Growing a smart business


  • Branded
  • Friday, 13 Dec 2019

Though a very tactile, traditional business, Eats, Shoots and Roots founder Shao-Lyn Low says constant connectivity and up to date information are vital ingredients for success.

Maxis has just the right solution for your business, even if it’s the garden.

IT’S been seven years since Shao-Lyn Low began Eats, Shoots and Roots (ESR). An organisation that hopes to grow communities through growing food, ESR has managed to prove naysayers and sceptics wrong thanks to its staying power.

“When we started out in 2012, we wanted to make a difference in the environment. I felt very disconnected with nature. I was a graphic designer from the city and knew very little about plants and trees, ” Low said in a recent interview at Eats, Shoots and Roots HQ at Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

“Most people just brushed us aside and said we were wasting our time then. But we’re still around! I guess people had trouble seeing our vision and to be honest, even for us, it was more of an experiment, but we felt very strongly about doing something with nature.”

The road to success hasn’t always yielded fruit, but ESR has been headstrong in its vision, always on the lookout for the right partner to team up with to complement their work.

Recently, Maxis has stepped into those shoes, providing the solutions that ESR needed.

Plotting a future

While it started out as mainly an educational hub, today ESR is a social enterprise on a concerted mission to empower urban folks with the skills and tools to grow their own food.

It designs and builds edible gardens for people who want to start growing in their balconies or backyards; it runs educational workshops for children and adults, sells merchandise and runs edible garden programmes to build communities.

ESR today is on a concerted mission to empower urban folks with the skills and tools to grow their own food.ESR today is on a concerted mission to empower urban folks with the skills and tools to grow their own food.

That’s a tall order for such a small group of people – ESR has only six full-time workers, and a few part-timers who work offsite.

“We have a very lean team, but everyone has a specific role to play – whether it’s designing a garden or kit, marketing merchandise, coming up with an education syllabus or physically being in the garden, ” Low explains.

How do they get so much done and remain efficient?

“On the facade, it’s all very traditional and tactile – soil and seeds, but a big part of our work revolves around research and being connected. Data is hugely important to us because it enables us to be in constant communication with each other, ” she shares.

ESR subscribes to Maxis ONEBusiness Smart, which helps it keep in touch as well as nurture customer growth.

An all-in-one plan complete with mobile and fibre internet package, ONEBusiness Smart comes with unlimited mobile data, free smartphones and business solutions.

According to Claire Featherstone, head of Maxis Enterprise Practices, Maxis’ ambition is to help businesses of all sizes across key segments succeed by simplifying and improving the way they work.

Head of Enterprise Practices, Claire Featherstone said Maxis aims to help businesses of all sizes across key segments succeed by simplifying and improving how they work. Head of Enterprise Practices, Claire Featherstone said Maxis aims to help businesses of all sizes across key segments succeed by simplifying and improving how they work.

“Its converged offerings of innovative technologies and digital solutions are built around an ‘Always On’ proposition. This leverages its unique Fixed and Mobile network and backed by its industry-leading network that ensures an unrestricted and worry-free experience which can be enjoyed ‘as a service’, ” Featherstone said.

With ONEBusiness Voice Go, for example, one never needs to miss a phonecall. It is a cost effective and scalable mobile hunting line service for any small business, which redirects business calls to up to five selected Maxis mobile lines. You will also get a special 1700 or fixed line number (0X) that will become your virtual business number to ensure that you are reachable by your customers anytime, anywhere.

Not only does the service ensure you are always connected and not deskbound, it also eliminates your need to purchase and maintain desk phones. What’s more is that you’ll get to enjoy free calls to all Maxis fixed lines and mobile numbers within your company.

Low says keeping connected with her team at all times of the day is essential in her business. Low says keeping connected with her team at all times of the day is essential in her business.

Low says that ONEBusiness Voice Go has been such a great help, because this means that even when the whole team is on the go, one can always reach them.

“One of our business challenges is that we are not always in the same place at the same time, ” Low says.

“We are always running around either in the garden or at a workshop. Being constantly connected is so important, and thanks to our mobile phones, we can do so quite easily. Most of our business systems – including all our accounting books, inventories and registration forms – are all online, on the cloud.”

And it’s in the office that the Maxis ONEBusiness Fibre comes into the picture. It provides super-fast speeds and always-on Internet. It comes with automatic wireless internet so you stay connected always.

According to Low, it can take just two to three days for a garden to be ravaged by some sort of pest or problem, so keeping in touch with each other, having access to information and understanding the garden space is very important to them.

“Constant Internet connectivity is so important for us to find solutions to problems immediately, and then share that information with the team.”

Low is happy with the current plan and hope ESR will be able to expand even further.

“We have done over 140 workshops, designed more than 50 gardens, we’ve engaged with over 3500 people in the last half decade and we’d like to see our business grow, ” she says.

Equipped with the right digital solutions, ESR is confident that they are on the right path.

For more information on Maxis ONEBusiness Smart and plans go to business.maxis.com.my/mobile/onebusiness-smart/

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