The Brandlaureate Business World Review

KULIM | The Brandlaureate Business World Review

As one of the key companies of JCorp, Kulim (Malaysia) Berhad (“Kulim”) is highly known for its very well established palm oil business, and over the years has carved a new paths with its experience and proven ability into other business segments. Now having laid the foundations of its new ventures, Kulim is committed to the expansion and growth of its new assets to propel the multifaceted brand to greater heights in coming years.

Kulim traces its history back to 1933 when Kulim Rubber Plantations Ltd. was incorporated in United Kingdom. The company was later incorporated as a public limited company and was listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in 1975. In 1976, JCorp became the major shareholder of Kulim.

Kulim's business portfolio is a progressive development from its traditional business of palm oil, pursued in line with its aim to sustain value creation for all its stakeholders via the adoption of an evolving and balanced business mix. Over the years, Kulim has grown to become a diversified plantation company and continues to strengthen its position by securing new hectarage while developing and strengthening its intrapreneur ventures as well as continues to leverage on its scale, network, brand, services and people to explore and foray into upstream Oil & Gas ventures.



Kulim is recognized as one of the leading palm oil groups with operations currently spanning over Malaysia and Indonesia. Kulim was amongst the earliest palm oil producers to be certified to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard. Kulim's management and growth strategy is fundamentally guided by Vision '30:30' – which aims to raise fruit yields to 30 tonnes per hectare and palm product extraction rates to 30 per cent, balanced with sustainable development principles.

Kulim Group is considered as one of the oil palm industry leaders in terms of yield performance Kulim Group is considered as one of the oil palm industry leaders in terms of yield performance. In 2015, the Group including JCorp produced a total of 1,029,725 tonnes of FFB, an improvement of 6.24 per cent from 969,235.25 tonnes achieved in the previous year.

As the palm oil industry has been identified as one of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) to boost the country's total Gross National Income (GNI) from RM125 billion to RM178 billion by 2020, Kulim has proven to be one of the players to galvanize this vision.

In 2013, Kulim was presented with an opportunity to re-enter Indonesia having left it in 2007. The completion of 74 per cent acquisition in PT Wisesa Inspirasi Nusantara (PT WIN) paved the way for Kulim and its local business partner, PT Graha Sumber Berkah (PT GSB) to develop 40,645 hectares of new oil palm plantations in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Being a socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizen, Kulim is committed to the expansion of its plantation operations, especially in Indonesia, guided by the RSPO's New Planting Procedures (NPP) – apart from the relevant Indonesian regulations through a formal process to secure the necessary documentation to obtain a release permit prior to land development.

Oil and Gas (O&G)

While plantation and agriculture dominate its business profile, Kulim hopes to continue to explore, identify and invest in businesses that offer superior long-term potential for growth and profitability, with the aim to minimize earning fluctuations so as to enable the Group to provide attractive returns to its shareholders. Driven by its Balance Business Strategy, Kulim is uncovering opportunities in a new business dimension – O&G sector in the quest to business growth and value deliverance to its shareholders.

Having established O&G support businesses such as the transportation of clean petroleum products and fabrication of O&G pipelines, Kulim aims at moving up the O&G value chain to expand into upstream O&G activities involving exploration, development and production – particularly in Indonesia as new space is being created. This is to enable Kulim to tap into strategic investment opportunities to broaden its earnings base and generate sustainable growth.

Intrapreneur Ventures

Established as one of Kulim's principal growth thrust, Intrapreneur Ventures (IV) Division is the test-bed for the Group's entrepreneurial talents. Kulim is constantly on the look-out for new and promising businesses that can be nurtured to maturity. Thus far IV is involved in a diverse range of businesses; including shipping & logistics, support operations for plantations, including agricultural machinery, oil palm nursery and mills maintenance as well as IT-related services.

These companies are developed and nurtured with the aim of subsequently being transformed into strategic business divisions of the Group. Kulim's efforts have paid off with some success stories, notably that of E.A. Technique (M) Berhad and its subsequent listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on 11 December 2014.

Sustainability and Governance

One of its pursuits of value and growth is firmly underpinned by its commitment to embrace sustainability and strong corporate governance as the overriding philosophy – which includes developing the Sustainable Palm Oil (SPO) programme as a business guideline. As a socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizen, Kulim embraces the principles of sustainable development and has continued to work towards demonstrating sustainability throughout its operations. One of its added-value efforts, promoting renewable or green energy within the palm oil sector, One of its added-value efforts, promoting renewable or green energy within the palm oil sector, is the development of its first biogas plant at Sedenak Palm Oil Mill was commissioned on 8 April 2014. Another plant at the Pasir Panjang Palm Oil Mill was completion by end-2015. This will be followed by the Sindora Palm Oil Mill, with the target completion in April 2016. By 2017, the Palong Cocoa and Tereh Palm Oil Mills will also have their own biogas plants.

With its efforts to always being mindful of its surroundings and the socioeconomic impact of its actions, Kulim aims to move forward by developing business methods that are economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial as well as positioning Kulim as one of the front runners in the SPO-compliant global supply chain.

In relation to governance, Kulim was ranked 49th amongst the top 50 companies shortlisted for the Malaysia-ASEAN Corporate Governance Award organized by the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG). The award was intended to showcase the top Malaysian public-listed companies with good corporate governance practices using the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard Methodology.