We’ve not come across any successful person who have not tasted hardships in their pursuit of success; it is never a walk in the park before you become successful. The important lesson that we should learn from our failures is how we react and how we can be benefited from it. Every hurdle that come our way should serve as a bigger motivation for us to be better. Here’s a few success stories of Malaysians who have overcome challenges. We do not have to be like them but we can take their stories as a source of motivation to lean towards our goals in life.
1. Robert Kuok
We all know that Robert Kuok, the Malaysian billionaire, who is also the epitome for Malaysians who has truly “made it in life”. Kuok has various large businesses in hand that is almost impossible to achieve for us people. He faced hard times during the sugar trade war with China. Back in 1960, when Indonesian government took over the sugar industry, it caused this field to be incompetent. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade took this opportunity to collaborate with the government to import a large amount of sugar from China to Malaysia. This affected Kuok’s business as he was unprepared with the situation. However, it did not defeat him from finding solutions to overcome this challenge. He imported sugar from India as it is lower in price to regain his sugar market in Malaysia. After this incident, Robert Kuok gained the title “Sugar King of Asia”.
2. Tan Sri Shamsuddin Abdul Kadir
His success can be observed from his book “A Driver’s Son”, which also reflects a humble man he is despite of his great success. Shamsuddin won a scholarship to pursue his studies in England after putting in lots of hard work. After that, he returned to Malaysia as an engineer. He then set up Sapura Holdings to undertake work that was contracted out by Telecom and then ventured into different fields eventually. He even documented the hardships that he faced during Sapura times. Tan Sri has proven to the world that someone who started in life with humble beginnings can also achieve success in life.
3. Lee Thiam Wah
The King of Mini Mart was struck with polio and it caused him to sit on a wheelchair for the rest of his life. People with disabilities often blame their situation, but this is not the case for Lee. By the age of 23, he saved up RM5,000 to start a grocery business which he studied the strategies of conducting businesses. He then sold the business at RM88,000 in hand, where he decided to challenge himself to open a mini mart. The mini mart is known as 99 Speedmart, with 175 stores in Klang Valley and East Malaysia.
4. Datuk Dr Maznah Hamid
Her dream to become an entrepreneur was strong despite of objections from her grandparents. She worked as a tutor and translator for a few multinational companies. After that, she decided to pursue her dream, with RM5,000 savings to start up a company. She’s known as “Iron Lady” because she was the first woman to lead a security company “Securiforce”. She was inexperienced back then but after going through several challenges like lack of manpower, Securiforce turned into a multimillion company.
5. Datuk R. Doraisingam Pillai
Datuk R. Doraisingam Pillai always wanted to become an entrepreneur. He failed his exams when he was 15 back then and that’s the drive for him to start his own business. Datuk Doraisingam saved up RM500 to buy fishing nets for his fishing business. The results turned out to be better than he expected, which leads him to expand his fishing business and eventually founded Lotus Group.