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Challenges fuel Naza growth [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
[May 14, 2014]

Challenges fuel Naza growth [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]

(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: IN the second part of an interview with Datuk Wira SM Faisal Nasimuddin, the joint group executive chairman of Naza Group of Companies speaks further about Naza World's success, expansion and strategies, as well as its views and visions on Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

Here are excerpts of the interview: Question: Many say that Bumiputera entrepreneurs should change their mindset in order to be successful. What do you think? Answer: Absolutely, with globalisation and increased competitiveness in the domestic and international markets as well as innovative developments, entrepreneurs should take a different and more creative approach to develop their business. Bumiputera entrepreneurs should change in line with the changes of the business world. They must be receptive to market changes.

Another way to develop business is through smart partnership. This partnership must not be limited to working among Bumiputeras only, as much can be attained by being in partnership with non- Bumiputera entrepreneurs. Financial institutions, government agencies, non-Bumiputera entrepreneurs, large companies and government-linked companies must also change their mindsets and provide opportunities to Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

Question: As a successful young corporate Bumiputera, what would you recommend and advise to Bumiputera entrepreneurs to develop their business? First of all, we must have a dream, with a vision and mission to pursue and achieve the dream. The dream may not be realised without proper planning and willingness to work hard, persistence, perseverance and commitment.

Planning is an essential aspect of business. We must identify the main business we want to run and treat it as our core business. At the early phase, do not be too excited to make profits and become involved in too many businesses as this may result in the business not having a clear direction. If the business has stabilised and there is space for growth, then only can we consider expanding the business.

For example, Naza World began its business as a distributor. We gradually progressed into manufacturing and went through numerous related business value chains. Now, Naza World is rapidly expanding and offering our customers various brands of motorcycles and automobiles, transportation, limousine and taxi service, insurance, engineering and construction, supply of construction materials and events management, among others.

I believe an entrepreneur must always be hungry for knowledge. In the business world, knowledge is one of the keys to the door of success. InsyaAllah, even if an entrepreneur is not highly educated, he/she can still succeed provided they work hard and are proactive in acquiring knowledge, especially that related to the business they are involved in. There are no shortcuts. We should not just hope to get huge profits in the short term, which does not guarantee sustainable business.

Another important point is to carry out a detailed market research and adopt a creative approach to meet market needs. Market approach and strategy are important in ensuring that the products and services are always on the target markets' minds. Technological advancements, the Internet and social media have brought about many changes. Bumiputera entrepreneurs should be technology-savvy as this is a very effective platform to market their products.

Good financial management and discipline are also important. If finance is not properly managed, the business will not last long. Besides this, positive principles such as honesty, good ethics, patience, hard work, commitment, always making detailed planning as well as consistently striving for improvements, will elevate the company's brand and image, while continuing to enjoy the blessings of the Almighty, insyaAllah.

In business, there will always be competition. Essentially, we compete in a healthy manner and seek an approach and strategy that can position our products and business on a higher level.

I feel it is very important that we ensure what we are doing are in line with the do's and don'ts of religion.

Question: Naza World has proven your capability as a young corporate Bumiputera involved in various businesses. Can you explain the strategy behind the involvement of Naza World in various businesses? Other than what I mentioned earlier, Naza World holds firm to the principle of "Customer for Life".Fulfilling customers' expectations and ensuring their long-term satisfaction is a very important. In view of this, one o f Naza World 's strategies and approaches is to undertake measures to ensure that every single customer remains with us for the long term. For this to happen, what we offer should touch their hearts. We do not only focus on a particular group. Our products are for all walks of life. This is why Naza World undertakes diversified businesses.

One of our strategies is to improve the standard and quality of living by showcasing lifestyle products through out "Journey to Enhance Lives" approach.

Question: There are various businesses under the Naza umbrella. Please elaborate on the businesses you feel had brought success to Naza and which will continue to progress to improve Naza's performance.

Naza Group is nearly 38 years old. Naza World's business comprises four key core divisions, namely, motorcycles, automobiles, diversified (which is the value chain support services of automotive) and EFTRA (which provides solution services for business development).

Naza Group has also ventured into the property industry with its "Platinum Park" by Naza TTDI, a world-class, high-end integrated residential and commercial development in Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle.

We also have regional presence in the food and beverage market under a few brand names; Tutti Frutti, Bubba Gump, Gyu Kaku, Peugeot Longue and most recently, Morelli's Gelato. Each brand has received good feedback from the public and we hope to offer better gastronomic experience in future.

Naza has also invested in support services business which includes transportation, limousine and taxi, insurance and credit/ leasing.

We are also very fortunate to have a supportive staff force of more than 5,000. This dedicated team is one of the main contributors to Naza Group's development.

Question: What are your plans for the short and long term to continue creating opportunities for successful businesses under the Naza umbrella? Naza Group has grown tremendously over the past few years, thanks to strategic planning. We are constantly looking to value-add our involvement in the automotive industry. For example, the assembling of imported car models are done at the Naza factory in Gurun. This certainly increases jobs and business opportunities for the manufacturing of local products and components. We have also expanded into the export of motorcycles and automobiles assembled at Naza factories to neighbouring Asean countries.

We are also looking at improving our Customer Service Index Ranking in the market for the brand franchises carried by Naza World.

Question: What is your business or your role under Naza World to assist in the creation of opportunities for Bumiputera entrepreneurs, while continuing to ensure a successful Naza World? There are opportunities everywhere. We have to be aware and receptive to them once they appear. Practise positive principles and ensure every opportunity is grabbed and utilised as best as possible and insyaAllah, create opp or tunitie s for other entrepreneurs.

We will also work with related government agencies to provide opportunities to qualified Bumiputera entrepreneurs. One of them is through the Teras Programme under the jurisdiction of Teraju that was launched in 2011.

We have also discussed with Teraju to identify how Naza can play a role in providing support to Bumiputera entrepreneurs. One of them is by participating in the plan to develop a Vendor Development Programme.

Question: What are some of the achievements you are most proud of? The automotive business is a continuation of the efforts of Naza Group's founder, my late father, and now the group has expanded into various businesses.

I am extremely grateful that Naza has been given the opportunity to carry globally well-known brands such as Harley Davidson, Ducati, Piaggio, Aprilia, Gilera, Vespa Motorcycles for our motocycles line and Ferrari, Maserati, Brabus, Mercedes (dealer representative), Chevrolet for our automotive line.

With the cooperation of family members, good work ethics and drive for success, the legacy of my father for Naza Group continues to flourish.

We have also strengthened the value chain to help small-and medium-sized entrepreneurs to be involved in retail trade, increase jobs and provide opportunities for graduates to be trained at Naza.

Of course we faced bumps and challenges, but they have catapulted and motivated us to move further.

For example, in 2012 and the first half of 2013, Naza World obtained good ranking for the sale of Ferraris in Asean. This recognition provided us the initiative to export and market Ferraris beyond Malaysian shores.

InsyaAllah, with our committed and dedicated Naza family, we will continue to be successful in every venture that we undertake.

Prepared by a consultant firm on behalf of Naza World (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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