Hazmi, young entrepreneur assisted by SME Corp
19 January 2024
By Nabalu News Journalist
KOTA KINABALU: Hazmi Isnerin, 33, is an independent-minded and innovative young entrepreneur who embarked on his entrepreneurial journey in 2012.
Starting with an auto garage in Banggi Island, Kudat, he financed his venture by competing in the Rural Business Challenge (RBC) and winning RM500,000. The RBC program was introduced in 2012 as a business development programme that involved a Business Plan (RP) competition among rural youth entrepreneurs across Malaysia.
Initially, his operational capital was RM550,000. However, he decided to expand and opened a second shop, Wealthy Auto Garage, in Menggatal. During this time, he also participated in the SME Corp TUBE2.0 program.
TUBE stands for Tunas Usahawan Bumiputra, which aimed to foster the entrepreneurial spirit among young individuals, encourage them to shift from being employees to business owners, and instill resilience in their business endeavors.
As a result of his participation, he received a grant of RM15,000 in 2014. He also took part in the Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programme (Beep), where he was granted RM90,000. With the overall running expenses totaling RM180,000, the company had to contribute half of the amount.
The mentioned grants and programmes helped support the growth and development of his auto garage business, he said.
These development and steady rise in his business enterprise and acumen didn’t come easy. He had to work hard especially during challenging times such as the Covid 19 pandemic where there were movement restrictions order.
Business growth brought about challenges in scaling operations, managing increased demand, and maintaining quality, he said but stressed that when he went into this business, he knew what he was doing as he majored in automotive.
He then closed Wealthy Auto Grarage and opened the Wealthy Auto Paint business in Inanam. This was established on 23 January 2021 with a capital contribution from the business owner amounting to RM150,000. This business used the capital to buy machinery, workshop equipment, office equipment, business premises renovation, and all costs involved.
He was accorded a grant of RM10,000 by Business Scale-Up Programme held by SME Corp in the year 2020.
“Wealthy Auto Paint initially had two employees, but has now grown to six employees to accommodate the increased demand for business services,” he said adding that his company offers vehicle body refinishing services, painting components and entire vehicles, tapping, welding, and welding services. In addition, they also sell vehicle spare parts equipment and vehicle accessories.
He said Wealthy Auto Paint also expands its business by offering oven machine rentals on a daily basis to customers and workshops that require rental services.
He advocated increasing the number of bumiputra business ownership in the automotive industry as it helped to increase the economic standing of the local population. Towards this effort, Wealthy Auto Paint dabbles in the automotive industry by establishing new companies and offering various services.
They also strive to achieve 4S status (service, spare part, spray, sales) and educate and guide the community about careers in the automotive industry, he said.
“I am grateful to all those who have encouraged and helped me in my entrepreneurial journey, such as SME Corp and the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative, head by its Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick,” he said.