KOTA KINABALU: For more than 26 years, a company has quietly and without fuss been helping to see that the Sabah Government machinery is continuously kept on the move.
By providing and maintaining hundreds of vehicles for the State Government every year since 1995, Angkatan Hebat Sdn Bhd (AHSB) has ensured District Officers, engineers, surveyors, clerks, and other state civil servants get to their required destinations and back.
Currently, AHSB which is a subsidiary of the State Government’s investment arm, Qhazanah Sabah Bhd, wants to leverage its wealth of experience and expertise in vehicle leasing and maintenance as the company looks ahead toward expanding its business horizons.
Company Chief Executive Officer, Hj Faez Nordin (pic) said AHSB is eyeing to become one of the concession company to manage vehicles of the Federal Government in Sabah.
“Moving forward, AHSB could also leverage on its fleet management expertise into becoming a fleet management solution provider to the commercial sector, particularly the industries,” he said.
“We can offer value added services apart from repair and maintenance that also include overseeing fuel consumption and costs as well as management of drivers and utilisation of vehicles aimed at increasing productivity while reducing wastage,” Hj Faez added.
AHSB has indeed come a long way since its incorporation in May 1994 and was awarded the fleet management concession by the Sabah State Government a year later.
Starting with just 15 employees and 95 vehicles, AHSB has since grown in terms of staff now numbering more than 100 while its fleet has expanded to 516 vehicles.
About 86% of the AHSB’s fleet comprise of four-wheel drive vehicles such as Toyota Fortuner (188 units) and Toyota Hilux (257 units) reflecting the State Government departments and agencies’ focus on serving and reaching out to the communities in remote areas across Sabah.
To ensure a minimised ‘downtime’ for its leased vehicles, Hj Faez said AHSB has a network of 27 Accredited Service Centres (ASCs) in Sabah and four in Kuala Lumpur.
“These ASCs together with our fleet management team provide a round-the-clock on-call repair and maintenance solutions to the leased vehicles’ users,” he said.
Like any other businesses, AHSB has also sought to diversify its revenue stream and not be solely dependent on its vehicle leasing operations with the Sabah State Government, Haji Faez said.
The company has set up four subsidiary companies to venture into transport-related operation and these include wereby one of it namely Angkatan Hebat Services Sdn Bhd is involved in the operation of vehicle repair and maintenance services. This subsidiary also serves as a supplier of vehicle spare parts, tyres, motor oils and lubricants.
AHSB has also ventured into becoming an agent for State-owned insurance firm, Progressive Insurance Bhd, through another subsidiary namely Angkatan Hebat Trading Sdn Bhd.
Additionally, AHSB also own Angkatan Hebat Motor Sdn Bhd that serves as the tender agent for Hino vehicles ordered for State Government agencies. This subsidiary is also involved in the repair of heavy commercial vehicles such as lorries and buses.
AHSB had also tapped into Sabah’s burgeoning tourism sector by offering among others tour bus services and comprehensive tour packages through its other subsidiary namely AHSB Rentacar Sdn Bhd.
As its name implied, AHSB Rentacar Sdn Bhd also offered the leasing and rental of a wide range of vehicles such as self-driven saloons, chauffeur-driven limousines, buses and four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Like other tourism related ventures, the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic in early 2020 and its prolonged impact has hit AHSB Rentacar Sdn Bhd hard, Hj Faez acknowledged.
“Through AHSB Rentacar Sdn Bhd, we operate a car rental service, as well as hotel and airport chauffeur services and ground services during the visits of international cruise ships. We also provided transportation services for international schools,” he said.
“Just like any other operators in the tourism industry, we have been severely affected by the pandemic and in fact, it has almost decimated our tourism revenues,” he said.
Although affected by the shrink of tourism industry, AHSB Rentacar Sdn Bhd is still innovative in generating its revenue stream by renting out other lots building that it owns in 1Borneo and Grace Square.
Hj Faez said the key factor for an economic turnaround was the Covid 19 vaccination drive both domestically and internationally.
“We hope borders would be open soon enough and travelling will be allowed, perhaps on an enhanced SOP manner to balance the need of safeguarding lives and continuing economic livelihoods,” he added.
With a confident look into the future, Hj Faez said the laying plan is to venture further into the transport sector that also include vehicle dealerships.
“In our business horizon we are looking at providing a transportation and logistics support network, as well as establishing new energy ventures,” he added