Supply and demand is a basic concept that makes the world go round. It is in many respects, the foundation of how evolution has occurred over the years. In today’s business-centric society, it is hard to keep inside a singular niche of supply and demand, but after years of struggle and study, Mr Azreen, founder of Jana Supremacy Sdn Bhd. has both found and capitalised on a small niche group right here in Malaysia. He started up Janalab Supplier, a supplier of laboratory apparatus such as laboratory glassware, plasticware, science equipment and chemicals which provides for schools, universities and laboratories. He has successfully broken into the market and now has plans to expand it further.

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

I have had a lot of experience in the trade industry, learning the trade through being a salesperson first with an investment bank. I worked from the ground up but then because of a hierarchy in the banking industry, I was not able to progress. 

However, one of my customers from that time got me into the business of e-commerce. I became an early player in the e-perolehan platform under Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia, it was an established online platform for purchasing and procurement for government agencies in Malaysia. 

One of my earliest contract job I took was with Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) Taman Daya, Johor Bahru, where I lived. I supplied ink toner and stationery of all sorts for a while before the demand died down and I had to eventually leave the trade. 

After some time, I took the advice of my peers and went to courses held by government bodies to figure out how to begin work again. These courses and ceramah were usually held at local universities. It was here that I noticed there was a demand for lab supplies and a lack of a trustworthy supplier. Calculating the risk factors, I decided to take this opportunity and started up a business supplying these universities with lab equipment. 

The most demands came from universities like UTM, UTHM, UiTM, UPSI, UMT and even a few in the private sector. 6 months of hard work down the road and my market was established. Using an online platform helped me to expand my business and with my skills in sales, Jana Supremacy has a high success rate now. 

What is the biggest challenge in your business?

My biggest challenge was to fulfil multiple retail orders on time from both local and outstation orders. Meeting the demand with a lack of cash flow was difficult. Some of the items that my clients called for, needed to be shipped from overseas, therefore there was often a waiting period, along with the cost of purchase. 

How does your day to day job look like?

Hustling, day in and day out. I have to hustle to meet the needs of clients, but also to meet new potential clients to keep my business going. Spending time introducing my services and meeting the needs of different universities and faculties. 

How can financing help you in your business?

It could help close the gap in time and improve the service, in terms of getting my consumer stock in. It will also help with expanding the business and give us an edge over our competitors. Staying above the line is always the hardest part. 

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

Entrepreneurship is my passion. What I believe in is the ability to make money the right way. I learnt to recognize sacrifices, and that selfishness had no place in this progression. Self-financing disciplined me to the trade and that experience and skills are just as important as decent cash flow. 

Where do you see your business in 3 years time?

I see my business successfully executing a workable business model that is both profitable and progressive for my company. I want to expand my business outside of Malaysia. Last but not least, to penetrate the Singapore market.  To be listed in the stock market in Singapore to gain capital exchange.

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