KUALA LUMPUR: The Hanif sisters work smart and pray hard – a winning formula that has enabled the girls to make their first million while still in their 20s.
Nor Akmar, 29, and Aida Nurlin, 25, from Ipoh, attribute their success to faith in God, perseverance and the “law of attraction.”
“The money is out there. We just need to find the correct way to reach it.
“Fortunately for Aida and me, we found the way in the unit trust business,” said Nor Akmar, a wealth advisor for the CIMB group.
As one of the top 10 group agency managers, Nor Akmar and her team bring in total annual sales of between RM50mil and RM100mil.
When she graduated with a first class honours in Information System Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1999, a nine-to-five job was furthest thing from her mind.
“I wanted a career where I could be the boss of my own time and determine how much I wanted to make, to be independent, with no shackles.
“Business seemed the way out and a friend introduced me to the world of unit trusts,” said Nor Akmar, the third daughter of former Perak education deputy director Hanif Amran.
Like all concerned parents, they were not thrilled when told that their engineering graduate child wanted to be a saleswoman with no promise of a secure income.
Nothing could sway the determined girl. Nor Akmar said a prayer and plunged into the sales job without asking for any financial assistance from her parents or the Government.
In the early days, she “smiled” her way through rejections and took every “no” as a step nearer to a “yes.”
Her perseverance paid off. Soon, word got around about this young, articulate and pretty lass who was actually helping her clients make decent returns on their investments. Customers began to contact her instead of Nor Akmar pursuing them.
Within three months, Nor Akmar hit the RM1mil jackpot in sales. In 2003, at the age of 26, she became one of the youngest group agency managers.
Since then, she has been drawing a five-digit monthly income.
“I am thankful to God for this rezeki as I can provide comfortably for my parents and loved ones. I believe in the law of attraction – be good and sincere in what you do, and the returns will come back to you in manifold.
“This business is a sunrise industry. Others can also earn as much as me.
“Of some 2,000 people in my group, six have set up their own agencies with an annual sales of RM24mil each,” said Nor Akmar.
Younger sister Aida Nurlin is one of Nor Akmar’s success stories.
Aida started selling unit trusts as an undergraduate in Universiti Teknologi Mara.
Aida recalled how she would wake up at 5am and pack an extra set of clothes in her car.
At 8am, she would don on her power suit to meet clients, determined to close a sale by 10am so that she could rush to her class.
“I would dash into the ladies’ to change into my student clothes. It was really tough then because I was committed to closing a RM20,000 sale every day, and at the same time maintain my grades,” said Aida, believed to be the youngest group agency manager for the CIMB wealth creation group.
She too has been making a five-digit income since student days. She bought her first property – a studio apartment in Sri Hartamas – in 2003 while still pursuing her degree in actuarial science.
Like Nor Akmar, Aida is enjoying the fruits of her success.
Both sisters get to wear chic clothes, offer their parents a comfortable retirement and the good things in life, treat friends to meals in classy restaurants and go for overseas holidays.
Aida is convinced the unit trust sales industry could offer unemployed graduates a secure future – if only they had the passion for the product, were committed to lifelong learning and not throw in the towel when the chips are down.
They always tell their group members to care for their customers, be honest and conduct fair dealings.
The sisters go for their umrah annually for they realise the good life they now enjoy does not just fall from the sky, but is due to God’s grace.