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Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 12:41:01 PM
by p. aruna
Green and fresh: Nurul Sakinah arranging vegetables at her shop in Seremban. — UU BAN / The Star
What had started as a roadside stall with the daily budget of RM15 to buy some chicken and herbs, has today become a successful family business for Nurul Sakinah Abdullah.
Currently, the 42-year-old earns at least RM4,000 each month and has hired seven permanent workers at her shop in Seremban.
Her brand of “Ayam Panggang Kenyalang” or “Kenyalang roast chicken” has gained fame since she established the business there in 2004.
She gets up to three big orders each week to cater food for wedding functions and also sells her marinade recipe to those who want to make their own versions of her famous roasted chicken.
Sakinah who hails from Miri, Sarawak, used to used work in Human Resource for a company in Brunei before returning to Miri where she got married at the age of 23.
“I was working in Miri too as a kindergarten teacher, but in the evenings I was very free as my husband would be away at work.
“I was wondering what I could do to fill my time.
“At that time, it never crossed my mind to start up a food business because I had never really been interested in cooking,” she said.
However, Sakinah said, things changed when she one day sampled some delicious fried chicken wings at a stall near her home in Miri.
“It tasted good and it made me think about trying out my own recipe at home. I tried out several recipes and found one that I really liked.
“With only RM15 a day to buy some chicken, herbs and spices, I started my business with a roadside stall near my house,” she said.
There was no need to advertise their business, Sakinah said, as the aroma of the roasted chicken floated in the air, bringing cutomers to their humble stall.
When her husband moved to Seremban in 2004 for work, she decided to set up her very first proper restaurant there.
My husband soon quit his job to help me run the business because I could not cope with the orders on my own,” she said.
To expand her business. Sakinah took three loans of RM50,000 each from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM).
The movement also sent her for several motivational and entrepreneurship courses, which taught her how to maintain and expand her business, apart from motivating her to dream big and work hard.
While she used to make about RM1800 a day when she had first started out in the business, Sakinah can now make over RM4,000 each day.
Sakinah, who has three children, said her second child had shown most interest in her business and frequently helped her out at the shop.
“My 13-year-old daughter does everything from serving food to counting the money. She is very much interested in the business,” she said.
Sakinah said she had first heard about AIM through a friend.
“She told me that I was eligible for the programme because my income was below RM700 at the time.
“At the time, I already had my recipe and knew how to make the food. All I needed was financial help and some guidance on how to run the business.
“They taught me how to communicate with my customers as, at the time, I struggled to speak to people as my language was not that good,” she said.
With the financial assistance from AIM, she said, she bought a freezer, better tables and chairs for her customers and renovated her shop.
Sakinah said she was in the midst of repaying her loan from AIM, and would complete the payment early next year.
“We are also providing catering for wedding functions and other events and this forms a huge part of our business now.
“We do not spend to promote our business as it is all through word of mouth,” she said.
To date, Sakinah has provided her catering services not only within Negri Sembilan but even up to Selangor, Malacca and Pahang.
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