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Wednesday October 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday October 16, 2013 MYT 11:07:37 AM
Mohd Ridzuan preparing a dish for his customers at his food stall in Kampung Geliga.
Life seemed to be throwing him one challenge after another.
Mohd Ridzuan Wong Abdullah had been working as a cook in a hotel but his employer did not pay his wages, forcing him to look for another job to care for his wife and two children.
He then started collecting and selling scrap metal to make ends meet, making about RM300 each month. Then, his marriage ended in divorce and he took his two children under his care.
The 45-year-old man from Kemaman, Terengganu then remarried a woman who had three of her own children from a previous marriage.
Taking in another three children under his care meant higher expenses and more mouths to feed.
Mohd Ridzuan was hoping for chance to start up his own business as he knew he could do well if he only had the capital to buy the tools and equipment he needed.
Opportunity finally came knocking on his door in April this year when he was contacted by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) which was conducting a entrepreneurship training session, Azam Tani.
Mohd Ridzuan was quick to agree and signed up for the course.
They advised him to start up a food business as he had experience in the field.
“I have been cooking Hainanese chicken rice ever since I was a teenager as I used to help my mother prepare meals.
“I jumped at the chance to cook for a living again as that is my passion and I know I can do well at it,” he said.
He was given an Apollo stove, a warmer, a canopy, tables and chairs as well of other equipment worth RM10,000 needed for him to start up his small business.
Mohd Ridzuan started up a Hainanese Chicken Rice stall but was faced with another challenge- the monthly rental for the stall was RM500.
The trainers, by engaging with the local authorities, managed to get him the stall for a reduced rent of RM200.
Mohd Ridzuan is now making an average of RM2,000 each month, but says there were times when his earnings even hit RM10,000.
He finally feels settled in life and can take care of his family and provide them with the things they need.
“With the money I have made, I have even managed to install a small covered area in front of my stall so my customers can sit there comfortably regardless of rain.
“I have also managed to buy a car, a Toyota Avanza, to take my family out in comfort,” he said.
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