business as we’ve always believed that an improved eco-system (in nature, society or the business environment) is beneficial to everyone. We will continue to assist local start-ups through our Start-up Assistance. We will also continue to help those who help others by offering pro-bono services to charitable organisations and non-profits. Additionally, we will be introducing a new SAHEBAT initiative aimed at helping local social enterprises to collaborate with each other as well as connecting them to corporate businesses. Next year, we will also begin the process of being accredited as a social enterprise by Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre.
We know 2020 will bring with it more challenges but we are adamant that we will be part of the solution and not part of the problem. After all, we are here to help!
Happy New Year everyone!