Drajs Enterprise

Originally from Kedah, Mr. Rajan Balakrishnan of Drajs Enterprises picked up the business of selling Sarawak kolo mee, after his son ate it for the first time, and could not get enough. Fun fact is that this amazing kolo mee can be found right here in Johor, where Mr. Rajan first acquired the business from a Sarawakian kolo mee hawker. From its humble beginnings, Mr. Rajan started Drajs Enterprises and now has multiple businesses and is a true success story. This is the start of that journey, all from a bowl of kolo mee!
#growingalongsideyou
#YourStoryWithUs
#SmallisNewBig

How did you start this business, what’s the story?

A. Kolo mee is a household name for many Sarawakians, however when my son first ate it, he always wanted more until a point of time that the Sarawakian owner who runs the food court casually offered to sell his business to me, timely enough my big brother from Canada wanted to run a food & beverage business in Malaysia, upon his return, being a business minded person I took the opportunity to negotiate the take over and we took over the place in a transition process of over 3 months where the recipe was properly taught to my brother and my wife, after about a year in the business I was again approached by a restaurant owner nearby the Borneo market to take over his restaurant, being a person working in the Oil & Gas industry at that time, I couldn’t commit but however i wanted to expand it to a central kitchen and duplicate the recipe to several other outlets, in that time of planning my brother had to return to Canada so my wife and I continued the 2 outlets we have using the local Sarawakian crews and recently we had to let go of our first outlet so that we can concentrate on our restaurant to expand what we have within our sight and for now we have endured the restaurant for a good 7 years and going.

What is the biggest challenge in your business?

A. Smooth sailing, in terms of procedures due to prior knowledge of being in this industry.  People are very receptive to new talents and I have loyal customers now. Winning the hearts of Sarawakians everywhere to eat their own local delicacies cooked by not even a Sarawakian, was not easy, but with the support of my family, we managed to do it. 

How does your day to day job look like?

A. Constantly providing the best available kolo mee & drinks for our customers. My wife is a full-time part of this process and we have a dedicated team of employees.  I myself am there all the time after a walk in the morning. We are involved in the business and keep the business hours of 7am to 6pm daily.  

How can financing help you in your business?

A. I am happy with what we have and intend to keep it at bay. If there was more funding then definitely business expansion and upgrading of premises. More customer care, more franchising ideas. We have already partnered with food delivery services and engage in cashless payment channels for new customers. Elevating the conventional coffee shop experience, with free internet for more customers to spend time in our restaurant.  

During the early stage, how did it feel to self-finance every aspect of your business?

A. Staying thrifty and proper planning was the key to operate a business without any funding by others. Having a bit of experience and stable income let me inject money into this business.  After 1 year of my wife managing by herself, I left my job to sell kolo mee full time, with a team of other front runners. 

What do you see your business in 3 years time?

A. Larger customer base and probably to have some additional Sarawakian dishes to accentuate the Sarawakian feel at my Restaurant. Teaching people the trade and helping them start their own kolo mee style business. Willing to expand the business. To have joint ventures with other Sarawakian enthusiasts. Now that we are established, I am also looking into new business ventures in F&B. 

Follow Funding Societies Malaysia Facebook for more SME stories.

Your Story, With Us

A brand new monthly series for Funding Societies Malaysia to share stories of SME in Malaysia.

Your Story, With Us

Plan to diversify your investment portfolio? Click here to start your investment with Funding Societies Malaysia.

Need funds for your business? Click here to register and check your eligibility.

View our Disclaimer here.