Guiding entrepreneurs to make their business grow

(From left) Mohamad Hatta and Zamaluddin chatting with fellow entrepreneur Sarah Mahamud, 35, at the YouCanDuit Campaign Carnival at Politeknik Balik Pulau, Penang.

AN EXECUTIVE by profession and coffee connoisseur in his spare time, Zamaluddin Salleh has never let his passion for making homemade coffee powder die even as he worked a full-time job.

The 50-year-old said he used to make coffee powder in his spare time as it was a family tradition in his village in Perak.

“I started my coffee powder business in 1997 but on a very small scale.

“I would grind the beans according to taste, package it in plastic and sell it to friends and family.

“Now after learning various business strategies through the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) e-Usahawan programme, I have seen tremendous growth.

“I am looking forward to growing my business,” he said when met at the #YouCanDuit Campaign Carnival at Politeknik Balik Pulau in Penang recently. He gave a talk on his success at the event.

Zamaluddin, a senior executive at Penang Port Sdn Bhd, where he has worked for 22 years, currently lives in Permatang Pauh on the Penang mainland.

He runs a lab at his home where he produces his coffee powder.

Zamaluddin discovered the e-Usahawan programme through friends and the Internet and learned how to establish his business.

“If there are any issues or hurdles with my business, I will contact MDEC and they also keep tabs on my monthly income from the business.

“I have learnt to use the Internet, especially social media to promote my business.

“There are now plans to export my coffee powder overseas,” he said, adding that prior to taking part in the programme he earned RM1,000 a month but now earned between RM5,000 and RM6,000 monthly from the business.

Universiti Sains Malaysia arts and design student Mohamad Hatta Mahat, 27, said he used to freelance as a graphic designer locally to earn pocket money but always wondered how it would be to penetrate the foreign market.

“I joined the e-Rezeki programme in July last year and attended a three-month class organised by MDEC where I learnt how to prepare a portfolio and appeal to the international market.

“I also found out where to offer my designing services in the foreign market online as prior to that I did not know which platforms to access,” he said.

Mohamad Hatta, who also gave a talk at the event, said he now ran his own design studio and outsourced projects to his friends whenever he was fully booked.

The two-day carnival, held over the weekend, saw locals learning about the e-Usahawan and e-Rezeki programmes as well as interacting with those who have successfully established their businesses.

The campaign was introduced to provide encouragement, professional support and opportunities for Malaysians, especially those in the suburbs and rural areas, to participate in the digital economy.

The carnival was launched by Balik Pulau MP Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

Also present were Pulau Betong assemblyman Datuk Muhammad Farid Saad, Teluk Bahang assemblyman Datuk Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah and state Education Department deputy director Mohd Jamil Mohamed.

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