The Family Man Achieves His Dreams
Iskandar Dzulkernain lives with his family in Pasir Mas, Kelantan. Iskandar is a loving father and a responsible family man, and thus was always looking for ways to make a better living, to provide a more comfortable life for his family.
As Iskandar’s children grew up he was even more determined to find a way to succeed. But what could he do in semi-rural Pasir Mas? One day as he was travelling down the road that connected Kota Bahru with Rantau Panjang, he found his path.
Rantau Panjang is a major shopping destination and the gateway into Thailand in the north-west of Peninsular Malaysia. The road to Rantau Panjang is frequently congested with vehicles going to and returning from the border-crossing town. Iskandar saw the possiblities. He saw a river of opportunity, he saw the opportunity to start a business that would bring in continuous revenue. He saw a petrol station in his future!
Iskandar shared his dream with his family and everyone was very supportive, including his eldest daughter Rosmini. Rosmini was a graduate in Banking but was more than willing to put aside her professional development to help support her father’s dream. That would be the start of a tough and challenging journey for Iskandar and his family.
They had no capital and no experience. Their first step was to identify and convince a petrol company to let them open an outlet and provide them with supply of petrol, something that was easier said than done, especially if one was an unknown with no capital and no track record. Iskandar was not made to feel welcome at all during his initial approaches, and the weight of rejection was heavy and frustrating. He was a nobody, and nobody even had time to give him, much less view him as a future business partner. It was at this stage that the spirit that every successful entrepreneur possesses showed within Iskandar. He never stopped trying and he never lost his patience. Where an ordinary person would have walked away, Iskandar presevered. In the end his determination and honesty shone through and his first breakthrough was achieved. Iskandar was offered an outlet at his chosen location. At this stage, he faced his second major step. He needed to raise RM2.5 million to start his business.
Both Iskandar and Rosmini knew that SME Bank was the only bank that would help them. Both father and daughter spoke about the awareness programs and workshops that SME Bank frequently conducted, even in their area. So their second step was to approach SME Bank for assistance. It was indeed a big second step, a step as big as the first. As any other successful entrepreneur story, it was never so easy. Iskandar needed to again show his perseverence and patience before he was able to meet the SME Bank officer who would change his life forever. It was fast forward for Iskandar thereafter.
With savings of RM150,000, Iskandar raised further capital by selling a piece of land in Manek Urai that he owned for RM450,000. SME Bank came through for him with financing for an amount of RM1.75 million. This was it. It was all in for Iskandar. With the commitment put in, he was able to send Rosmini to an intensive technical course to prepare her to run a petrol station. His targeted land was purchased and work was started to build his petrol station.
4th of August 2016 was the historic day when Shell Salor was officially open for business. In an exciting and emotional day for Iskandar and his family, the team from SME Bank was there with them all the way. From a planned early morning opening, some technical issues resulted in a whole day delay. When it would have been perfectly understandable to just postpone the opening to the next day, Iskandar’s determination again shone through. He was determined to open on the announced date. And he did. As his story went, the first drop of petrol that he sold was late into the night. His dream business was finally officially started.
Iskandar learned a lot on that first day. He witnessed first-hand the kind of commitment that the team from SME Bank showed – they had stayed with him the whole day as they tackled the issues together, and celebrated alongside him as he made his first sale. Today, Iskandar’s petrol station generates close to RM1 million in monthly revenue. With the confidence that SME Bank has instilled in him, Iskandar is now planning to open more stations!