PETALING JAYA, Dec 10 — Malaysian entrepreneur Muhamad Yenash Ismail who founded clothing company Yenz Exclusive, once sold slippers in the night market.
The 26-year-old man from Sungai Buloh would buy slippers from a supplier in Kuala Lumpur and sell them in the night market every day from the age of 18 till 23.
Speaking to Malay Mail, he said that he chose to sell slippers as they didn’t have an ‘expiry date’ as compared to food.
“I remember hardly anyone buying my slippers for the first two weeks when I sold them because my stall was located so far away from everyone.
“But eventually, people came and I moved to a more strategic spot so that people could see me.
“That was the start of my learning curve in the business industry — I learned the importance of a good location, being good to customers, and always being friendly to them.”
The youngest of four children, Muhamad Yenash revealed that he had a hard life growing up watching his mother make kuih muih such as doughnuts and curry puffs to sell at restaurants.
Other times, his mother would head to people’s homes to work as a cleaner to earn more income to keep the family together.
“Her busy schedule was such that she didn’t have the time to fetch me from school so I would walk a distance of four kilometers from school to home every day.
“I didn’t mind it because I knew how hard mum had to work for a living and would even help her make food in the morning.
“And then one day it hit me that I wanted to venture into the business field so I decided to stop pursuing my education after my SPM examinations.”
At 18, he sold slippers and then started selling shoes.
After five years of saving up his money from the footwear he sold, he accumulated enough as his capital to start his own physical clothing business in Sungai Buloh in 2019.
He now has his own team of designers, research and marketing experts working with him.
“Even after opening up my own clothing store, business went down during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“That was when I decided to switch online to sell the clothes and fortunately for me, I now have a total of 7,000 agents throughout the country.
“As someone who has learnt and is still learning the art of entrepreneurship, I’ve also taught over 400 young people to become entrepreneurs,” he said.
“It’s life-giving to teach the young ones out there to continue to grab opportunities, have patience and to not wait for an opportunity to arise before they start doing something great.”
The 26-year-old who is married with two kids hopes to expand his brand and business to South-east Asia by 2025.