Aliyah Rizq Holdings Pte Ltd: SME Excellence Business Award & Top Business Service and Quality Award 2022/2023

Aliyah Rizq Holdings manages multiple farms around the globe, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and soon to expend into UK. The company was founded in 2016 by Mr Ashraf Bakar who has been in the farming industry for over 12 years.

Mr Ashraf has always been interested in rearing animals since a young age. He was previously working in the property industry, focusing on primarily the construction line. Despite only rearing animals as a hobby, he was constantly getting requests to purchase the animals he reared. Mr Ashraf was initially very reluctant to part with his treasured livestock. However, he eventually realized that his passion lied deeply in rearing animals instead of construction, he decided to turn it into a commercial business. That was when Aliyah Rizq holdings was founded, the company specializes in buying, selling and trading animals. After much consideration, Mr Ashraf eventually decided on sheep and goats amongst the various types of livestock. He did not choose to raise chickens or cattle as chickens were too prone to diseases and cattle requires a much bigger space and are generally riskier from a business perspective. Another for choosing sheep and goats is the high demand in the region.

Despite the success Mr Ashraf has attained, his journey definitely wasn’t a smooth one. As he is considered a foreigner in these countries, it was extremely difficult for him to get the necessary permits relevant documents.

Finding reliable staffs and trustworthy suppliers were also a challenge. In order to overcome these problems, Mr Ashraf had to live in each of the countries for awhile to get to know the locals, he will always bring a local friend when dealing with local suppliers and business partners.

Due to the nature of his work, he will often have to spend time away from his family. A normal month for Mr Ashraf would be spending at least 15 days traveling to other countries for work, he will only have less than 15 days to spend at home with his one year old triplet boys. In order to spend more time with his kids, Mr Ashraf will try to arrange for most of his meeting to be either online or he will invite them over to his home so he can be more present with his family. Apart for “Work-Life” balance, he also believes that the well-being of emotional state and soundness of mind are equally as important for a business owner as everyone will depend on him to make the right decision.

“If a boss continually micro-manage, the employees will continue to be spoon-fed and will not grow, in turn you won’t be able to rely on them long-term. “

Mr Ashraf is a firm believer of not micro-managing so that his employees can step up to leadership opportunity when the time comes, he also trains their problem-solving and encourages them to take initiatives.

Mr Ashraf has a few pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs.
1.   Don’t be blinded by all the hopes & promises that others promise you.

2. Don’t be blinded by the dreams and wealth that you have yet to achieve.

In order to attain these success, you will have to take care of all the nitty-gritty stuff such as filing for paperwork, and checking through fine prints, etc. To be running a successful business, you will need to have trustworthy and reliable partners by your side instead of trying to do everything alone. The idea that being a successful entrepreneur means you’ll have to be lonely has long been proven to be false.

It is important to have good partners, stake-holders, and not forget a good team. When you are trying to build a team, look for someone who has the skills that other in your team do not have, so that they can complement each other’s strength. Look for diverse skills so the business can sustain itself, “I do not have the capital or resources to hire/build a team” but there are so many other such people, go find similar people who share the same vision as you.

If you are a stakeholder in the health & wellness industry, be sure to make friends in the governing bodies and agencies such as HSA, so that you will always be updated of the available grants, and regulations, etc. Having good public relations skills are essential for working in a variety of jobs that require regular communication with others.

Another thing to take note is to not shut the door too early on yourself. If a bigger player wants to buy you over, do not be afraid to talk to these giants companies. They can either be the person who buys, or you can supply to them, or they may invest in you, these are all possibilities if you are willing to discuss with them. Do not close the door too early and deny yourself of the many other possible opportunities. When a big corporation makes you an offer, you may negotiate to either sell all or only sell a portion of your company. The fact that they make you an offer is a testament to how valuable you are and how far you’ve came.

Last but not least, identify the players you need to get in contact with in order to grow your company. In the 2nd year of running his business, Mr Ashraf reached out to Nestle and In his 5th year, Nestle, CP Food, Nike and Adidas were all offering him all sorts of contracts and deals, some even offered to buy shares of his company. However, all these only happened because Mr Ashraf took the first step by reaching out to them first, throwing his name out there and keeping it at the back of their mind.

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