Over the years, Malaysia’s entrepreneurial landscape has seen some very successful entrepreneurs who have carved out extraordinary paths and made a name for themselves on the global stage.
These visionaries continue to motivate aspiring entrepreneurs locally and internationally with their creativity and relentless determination. In this article, we spotlight the top 10 entrepreneurs who have redefined the Malaysian business landscape.
1. Bryan Loo
Brian Loo is the man behind Malaysia’s household bubble tea chain, Tealive.
Originally trained in biotechnology, Bryan found that medical sales weren’t his calling. He soon found his passion in the F&B industry and went on to be the founder of Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, the company that also owns Bask Bear Coffee, Croissant Taiyaki, Define:food, Define:burgers, Sodaxpress, Abang Adek, Wonderbrew, Ding Dang Grocery, Chicken Claypot House, and Yunnan Bridge Noodle.
In just 6 years, Bryan scaled Tealive to almost 800 outlets in 8 countries, serving 5 million customers monthly. Bryan’s many accolades don’t come as a surprise given his achievements.
2. Chin Ren Yi
While working in the US, Ren Yi discovered In-N-Out Burger, which then inspired him to bring delicious burgers and good service back to Malaysia.
He partnered with a couple of his friends and set up a burger shop in Publika, though initially it was met with disappointed customers. After relentless testing, they perfected their products and went on to establish the very first myBurgerLab outlet in Seapark, PJ.
Today, myBurgerLab has multiple outlets across KL and Selangor. Ren Yi has also established myPizzaLab, and is still working on a couple of other projects that are in their early stages.
3. Dato’ Sri Dr Shamir Kumar Nandy
Dato’ Sri Dr. Shamir is a dynamic and innovative entrepreneur who has redefined the rules of the business world. His ventures span a multitude of sectors, encompassing asset management, property development, legal and financial services, and groundbreaking investment structuring.
Renowned for his uncanny knack for identifying opportunities, his expertise in structured and alternative finance has been the driving force behind the global expansion and recognition of his diverse business ventures. He holds full licensure from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom.
As the Executive Chairman of GV Corporate Advisory, he has amassed a collective experience exceeding a century across diverse economic domains. His leadership illuminates the path towards innovative growth and lasting success.
4. Henry Ting
TTRacing, of of the top brands for gaming chairs in Malaysia, is the brainchild of founder and CEO Henry Ting.
Prior to founding TTRacing, he ran an online business selling gaming hardware. It was then that he realised how much time people spend on their chairs, and he spotted an opportunity to create ergonomic furniture, specifically gaming chairs. That was how TTRacing came to fruition.
Since then, TTRacing has served more than 300,000 people and the company continues to grow yearly. It has even expanded to the Philippines, with expansion to a few other countries across Asia in its pipeline.
5. Khairul Aming
Khairul might just be one of the most influential entrepreneurs in Malaysia currently.
The Kelantan-born entrepreneur and content creator became a sensation very quickly through his cooking videos with humourous voiceovers. In 2021, he launched his very own brand of sambal called “Sambal Nyet” on Shopee which to his surprise, ended up bringing him millions in sales.
Thanks to his creative advertising, Sambal Nyet has made over RM21.5 million in sales since it was first introduced. Today, Khairul owns a production factory and has a great team behind him.
6. Ian Ong
Ian Ong was a law lecturer for several years before venturing into the F&B industry. He owned a pub in Petaling Jaya many years back. Much to his dismay, the business didn’t work out and Ian ended up losing a lot of money.
Despite this, Ian persevered and decided to give it another try. Partnering up with Don Daniel Theseira and with an initial capital of just RM400,000, the first Uncle Don’s outlet was established in Petaling Jaya in January 2016. Since then, Uncle Don’s has become infamous for its food and selection of aclohol, all with reasonable prices compared to other restaurants and bars.
The crowd at Uncle Don’s outlets every single day of the week is a testament to Ian’s success. In an interview, he even mentioned that his revenue hits about RM50 million a year!
7. Jenn Low
Jenn Low is the lady behind Wanderlust + Co, a a jewellery and lifestyle label that has gained popularity internationally.
Hailing from Seremban, Jenn foundedWanderlust + Co from her apartment in Melbourne, with relatively little capital. She intended for the products to bridge the gap between current trends, quality, and affordability. It’s no surprise why many big names like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Selena Gomez wear their products.
Today, Jenn leads an all-women team from their headquarters in KL. She continues to grow her business and empower women everywhere through her advocacy.
8. Raudhah Nazran
After graduating from her degree in the UK, Raudhah dabbled in social entrepreneurship serving as the President and Team Leader of a UK-based social enterprise for 2 years. She was the first Asian Muslim female to be appointed to the role by the board of advisors.
Back home here in Malaysia, Raudhah founded Accelerate Global, a social enterprise with the objective of tackling the youth unemployment issue through upskilling programs. The company works closely with the marginalised and the underprivileged, developing youths into becoming entrepreneurs of their own as well as providing them with career-ready skills.
Raudhah’s long list of recognitions and accolades speak for themselves. She continues to participate in dialogues globally, making a name for herself.
9. Eric Cheng
Eric kicked off his business journey with a print magazine business, which later flopped. After many years of hardships and loss, Eric along with his co-founder saw an opportunity.
That was when Carsome came to fruition, digitising the used car industry. They had one goal in mind – to redefine the automotive industry across Southeast Asia. Carsome was initially only a platform to compare prices but it soon expanded and allowed people to sell their used cars.
Carsome has since evolved and now provides other services such as their infamous 175-point car inspection, car valuation, test drives, ownership transfer, and a one-year warranty. In the span of just 7 years, Carsome has become Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce platform for used cars.
10. Joel Neoh
Award-winning entrepreneur Joel Neoh started his entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of 20.
He founded a social e-commerce start-up called GroupsMore that was later acquired by Groupon Asia Pacific, where he then served as the CEO and vice-president. He then moved on and founded KFit, a platform to connect its users to fitness studios. His next venture was Fave, a fintech platform providing payment solutions to both offline and online merchants. These aren’t the only companies he was a part of. Some of his other ventures include the media company Says, Rev Asia, Book Doc, and more.
He won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award back in 2012. He also won Asia’s 2018 Top CEO of the Year Award for his work at Fave.
Recap of The Top 10 Entrepreneurs in Malaysia
- Bryan Loo
- Chin Ren Yi
- Dato’ Sri Dr Shamir Kumar Nandy
- Henry Ting
- Khairul Aming
- Ian Ong
- Jenn Low
- Raudhah Nazran
- Eric Cheng
- Joel Neoh