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5 Malaysian entrepreneurs share their vision this Merdeka Day

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It is the time of the month when Malaysians gear up for Merdeka Day and show their sense of national pride explicitly by displaying the Jalur Gemilang (national flag). Malaysia has grown from strength to strength since becoming independent in 1957. According to the World Bank, the country has successfully diversified its economy from one that is agriculture and commodity-based, to one that has become an important hub for manufacturing and services sectors.

Amidst the growth in the economy and with more Gen Zers wanting to be entrepreneursA+M speaks to Malaysian entrepreneurs on their journey and hopes this Merdeka Day.


Joel Neoh, Founder, Fave

 

What was your vision when you first started out and where are you at right now?

As a 20-year-old entrepreneur, I was passionate and focused on helping others. For example, my first startup revolved around a job-matching service for fellow university students seeking part-time employment. As the business grew and scaled, I gradually realised how challenging and complicated it became especially for those who weren’t as technologically savvy.

Since then, I have made it my life’s work to help fellow entrepreneurs scale and grow their businesses with the aid of digital technology. The way we’ve built businesses is not by focusing on short wins and successes.

One of my founding principles is to fall in love with the problem, and not the solution.
There’s always more that we can do to solve a problem and make a difference. For instance, with Fave, we’re a platform which improves the lives and convenience of people through our merchants. In this aspect, we’ve barely covered a small percent of the market. It’s exciting to think of the journey ahead!

Q Any hopes for Merdeka Day?

As Malaysians, I hope we continue to focus on what makes us strong – a sense of pride, diversity and culture! There’s a lot of talented people in Malaysia. I hope that the younger generation continues to stay positive, progressive and proactive in light of an increasingly globalised world, by looking outward and growing inward.


Bryan Loo, Founder, Loob Holdings

 

Q What was your vision when you first started out and where are you at right now?

Since the beginning, the idea has always been to modernise tea drinking for Malaysians. The only difference now is Tealive being a completely homegrown brand, which is an empowering position because it gave us purpose to put Malaysia on the world map.

Q Any hopes for Merdeka Day?

I hope Tealive’s journey towards becoming a homegrown international brand would become an inspiration to Malaysian youths. A leading example to be bold and relentless in pursuing their dreams. A reminder that breakthroughs are always possible. Show the world what Malaysians are made of! We will always have your back.


Jessica Li, Co-founder, Dahmakan

 

Q What was your vision when you first started out and where are you at right now?

Our vision for dahmakan when we first started out is still the same as it is now – to provide a quality, convenient, affordable food delivery product that millions of people around Southeast Asia could use everyday. It’s our belief that food delivery is fast becoming the norm and will only continue to grow, replacing traditional takeout options and cooking at home.

Q Any hopes for Merdeka Day?

Merdeka is a great reminder for all Malaysians to come together and celebrate their history, the diversity of this country as well as look at how we can build an even better future.


Kim Lim, Co-founder, The Picha Project

 

Q What was your vision when you first started out and where are you at right now?

The only vision we want is that the refugees or beneficiaries that we are trying to impact to be able to live a sustainable living and send kids to education. Currently, most of our families are sending kids back for education.

Q Any hopes for Merdeka Day?

I hope we come together as a nation to realise that it’s time to put away racism and our differences. Come together as one to impact the lives needed to impact because I always believe only if we come together, share resources and knowledge, we will then thrive as a nation.


Sasibai Kimis, Founder and CEO, Earth Heir

 

Q What was your vision when you first started out and where are you at right now?

To be honest, I didn’t really have a plan when I started Earth Heir.

I just saw people in need, I didn’t write a business plan, I just delved in and started helping.
I don’t think I intended to even start a business! Earth Heir’s vision is “To build nations and generations as heir’s of the Earth” – this core idea has not changed since the beginning. It’s the driving force behind our decisions and how we run our business.

Q Any hopes for Merdeka Day?

I hope more of us will seek to learn, experience and share how each of us is connected to each other – to find our shared heritage as Malaysians and as human beings.

Read the full article on A+M, where this story was first published.
Lead photo / iStock

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