A Big Leap of Faith
How does one make a comeback in their life? After a change of career and divorce, it is an uphill task. But for one young entrepreneur, Nadjua Zailani, it is all about the passion and dedication to restart life. “I work with a bank as a banker, and then I had to move to Kelantan since my husband was stationed there. After a brief marriage, we separated and I did a lot of odd jobs to support myself. At one time, I had no money and had to borrow from a friend.”
That was when she turned to her one long-time passion, cosmetics. Having experience doing sales while still working at the bank. She turns her experience and passion into a career. “I went to a cosmetic factory and became an agent, from there I learned a lot about the production, research, and development. Coupled with what I learned while taking a degree in Pharmacy, I know what a cosmetic product needs to make it appealing,” she says, reminiscing her time as a factory agent and consultant back in 2015.
Her five-year experience as a factory agent has opened a window for her to start her very own factory, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that caters to producing cosmetic products. “I decided to open a new factory in Rawang. It is a huge leap of faith, but I am confident with my decision nonetheless. I will be running it with a partner, who shares the capital to open this factory,” Nadjua adds, stating that she will be in charge of marketing.
Setting up a factory is not a walk in the park. The capital needed is not a small sum either. Both Nadjua and her partner chipped in for the RM 1 million capital needed for the factory. However, to save up, Nadjua has to live below her mean to save up a big portion of her income. The 28-year-old also stated that experience as a factory consultant is another valuable asset that she has accumulated. “As a factory consultant, quality control is of the utmost importance. There are many instances where factories often slipped up, and that led to clients’ dissatisfaction. You’ve got to have patience and tolerance when it comes to dealing with the clients. Communicate with them, and always upgrade your soft skills. Put yourself in their shoes,” she says.
Although the factory has yet to commence operation, Nadjua has already managed to score some big companies and collaborate with them. “We ordered high-tech machines to make us competitive in terms of quality as well as the lesser time needed from the production line to packaging. There are stations for raw material, fillings and other things according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The factory could manufacture between 50,000 and 100,000 units per month and we already have 10 to 15 workers to operate the factory,” Nadjua says, projecting that the factory could generate RM500,000 monthly in sales.
While she has managed to secure some prominent brands and working with them, Nadjua says that the biggest hurdle she faced while starting her own business is trust. “It is hard to win clients’ trust, but it is also harder to give trust to people, especially those outside your circle. Some people have never truly struggled, and they have a get-rich-quick mentality. These people tend to break your trust and could cause the company to implode,” Nadjua adds.
For Nadjua, taking her time in the industry and do it step by step is the key to navigating herself in the industry. As the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.