Take It From Me Dmitry Ignatovich
Name: Dmitry Ignatovich Occupation: Director at Flight Experience Kuala Lumpur Nationality: Russian Time in Malaysia: 4 years
My wife, daughter and I used to live in Beijing for almost nine years. When my friend introduced me to the Malaysia My Second Home programme, we found it interesting because you can get a 10-year visa and other pretty good benefits, like buying tax-free cars. When we came here, we realised that the local people were friendly and the climate was very nice. That’s very important as well because personally, I don’t like winter! We decided to participate in this programme and that’s how Malaysia became home.
Behind Flight Experience
I’ve wanted to be a pilot since I was a child, but I couldn’t because of my colour blindness. When we relocated to Malaysia, I started thinking about what business I could start here, something connected to aviation somehow. After some research, I found an Australian franchise called Flight Experience. I’m also doing my Private Pilot License (PPL) at the Air Adventure Flying Club in Subang, but that’s just as a hobby. In Malaysia, you can travel and participate in so many outdoor activities and hobbies.
Entrepreneurship for expats
In terms of administrative barriers, it’s not very complicated to open a business here. Compared with China and Russia, Malaysia is much easier to establish and manage a business in. Our business, Flight Experience, was a bit easier because it’s a franchise, so the business model was given to us. Opening a store is effortless and all our staff are certified pilots — smart and independent. But of course, you must work hard and long to maintain the level of service and keep the business going strong.
Family time outdoors
I like to have picnics at the park, if it’s not too hot. We prefer the Perdana Botanical Garden near the city centre. Taman Bukit Kiara is close to where we live and it is really nice since they made recent renovations, including an interesting walkway and a designated lane for bicycles. I also like the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), but currently some of the trails are closed.
A Malaysian holiday
We go on two types of holidays: for nature we went to Taman Negara. When you stay overnight in a tent surrounded by a 130 million-years-old rainforest, you feel the power of the jungle. For resort stays, we like Tanjong Jara Resort in Terengganu and Pangkor Laut. We’ve also visited the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang and the Chateau Spa and Wellness Resort – the French village in Pahang – and I recommend them all.
I try to keep fit and visit the gym as often as I can. Every Monday I attend Muay Thai classes, it’s a very good workout, especially at the gym in Jaya One. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I go to Fitness First and during the weekend I run or cycle, depending on my mood. At the end of the day, my favourite place to go for drinks is Marini’s on 57.
Malaysia has a few too many public holidays. When I send my kid to kindergarten, they’ll have a notice saying the school will be closed tomorrow for some public holiday, and sometimes I’ll have no idea what that holiday will be about. But there are events like the My Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya and flower exhibitions that we have visited on days off. We’ve also enjoyed Bon Jovi and Mariah Carey concerts.
Talk less, do more! You have to work hard for everything you want to achieve in life. For me, sports and outdoor activities help keep my mind active and I can think faster. Plus I enjoy the weather here. For people in countries like Russia, the rain or snow outside gets really cold and it makes you want to stay at home and do nothing. In Malaysia, the weather can keep you in a good mood almost every day; although the nice climate might make some people feel a bit lazy sometimes! EL