The President of AlFaiz Holdings Sdn Bhd, Dato’ Azhar bin Md Yusoff is a man with a clear vision and staying ahead of the game to conquer the industry. In just a few years, AlFaiz has carved a prominent presence in the Malaysia cosmetic & pharmaceutical industry and he has more plans under his hat to see it grow into the future.
Dato’ Azhar is a passionate man who has a sheer determination in building his own company from zero. After graduated from ITM Kuantan Pahang and now known as UiTM, he was offered to further study in Japan but economic crisis in Malaysia during that year hindered him from doing so. He then chose to study at IKM (Institut Kemahiran MARA) taking Wood Technology course because he wanted to run his own furniture factory. Alas, owning a furniture factory remained as a dream as it ain’t easy to achieve it.
I wasn’t sure what to do next and financial was the main problem.
After much thoughts, he decided to work at Sime Darby and did odd-job at night; selling burgers and banana fritters in order to save money.
In 1996, he met Tan Sri Yahaya Ahmad and was offered to start a telco franchise named MobiCom. With only RM 15,000 in hand, he made it and the business was a huge success. After 2 years running the business, he then found himself in a serious crisis to the extent where he lost approximately RM 24 million.
1999 was the year that left such a big impact on his life when he was declared bankrupt. He stayed in his house and only went out at night because he was so embarrassed. The routine lasted for four months and his mother thought that he was insane because he hardly spoke to anyone.
He then decided that something must be changed. “Do I want to quit now? So I decided to register my own company in 2000, without any money or idea what kind of business I want to venture and also the fact that I was bankrupt at that time. I was thinking what kind of business that will be relevant in perhaps 10-20 years ahead.” He got an idea that natural-based products will be relevant in the near future.
Previously, Tun Mahathir brought back Roselle seeds from Sudan to plant in Malaysia but the project failed. He did research and trying to find the solution because he knew Roselle could be the answer he was looking for. With only RM 200 that was lent by his friend, he bought a book on Roselle and a big pot to cook it. He tried to make Roselle a success in creating cosmetics and supplements.
Despite his shortage of money and equipment to manufacture Roselle, he finally made it. In 2002, he produced his first Roselle juice after multiple trials and errors and started selling it from house-to-house.
He then secured a fund worth RM40,000 from SIRIM that gave him full access to do research on Roselle. With that money, he went to SIRIM Shah Alam weekly to learn on cosmetics and supplements manufacturing.
In 2009, I completed my paperwork and officially launched my first product which is LeRoselle Skincare and for a second, I thought it was going to be a huge success but it wasn’t as I expected. I failed because Malaysians still can’t accept cosmetics based on natural ingredients
After a few years, the market trend had changed and his products gained much attention from the local customers. In 2010, he got an idea to fully utilise his knowledge and skill by providing formulas for customers to establish their own brand. In 18 years running the business, Al-Faiz Holdings, being the first OEM company has successfully launched 13 sub-companies.
To date, we have successfully produced approximately 400 brands and almost 100 brand owners are millionaires
said Dato Azhar who shared that his biggest achievement in business is receiving Anugerah Perdana in 2015
In tackling the industry game, he spent on R&D as a strategy to keep the momentum in the business. “We send our R&D all over the world to learn new technology and bring it back to Malaysia to utilise it. That’s one of our keys to secure our place as the big player in the local industry.” Dato’ Azhar’s secret weapon when it comes to business is to always put mother as the main priority. “For me, my mother is my muse. She is my biggest supporter and I always look up to her whenever I need advice,” said Dato’ Azhar who plans to list AlFaiz Holdings in the Main Board.