ImportNEWS

Upstart or Start-Up Generation?

Cover Story
By Ili Aqilah
Labelled as the confused and the lazy generations, Gen Y and Gen X are often likened to being ‘upstarts’ usually young persons who are full of themselves and dismissive of others With technology becoming more advanced, we sat down with nine born and raised Ipohites who are keen on proving everyone wrong. They are young, talented and eager to be successful in a big way. No monkeying around for them this Lunar year. This group is creating start-ups and they mean business!

 
Young Entrepreneurs Making Waves
Hadi and Fathiah
When Muhamad Hadi Hafiz returned to Ipoh, he knew he had to start something new. Previously working in KL, Hadi decided to venture into a field where he had no experience. After months of R&D, together with his best friend, Fathiah Nasuha, they launched the first food truck, The Hut in Ipoh in May last year.
“It took a lot of research in developing the recipes. We rely a lot on our customers and it has been great to serve them with our food,” said Hadi.
Although it hasn’t been smooth sailing, lacking of customers on certain days, Hadi and Fathiah are having fun working together. In fact the duo have several exciting plans coming up, including opening a new food truck.
“We do have our ups and down. But that is what keeps us motivated and going further,” said the 28-year-old lad. With the current economic uncertainty, Hadi encourages Ipohites to start their own business or perhaps join the food truck trend. Catch The Hut roaming around Ipoh or follow their instagram at @thehut.my.
 
Amir Idrossaidi
In the field where almost all of his competitors are older and more experienced, Amir Idrossaidi, 25, couldn’t believe that he is part of the industry dealing with tombstones.
“I took a course in IT programming where the plan was to set up my own IT shop and open classes for those who want to learn more about IT,”. However, Amir’s father had a different path set for him. The family business began in 2001 where everything was done manually. When his father asked him to join, he was hesitant at first but soon enjoyed it as he gets to apply his IT skills from his diploma.
“When I first started to be part of the team, I had to build our own filing and accounts system. Luckily I have my sister to help and my father’s permission to sort of revamp the current system at that time,” said Amir who is now handling 99 per cent of the business including sales, marketing and manufacturing. Together with his sister, Amir now uses only high-tech machines to carve the name on all the tombstones instead of doing it by hand.
“When meeting my clients, they seem surprised to see how young I am. Which I take as a compliment!” added Amir who believes more young people should join the industry. Amir admitted having some tough competition but he takes it as a positive challenge. Located at Chemor, Amir currently has up to thirty four agents all over the country including Perak, Selangor, Pahang and Kelantan.  Enquiries about Batu Nisan Chepor Enterprise: email them at batunisanchepor@yahoo.com or visit their facebook page!
 
Chow Jia Long
This proud Sam Tet boy, Chow, 31, is managing Titan Technologies, a one-stop supplier of laboratory equipment and all lab-related services including consultation and calibration. He had six years worth of experience before starting up the company by himself. Although he is living his dream, Chow advises people to pay more attention on the execution of a plan and not just dream of becoming the next big thing,
“You need to be resourceful to survive. Identify and eliminate hidden and unnecessary costs, learn to increase profit and get as much information as you can,” said Chow who disagreed that Gen X and Gen Y are the lazy generations.
“The misconception often thrown around by the previous generation is that the current generation refuses to put in hard work and labour and that we waste a lot of time online. Things are different now. We are doing things faster, smarter and more effectively using non-traditional ways. Something they didn’t have back then,” added Chow. His company has served a wide range of industries including geological, pharmaceutical, F&B and many more. In short, Titan Technologies deals with any manufacturer and factory that has a quality control department. Chow is also looking to provide more value-added services to his core business and plans to venture into different fields depending on his creativity and resources. More information on the services offered by Chow and his team at www.titantechnologies.com.my.
 
Hor Hon Yeong
For Yeong, the younger generations are living in a better environment with better options. Working hard alone is not enough, it is also important to be smart and creative. Through his company, HedgeHog, Yeong, 30, aims to provide e-learning business solutions to those who are interested to build their own e-learning business.
A graduate in film and broadcasting from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Yeong is currently working on multimedia production of state government e-learning projects. Aside from that, together with his sister, they produced explanatory videos and animations. When asked about his challenge in the field, Yeong agreed that the key is to keep everything in balance,
“Since I had a new baby last year, the real challenge for me now is to maintain good balance between my job and family.” said Yeong who hopes that HedgeHog (hedgehog.com.my) will be the pioneer in the e-learning industry.
 
Mohd Lazim
Through his love to serve the community, Mohd Lazim, 31, created a team and built a website called Komuniti Bandar Meru Raya (Meru Raya Community) that focuses on helping the public to fully utilise the latest technology in their daily lives. Using social networks as a medium to gather people, Lazim encourages startups and e-commerce entrepreneurs to start doing online businesses.
“My team and I want to make Meru Raya the city centre of the online marketplace in Perak by the end of 2019,” said Lazim who believes that every generation has different ways to do things and everyone has their own kind of thinking that should be accepted by others.
Although he just started the project, Lazim has managed to gather a few individuals who share the same idea as him. In the future, he hopes to build a foundation for new entrepreneurs to start their own business. Interested readers keen to find out more about Lazim’s project can go to www.bandarmeruraya.com.
 
Priya Vivek
Priya Vivek is not scared of facing challenges in her work field that are mostly dominated by men. She is used to being called names and judged harshly. This easy going 30-ish lady is currently the creative director for Paintingz, a 3D animation, design, website development and building apps company she has managed since 2007.
“When I first came out with the idea of Paintingz, I had to do all the research from scratch, including learning about drafting contracts, marketing and sales,” said Priya who admits that it wasn’t all smooth sailing. She has had her share of troubles for the past years including some who refused to pay her for the job she did.
“I learned from experience and got help from the experts. It is important to be humble but also learn not to have people step on you.” Paintingz has dealt with numerous clients including local and international companies in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Contact Priya at paintingzlry@gmail.com or priya.vivek@lrygroup.com.au for more information.
 
Seyn Jukey
His journey to entrepreneurship began after Seyn, 30, completed his degree in engineering and is now running five companies that work on music, film, literature and theatre. Seyn can’t help but feel fortunate that he gets to do what he loves for a living. As the co-founder of Projek Rabak, an art collective that embraces arts, pop culture and educates the public on appreciating the arts, Seyn and his team have already started working on the next Ipoh Kreative, one of their biggest events, scheduled for January 2017.
“Lazy people can be found everywhere and throughout the ages. It’s about finding the passion in oneself. Previous generations had to fight for their rights and prosperity of the country. It’s all different now; we are doing what we want to do and to be. I believe in encouraging young people to be passionate in everything they love and making something of their lives.” said Seyn who dreams of transforming Ipoh to be the creative city in Malaysia. Check out the upcoming events of Projek Rabak on their facebook page or log in to www.projekrabak.com for more details!
 
Malvinderjit Singh
The young director of Tandoor Grill, Malvinder, 31, is looking forward to expand more into the F&B industry. Tandoor Grill opened four years ago and has recently won Best Restaurant during the 2015 Perak Tourism Awards.
“The first three years were the hardest. We struggled a lot in so many ways, but now that it’s well accepted not only by locals but also by international tourists, just makes me want to work harder,” said Malvin. The idea of Tandoor Grill began when the family visited North India and it was his father’s idea to set up a restaurant that serves good Northern Indian food in Ipoh.
Together with his sisters, Malvin manages the two-storey restaurant and is planning to open more branches in the future. Without any previous experience in F&B, Malvin would like to see more people joining in because it is a field where you can learn a lot of things.
“Everything is possible. Stay focused and do a lot of research. Good things will come to those who work for it,” added Malvin.
Tandoor Grill is located at Jalan Chin Choon Sam, Greentown, 30450, Ipoh. They open every day (11.0pm-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm), close every Tuesday and accept reservations (05 252 5995/05 255 5995).
 
As the saying goes, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle”. It is safe to say that Gen X and Gen Y are not lazy or confused, but instead are being misjudged by others. With the advanced technologies that we now have, the youths not only need to work harder but also need to learn how to work smart in order to rise to success.
 

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