Humble roadside stall blossoms into successful family business

Humble roadside stall blossoms into successful family business


Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013

P. Aruna

The Star/Asia News Network

MALAYSIA – What had started as a roadside stall with the daily budget of RM15 (S$5.90) to buy some chicken and herbs, has today become a successful family business for Nurul Sakinah Abdullah. Currently, the 42-year-old earns at least RM4,000 each day and has hired seven permanent workers at her shop in Seremban. Her brand of “Ayam Panggang Kenyalang” or “Kenyalang roast chicken” has gained fame since she established the business there in 2004. She gets up to three big orders each week to cater food for wedding functions and also sells her marinade recipe to those who want to make their own versions of her famous roasted chicken.Sakinah who hails from Miri, Sarawak, used to used work in Human Resource for a company in Brunei before returning to Miri where she got married at the age of 23.

“I was working in Miri too as a kindergarten teacher, but in the evenings I was very free as my husband would be away at work.

“I was wondering what I could do to fill my time.

“At that time, it never crossed my mind to start up a food business because I had never really been interested in cooking,” she said.

However, Sakinah said, things changed when she one day sampled some delicious fried chicken wings at a stall near her home in Miri.

“It tasted good and it made me think about trying out my own recipe at home. I tried out several recipes and found one that I really liked.

“With only RM15 a day to buy some chicken, herbs and spices, I started my business with a roadside stall near my house,” she said.

There was no need to advertise their business, Sakinah said, as the aroma of the roasted chicken floated in the air, bringing cutomers to their humble stall.

When her husband moved to Seremban in 2004 for work, she decided to set up her very first proper restaurant there.

“My husband soon quit his job to help me run the business because I could not cope with the orders on my own,” she said.

To expand her business. Sakinah took three loans of RM50,000 each from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM).

The movement also sent her for several motivational and entrepreneurship courses, which taught her how to maintain and expand her business, apart from motivating her to dream big and work hard.

While she used to make about RM1800 a month when she had first started out in the business, Sakinah can now make over RM4,000 each day.

Sakinah, who has three children, said her second child had shown most interest in her business and frequently helped her out at the shop.

“My 13-year-old daughter does everything from serving food to counting the money. She is very much interested in the business,” she said.

Sakinah said she had first heard about AIM through a friend.

“She told me that I was eligible for the programme because my income was below RM700 at the time.

“At the time, I already had my recipe and knew how to make the food. All I needed was financial help and some guidance on how to run the business.

“They taught me how to communicate with my customers as, at the time, I struggled to speak to people as my language was not that good,” she said.

With the financial assistance from AIM, she said, she bought a freezer, better tables and chairs for her customers and renovated her shop.

Sakinah said she was in the midst of repaying her loan from AIM, and would complete the payment early next year.

“We are also providing catering for wedding functions and other events and this forms a huge part of our business now.

“We do not spend to promote our business as it is all through word of mouth,” she said.

To date, Sakinah has provided her catering services not only within Negri Sembilan but even up to Selangor, Malacca and Pahang.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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