The Oil Transport Tycoon

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ZHA Pengangkutan Sdn Bhd

Founder Haji Ahmad Zubir Bin Azhari
Industry O&G
Year Started 1986
  1. The Story
  2. In B.Malaysia

The Oil Transport Tycoon

In a land rich with natural resources success will go to those who dare to reach for it. However, is that the secret to success? To be daring? Or are there other qualities needed to make it big in business? We find out more in this story about a hard-working entrepreneur who realised his dream of success in his beloved Terengganu.

From extremely humble beginnings in rural Terengganu where he grew up in a large family, where he started out with nothing, he now commands a fleet of tanker lorries that allows him to rack up revenues of up to RM18 million per annum. This is the story of Ahmad Zubir, the hardworking boy from Kemaman, Terengganu who succeeded in becoming a tycoon.

Ahmad Zubir is the 8th in a family of 11 siblings. His father was a rubber tapper whilst his mother took care of the family at home. From a young age, he had to learn to be sulf-sufficient. This stood him in good stead as he was orphaned in his teenage years, his father passing away when he was just the tender age of 15, and whilst sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) at 17 years of age, he lost his mother too. He passed his SPM and got into sixth form, but after graduating two years later he had to step into the world, he was unable to get a place in university.

He decided to leave Kemaman and went to Kuala Lumpur to seek employment. In Kuala Lumpur he applied for a position in the civil service and got a job as a clerk on a local government department. While this was steady employment, he yearned for something different. He decided that big city living was not suitable for a kampung boy like him, and moved back east. He found a clerical job in the Kuantan branch of the RTD (Road Transport Department). While working in Kuantan, he found that somewhere within his heart, he had a bigger ambition. He didn't feel like doing clerical work long term.

And so he moved back to Terengganu to join a few of his elder brothers who were doing small transportation jobs in the state. He became a lorry driver and thus his journey to success was started. He worked hard, helping his brothers with their transport business and gathered as much experience as he was able to. By 1986, at the age of 28 years old, he made his first move. He bought a second-hand lorry that cost him RM35,000. He obtained a wholesale license for trading in oil products and started to sell to the local cooperatives that dotted the Terengganu economic landscape. The cooperatives were in various industries, such as fisheries, logging, plantations and manufacturing. Unfortunately for him, during the early years of his venture, the economy was in recession. He had trouble making ends meet during those times, in his darker days he found himself contemplating closing his business and returning to Kuala Lumpur to find employment as a lorry driver instead. Fortunately for him, he did not give up. He was soon to be rewarded for this perseverance.

In 2000, he won a contract to become the sole provider of transportation for Petronas Dagangan Berhad's oil and gas products, for the entire East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This contract was worth millions and he was ecstatic, but he now had to urgently build his fleet of lorries in order to fulfill the contract. This was where SME Bank came in. In his experience, he had found that the commercial banks were very reluctant to entertain him when he was seeking financing assistance for his lorries. SME Bank was the only financial institution that welcomed hm with open arms. He was able to get RM930,000 in financing which allowed him to quickly build up his fleet of lorries and so, as the saying goes, he never looked back.

From a one-man show with a single second-hand lorry tanker, he now has almost 50 lorries in his fleet, with more than 100 staff on the payroll. His company transports in excess of 3 million litres of petroleum products a month, and monthly revenue reaches RM1.5 million. Looking back to his humble roots, he finds it hard to imagine the success that he has been able to achieve. He credits his hardworking and honest character for his success and obviously also thankful for the role of SME Bank in his achievement.

Tauke Besar Lori Minyak

Di Terengganu yang kaya dengan sumber semulajadi, golongan yang berjaya merupakan golongan yang berani mencuba. Namun, adakah keberanian itu memadai? Ataupun adakah kualiti lain yang diperlukan sekiranya seseorang itu ingin berjaya di dalam perniagaan? Kisah ini mengisahkan bagaimana seorang usahawan yang rajin dari Terengganu mencapai impiannya di tanah air kesayangannya.

Ini adalah kisah Ahmad Zubir, seorang budak Kemaman, Terengganu yang rajin yang memulakan perjalanannya dengan tangan kosong yang akhirnya berjaya menjadi tauke besar yang berjaya membina sebuah syarikat lori pengangkut bahan petroleum dengan perolehan tahunan mencecah RM18 juta.

Ahmad Zubir merupakan anak kelapan dari adik-beradik seramai 11 orang. Ayahnya mencari nafkah berkerja di ladang getah. Ibunya pula duduk di rumah menjaga keluarga. Dari usia yang muda, beliau terpaksa belajar untuk berdikari. Ayahnya meninggal dunia ketika Ahmad Zubir hanya berumur 15 tahun, dan dua tahun selepas itu, semasa menyiapkan diri untuk peperiksaan Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia (SPM), beliau kehilangan ibunya pula. Beliau lulus SPM dan berjaya untuk memasuki Tingkatan Enam, namum terpaksa mengambil langkah ke dunia dewasa setelah gagal mendapat tempat di universiti.

Beliau mengambil keputusan untuk meninggalkan Kemaman dan membina kehidupan di Kuala Lumpur. Di sana beliau mendapat pekerjaan sebagai kerani di sebuah agensi kerajaan. Walaupun ini merupakan pekerjaan yang tetap, beliau tidak tinggal lama di sana. Mungkin kehidupan di kota besar tidak sesuai baginya. Beliau mengambil keputusan untuk kembali ke pantai timur. Di Kuantan, Pahang beliau menerima tawaran kerja sebagai kerani di pejabat Jabatan Pengankutan Jalan. Semasa berkhidmat di Kuantan, beliau mendapati ada cita-cita yang lebih besar di dalam hatinya, beliau tidak ingin menjadi kerani seumur hidupnya.

Jadi nalurinya telah membawanya kembali ke tempat asalnya di Terengganu di mana beliau membantu beberapa orang abangnya yang telah memulakan sebuah perniagaan kecil menyediakan perkhidmatan pengangkutan lori. Dia menjadi pemandu lori, dan bermulalah perjalanannya menuju kejayaan. Beliau berkerja dengan tekun membantu abang-abangnya, sambil menimba pengalaman. Pada tahun 1986, semasa berumur lebih kurang 28 yahun, beliau telah mengorak langkahnya yang pertama. Beliau membeli sebuah lori terpakai dengan nilai RM35,000 dan telah mendapatkan lesen borong untuk produk minyak. Beliau mula memasarkan produknya kepada koperasi tempatan di dalam industri seperti perikanan, pembalakan, perladangan dan perkilangan. Malangnya ekonomi gawat pada ketika itu, dan beliau menghadapi cabaran yang besar ketika itu untuk meneruskan perniagaan. Ada masanya beliau terfikir untuk menutup perniagaannya dan kembali ke Kuala Lumpur untuk menjadi pemandu lori. Namun beliau tidak mengalah. Ketabahannya mendatangkan hasil tidak lama selepas itu.

Pada tahun 2000, syarikatnya telah berjaya mendapat kontrak dari Petronas Dagangan Berhad untuk menyediakan perkhidmatan pengangkutan untuk produk petroleum untuk seluruh pantai timur Semenanjung Malaysia. Ini merupakan kontrak yang besar yang bernilai jutaan ringgit, tetapi untuk menjayakan kontrak ini beliau terpaksa menambah bilangan lorinya. Beliau telah mendapatkan bantuan pembiayaan dari SME Bank. Dalam pengalamannya, bank perdagangan tidak berminat untuk membantunya apabila beliau mencari sumber pembiayaan untuk membeli lori. SME Bank merupakan satu-satunya institusi kewangan yang mengalu-alukannya dengan tangan terbuka. Beliau mendapat pembiayaan bernilai RM930,000 yang membolehkannya untuk membeli lori yang diperlukannya. Dari titik itu, kejayaan telah menyusul.

Dari perniagaan kecil yang dijalankannya seorang diri, syarikatnya kini memiliki hampir 50 buah lori, dan dianggotai lebih daripada 100 orang pekerja. Syarikatnya mengangkut lebih daripada 3 juta liter produk petroleum sebulan, dan pendapatan bulanan mencecah RM1.5 juta. Dari asal-usul yang serba kekurangan, Ahmad Zubir tak sangka mampu mencapai kejayaan besar begini. Padanya, rahsia kejayaannya adalah kerana beliau rajin dan amanah. Selain itu, tanpa bantuan SME Bank mungkin perjalanannya tidak akan sejauh seperti yang telah dicapainya.