Sitting on a luscious, soft chair with a warm cup of strong brew nestled in the cusp of one hand whilst flipping the latest edition of Vogue magazine is perhaps one of my favorite past times. But, this past time has been turned into a lucrative business by brother-sister duo, Dilla Karim and Captain Kamarul Karim.
I met one half of the brilliant duo in one of their many coffee establishments, Zawara. And boy was I not disappointed. Not only was I treated to a velvety, smooth cup of java but I was greeted by a lady with an impeccable sense of fashion. Seeing Dilla decked in a satin blue tudung dotted with glimmering crystals and a bold red lip, you instantaneously get a sense that you are meeting someone who is confident and knows what she is doing.
Such fortitude, I would soon find out, stemmed from her voracious appetite for knowledge. Dilla advises that an entrepreneur should arm herself with a battery of knowledge, from attending business seminars to reading books, as it is integral to business success. In fact, Dilla reads at least one book a week! Now, I have no excuse to not finish the book which has been left sitting on my desk collecting dust.
The proverb slow and steady wins the race perfectly describes Dilla’s business. It might not look like it at first; she did meteorically expand nineteen Zawara fashion outlets in just one year! My eyes watered with awe as Dilla began musing about how this was just the beginning of the birth of a multi-billion- ringgit empire! But, this future empire had humble beginnings. Dilla started her business by manning her own kiosk. In a span of two years, she was able to employ others to run 30 kiosks.
Furthermore, having a brother as a pilot meant that that she could not only find out what was missing in the local market, but she could also inject international flair to local needs. Today, Zawara is producing fashion that caters to modern Muslim fashionistas. Zawara has also lifted the café experience to a whole new level by offering gourmet food items; something that my tummy can truly appreciate. Recently, Dilla launched Zawara cosmetics which ablution friendly and Halal status is a godsend for any Muslim woman who wants to
have an impeccable and polished look without having to compromise her religious obligations.
I was really inspired after talking to Dilla. I realized that anybody, no matter who you are, can become a successful entrepreneur as long as you are passionate and ambitious. No person is too small, and no idea is too big. As Dilla said, you can start small, but you must always think big. So, what is your big idea? I know mine!
Watch the video here. Happy watching!
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