ORBITING the fringes of success stories in business that are heralded in the media are several satellite tales of exceptional capabilities displayed by smaller and quieter enterprises.
Occasionally, these businesses find a shooting star to ride on, and their stories get seen and heard.
That’s certainly the case with Mohamed Anwar Tahar, whose early life in business was a series of dangerous twisting rides that dragged him to the edge of the precipice.
His bumpy ride took him to the oil and gas industry, logistics, driving a taxi and selling cakes. His entrepreneurial spirit was all but vanquished when his business to sell chilli paste failed.
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“I had to sell my house to settle the debts. I only had $10 in my pocket. I was in trouble,” he recalls.
And that’s when family jumped in with a loan.
Anwar started Saftri Logistics with $1,200 which then saw his contacts coming in to support him.
Starting pos T.K.I. went against Anwar’s natural instincts to avoid loans and getting into a business he was not familiar with. But, again, he was convinced to start up this new venture that would deal exclusively with delivering parcels between Singapore and Indonesia.
Venturing Into New Businesses
Today, pos T.K.I. is going through regular business cycles, and on average it moves up to 5,000 boxes a month.
Anwar is now looking at new ventures.
When the possibility of promoting Sweet Charity’s concert in Singapore came up, he latched on to it.
Sweet Charity’s pedigree as the founding fathers of Malay rock in this region is well-recognised and they would add brand value to pos T.K.I. This was possibly his shooting star.
The concert at Star Vista was well received and encouraging.
Anwar remembers the challenging times he went through in the past, and regularly supports activities for foreign workers from Indonesia — his customers — and the poor in society — his community.
Anwar, admits he is not a visionary. But he has learnt how to plot a strategy. “I’m not a schemer,” he admits.
“But I’ve been lucky.”