Our latest addition to the family.
The usually attention fearing go - getter Syarif has finally succumbed to my persuasions and - very hesitantly - agreed to take the time and answer my 10 questions. Here we go!
How did you get started on your entrepreneurial journey?
I never fancied working for people. And at an early age, I've tried my hand in a lot of different things. Lived in Thailand for a while dabbling in Bio fuel and eventually taking over the family business dealing with fresh produce.
I bet it wasn't without it's difficulties, what was your biggest challenge?
The family business wasn't doing well at the beginning and we were very close to shutting down the whole thing. The decisions that I had to make then wasn't easy because you know there will be some form of blowback but somebody had to make it. Luckily for me, some of it worked.
On the flip side, what is your biggest success?
Branching out at a pace I myself didn't expect. we now have 6 shops and recently acquired 7mallshop. A halal marketplace that has not reached its full potential just yet.
Moving on to your latest adventure. What enticed you to the world of logistics? Door to door in particular?
Shipping and Logistics has always been a pain point in my other businesses and when the chance came up to play a bigger role in solving those constraints, I couldn't say no. I am now fully invested in Fastrans Forwarding trying to give our end users the service I struggle to receive.
What are some of the pain points you mentioned?
Where do I begin? Just the quantity of documents needed and general shipping processes is a definite pain point. That is why at Fastrans, our ultimate goal is to take all that off our user's hands.
How about Long-term targets? Where do you see Fastrans Forwarding in 10 years?
I expect us to at least make some progress in digitalisation of what is a very traditional industry. I see us pioneering innovative ways that could be modelled upon.
Being a go-getter, Father and Husband, where do you find the balance and what would be your advice to anyone who's trying to do the same?
I am one of the lucky ones. My wife is heavily involved in all of the businesses we're a part of. We just do things together and that includes work. We try our utmost to ensure time outside work is spent with the kids. That is it really. The advice would be to NOT bring work home. No matter what.
Syarif and his wife, Rashidah
Who is your biggest influence?
Has to be my dad. He is by far the nicest, most generous human being(sometimes too extreme) but he has thought me compassion and the importance of investing in people. which for me, are values often neglected when attempting to succeed. In his own way, he also thought me not to be too nice!
Syarif and his dad on a trip to Japan.
Shall we end with a quote? you probably have a favourite.
Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.