No stopping this 'saucy' youth

Young entrepreneur Mohd Burharudin Ibrahim showing some of the products made in his factory in Kampung Pulau Serai, Dungun, yesterday. — NST picture by Imran Makhzan

DUNGUN: He is only 28 but Mohd Burharudin Ibrahim's success as a food manufacturer would turn others with more experience green with envy.

Armed with a family recipe and a can-do attitude, the Kampung Paya Balai Besar youth has become a major producer of sauces and cordials.

It all started when he was having a packet of instant noodles for lunch at home four years ago.

As he slurped up the noodles, the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia graduate noticed his mother's home-made chilli sauce for keropok.

And that was when the proverbial bulb lit up in his head and he decided to sell his mother's chilli sauce to his neighbours.

Mohd Burharudin, who obtained his technology management diploma in 2003, started his chilli sauce business with recycled bottles and produced about 300 bottles a day.

The sauce became an instant hit and Mohd Burharudin decided to expand his business.

He enrolled in numerous courses, including those on food processing, food technology and marketing, to gather the necessary knowledge to mass produce his mother's chilli sauce.

"A lot of people were sceptical as I was fresh out of UTM and young but their doubts only fuelled my desire to prove them wrong.

"I also relished the challenge of proving that a young entrepreneur could succeed with hard work and determination.

"It was tough at first but once I had made up my mind, there was no turning back."

The intrepid entrepreneur drove from town to town to promote the sauces manufactured under his brand, "Daen's" (coined from his name) and which carried a logo that he designed himself.

He followed up the success of the chilli sauce with a lychee cordial.

His persistence paid off and now his goods are sold in shops in Kemaman and Pasar Payang in Kuala Terengganu.

His production has increased 10-fold to 3,000 bottles daily.

"Officers from agriculture-related departments are pleased with my success," he said, adding that he could not have done it without his family's support.

Inspired by the likes of Securiforce Group executive chairman Datuk Maznah Hamid, Mohd Burharudin does not intend to rest on his laurels. Instead, he is already thinking about his next project -- to produce fishballs and fish burgers and to buy machines to increase productivity.

State Farmers Organisation Authority director Mohd Rosli Harun said Mohd Burharudin is a fine example for other youngsters.

"He became successful in a span of four years.

"He managed to penetrate a saturated market and it helps that he is tech-savvy as it makes a difference in the agriculture industry these days," said Mohd Rosli.


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