KUALA LUMPUR: Parlo Bhd’s expansion into foreign workforce management services sees the company potentially raking in RM420 million in revenue next year.
This is as the company recently entered into an agreement to provide a range of migrant workforce-related services for 160,000 Myanmar migrant workers.
Newly-appointed executive director Ti Lian Seng said Parlo, whose core activity is related to corporate and leisure travel arrangements, has been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our nature of business is in tourism, and similar to other businesses such as airlines, the impact of the pandemic is inevitable. Therefore, we decided to expand into the new business, and simultaneously leverage existing relationships that Parlo has with its partners globally, such as in Japan and Thailand.
“For example, we have partnered with dormitory and hostel operators before, and with this new business expansion, we would utilise our existing networks,” he told Bernama in a virtual interview.
Ti also explained that the agreement inked with Myanmar-based Diamond Palace Group of Companies Limited would allow Parlo to venture into other projects, whereby Parlo is expected to generate a digital identity document (e-ID) for 360,000 Myanmar workers.
Under the definitive agreement between Parlo and Diamond Palace, Parlo would provide services, including travel, logistics and dormitory arrangements, medical examinations, vocational training, as well as ID solutions for migrant workers.
Diamond Palace has an exclusive right to a 30-year concession with the Myanmar government to supply workers from the country.
“We are providing services for Myanmar workers and it is also not limited to the Myanmar workforce in Malaysia, but also include workers in Japan and Thailand. This e-ID would have several features, including for security purposes and ID authentication, that would create efficiency from the initial stages where one applies to work abroad and when they start remitting money (back).
“However, we are still working out the details of the ID project, but we certainly hope to introduce in it mid-2021,” he said, adding that the company estimated a RM50 million working capital to develop the digital platform.
The working capital would be either from the internal fund, bank borrowings or private placements, Ti said.
To a question on travel restrictions, Ti said that the business is different from tourism, whereby the demand for migrant workers is high and not affected by travel restrictions, as it requires special approval.
Citing the palm oil industry, Ti explained the COVID-19 pandemic has actually worsened the supply of migrant workers.
The oil palm industry is grappling with labour issues due to the freeze on new intake of workers and difficulties to recruit new workers.
Ti emphasised that Parlo is looking forward to making a profit next year following the new business venture.
For the first half of this year, Parlo’s losses widened to RM4.04 million compared with RM346,000 a year earlier on the back of an 80 per cent plunge in revenue to RM14.92 million from RM77.95 million previously. – BERNAMA