WHOLESALE and retail giant Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd, an inspirational Malaysian brand, carries a legacy that every Malaysian can be proud of.
From humble beginnings, the brand has grown to be a true Malaysian icon. Founded in 1918 by Gulam Husen Jamal, the Mydin family story is a typical rags-to-riches story and, at the helm of it, the remarkable protagonist — Mydin Mohamed, founder and chairman of Mydin Mohamed Holdings.
After all these years, Datuk Dr Ameer Ali — Mydin’s second son — continues the family legacy by constantly improving and seeking out opportunities to better serve Malaysians.
The brand’s latest venture — SAM’s Groceria — is expected to capture the high-end segment and provide consumers with a unique shopping experience.
“We have been growing at a 20% rate year-on-year and, as of March 31 this year, we had a turnover of RM2bil. SAM’s Groceria is a natural progression for us as we see potential in the high-end market,” said Ameer Ali.
SAM affectionately stands for Saya Anak Malaysia, something that Ameer Ali and his family members are proud of.
The first SAM’s Groceria recently opened its doors in Penang with an investment of about RM15mil. Wholly-owned by Mydin, SAM’s Groceria aims at providing premium products at affordable prices to Penangites as well as the growing expatriate community.
According to Bernama, the 30,000sq ft supermarket offers a wide range of products with over 19,000 items, of which 60% are imported goods from the United States, Australia, Japan, India, Taiwan and Thailand.
The space also houses food and beverage counters called SAM’s Deli, which offer premium Western and local dishes, such as spaghetti, lasagna, nasi lemak and coffee at affordable prices.
Another highlight of SAM’s Groceria is the first-of-its-kind self-scanning service, which enables customers to check on prices and product ingredients.
Rural transformation programme
Despite the brand’s latest venture into the high-end market segment, Ameer Ali said Mydin Holdings would not forget its regular consumers.
“Our same store sales have grown by 6% and that is the highest for any hypermarket, I believe,” revealed Ameer Ali.
In its efforts to help the Government develop rural areas, Mydin recently launched a wholesale hypermarket in Gopeng, Perak.
Located within the integrated shopping complex Agromall at the Rural Transformation Centre (RTC), it serves as a centre to boost income for local agricultural entrepreneurs.
RTC Perak is a modern one-stop centre where most government agencies are based. There is also a fresh market, an agro-bazaar, a health clinic and commercial banks to suit the needs of the residents in the vicinity.
“We have invested RM46mil to ensure steady growth in the area. As the saying goes, ‘If you give a man a fish, he is hungry again in an hour; if you teach him to catch a fish, you do him a good turn.’ So, we have allocated 160 stalls for small and medium enterprises to fend for themselves and 60 flea market stalls,” said Ameer Ali.
Mydin is also the operator of Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) and provides assistance in fit-out works, equipment and racking installation, supply chain management, IT support for Point-of-Sales (POS) system, retail and technical expertise as well as training for the store.
“We have received good feedback from consumers and we are looking into opening 57 KR1M outlets in Sabah and Sarawak,” said Ameer Ali.
Ameer Ali firmly believes in giving back to society and he wants to do this in a creative manner.
As a thoroughbred entrepreneur, Ameer Ali believes in profit-driven initiatives that are far more sustainable than handouts.
“We are giving back to the local community by giving them opportunities to accelerate their economic growth.
“We provide them with opportunities to sell their products at our malls even though some of them are direct competitors,” he said.
Ameer Ali added that consumers these days are supporting corporations that give back to society.
What started as a small wooden shop named Syarikat Mydin Mohamed selling toys and other goods in 1957 has grown into one of the most iconic Malaysian brands in history.
Malaysian dream, anyone?