From the ground up
Building an immensely successful company such as Sedania Group required a lot of hard work, tenacity, and creative thinking.
“The early days were filled with lots of groundwork, building and experimenting, studying and observing what consumers want, and then fine-tuning what I had imagined in my mind to try to translate that into what people would want,” Azrin recalls.
Sedania Group has been in existence since 2004 and over the years, the company has faced countless challenges.
One of the biggest of these – something that continues to be a challenge to this day – is finding the right people to work with.
“It’s always difficult to find not just like-minded people but people who have the same makeup or ‘DNA’ (deoxybonucleic acid) as I do.
“This is important because only when I find the people who have the same makeup, can I work with them to come up with the products I dream about,” shares Azrin.
He may be a seasoned entrepreneur, but Azrin still credits the Coach and Grow Programme (CGP) for tweaking his mindset, and assisting him in realising one of his biggest dreams.
“I wanted one of our companies to be publicly listed. This proved to be a very intense experience, with a very steep learning curve,” he admits.
“Like many of life’s most meaningful challenges, you will never really understand what it is like until you go through it yourself.
“I have always believed in leading by doing. Since Sedania started, we had been moving full steam ahead, forging our own path as we progressed.
“With the listing of one of our companies, we hope to be the beacon to light the path for others,” he says.
Taking the IPO plunge
The official listing process started in late 2013 and the first steps were taken to list Sedania Innovator Sdn Bhd.
“The CGP Go IPO Programme enabled us to ensure our foundations were solid before we took the IPO (initial public offering) plunge,” says Azrin.
“The objective was simple: Is our organisation ‘market ready’? From systems and control to accounting standards and governance models, we know that everything will come under scrutiny during the formal IPO process.
“The CGP Go IPO Programme enabled us to assess our readiness as a vital first step on the journey,” he adds.
Azrin shares that the experienced CGP coaches, who have helped list multiple companies, guided he and his across a vast range of critical issues like strategic business planning, risk management, and internal controls, as well as implementing corporate governance procedures in accordance with industry practices.
“The programme prepared us to expect the unexpected on our journey to go public,” Azrin says, adding proudly that Sedania Innovator was successfully listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities in June 2015.
Azrin says that being listed is his proudest achievement but it is far from the only one. There have been many shining moments for Sedania Group.
At the 2014 Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards, Azrin was named the winner in the Outstanding Entrepreneur category.
His company was also named the winner in the Best Brands in ICT – Content & Media category at The Brand Laureate SME Best Brand Awards in 2012.
Sedania Group’s individual products have also won awards such as the Best Mobile Application/Content for As-Sidq at the NEF-Awani ICT Awards in 2011, and this is just the top off a list of prestigious awards that goes on and on.
While he is honoured and happy with all the recognition, Azrin is not one to sit back and bask in the glory.
He is already plotting the next steps for Sedania Group’s future. “The vision for the future is simple: I want us to be the next billion-dollar fulfilment group. This year, I hope I get closer to this one-billion target,” he says.
“Beyond 2016, I want to provide fulfilling platforms and products that the public will continue to use, right up to and even after my death – that is my ultimate vision.
“I would also like the company and people I have nurtured to continue fulfilling the needs and dreams of people,” he adds.
What the world needs
Although he has reached lofty heights with his professional ambitions, at the heart of it all, Azrin has a simple wish.
“My every day dream is to make people’s lives better,” he says. “I see our creations as products that fulfil customer demands.
“They may be web and tech-based, but essentially they are created to make the customer happy,” he says.
In his first book, Non-Conforming, Azrin writes about being able to transcend borders and generations.
“This is what I mean: Whatever you set out to do, try to do and create something that will last. Do not just do it for the state or country you are in, do something that the world will need,” he writes.
Azrin, who started out as a lawyer and a banker, says he never chose to become an entrepreneur.
“I became an entrepreneur so I could realise all the things I wanted to realise. But I honestly do not think I chose this. I believe you are either born to be an entrepreneur, or circumstances make you one.
“I think my personality, combined with circumstances, made me an entrepreneur,” he says.
Discover Sedania Group at www.sedania.tv.
The above is an excerpt from the book Startups to Scaleups published in October 2015 by Cradle Fund and Proficeo Consultants, the programme manager for Cradle’s Coach and Grow Programme. DNA will be featuring every entrepreneurial story from the book in a special commercial arrangement.
Source from Digital News Asia