IN its almost three decades of existence, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd has become known as an engineering services provider especially in the oil and gas (O&G) industry. It is now one of the biggest O&G contractors listed on Bursa Malaysia.
Having achieved relative success within the O&G industry, its founder and group CEO Datuk Dr Abdul Karim Abdullah is preparing the group for a world where oil will no longer be the main energy source.
This is one of the reasons Serba Dinamik is building the Block 7 Innovation Hub in Abu Dhabi, Karim says in an exclusive interview with The Edge. The innovation hub will feature some information technology systems developed in-house by Serba Dinamik.
“We are not deviating from the original foundation of Serba Dinamik. From day one of the IPO, we have had four core capabilities — operation and maintenance (O&M); engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC); ICT solutions; and education and training.
“ICT will move on to be one of the major contributors of Serba Dinamik. When we proposed the innovation hub to investors in Abu Dhabi, it was about the content that we [would] put into the innovation hub,” he says.
It is not clear what Block 7 Innovation Hub’s ICT capabilities will be or how it will differentiate itself from other innovation and technology entrepreneurial hubs in the Middle East. However, on its website, Serba Dinamik claims it has expertise in interface, app development and e-commerce platforms. Among the apps it has developed re Tryke, a last-mile transport service, and its own QwikPay.
Serba Dinamik also launched its first virtual reality park in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, last month. Called D-Virtual Park, it was developed at a cost of RM13 million and features 10 virtual reality rides.
On April 15, the company announced it had received a letter of award from Block 7 Investment LLC to develop an innovation hub, academic campus, related facilities and IT infrastructure in Abu Dhabi for a fixed price of US$1.78 billion (RM7.7 billion).
It is the group’s largest single contract ever. With this win, Serba Dinamik’s total order book so far this year stands at RM17 billion, its highest ever.
Karim says the innovation hub is just one part of the entire development. There will also be a digital theme park to attract visitors and make it a lively place.
“It is one of the major components of the entire futuristic development that we are developing in Abu Dhabi. Another component is the digital theme park. Innovation Hub is for professionals, businesses and entrepreneurs.
“Cyberjaya attracted a lot of enterprises and professionals but throughout the years, they packed up and left because there is no work-life balance. With the digital theme park, Block 7 will be different from other innovation hubs,” he explains.
Despite the efforts to develop its ICT business, the EPCC and O&M businesses are still very much Serba Dinamik’s lifeline. In the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 (1QFY2020), revenue from the ICT business made up only slightly over 2% of the group’s…