Close-up

As Rahim & Co cel­e­brates its 40th an­niver­sary this year, Kath­lyn D’souza speaks to the founder of one of Malaysia’s largest real es­tate con­sul­tancy firms, Tan Sri Ab­dul Rahim Ab­dul Rah­man

Malaysia Tatler - - CONTENTS -

Tan Sri Ab­dul Rahim shares his life goals and tips for suc­cess

“Any­thing worth do­ing is worth do­ing well”

That’s when I de­cided that one day, when I go back, I’m go­ing to start my own com­pany,” said the man who had been in prac­tice for 40 years, and gone through three re­ces­sions in his ca­reer—af­ter re­lay­ing the story of his younger years, study­ing in both Ke­lan­tan and the UK, then work­ing at Lon­don Bor­ough of Houn­slow as a prop­erty man­ager, be­fore re­turn­ing to Malaysia. Af­ter years of run­ning the firm, he shares what he loves and hates about the in­dus­try. “What I en­joy most out of this whole thing is be­ing able to suc­cess­fully run the com­pany; our records show that we only had a staff of three in the be­gin­ning! Since then it has grown to be­come a pro­fes­sional body that gains the trust of clients and makes money for me and for my staff. I can have a com­fort­able life, and con­trib­ute to oth­ers’ lives via em­ploy­ment, as well as the coun­try at large,” he dis­closed. “What I dis­like the most is to be forced and in­flu­enced by clients in or­der to meet their re­quire­ments. There­fore, my in­struc­tions to my man­agers and sign­ing of­fi­cers are clear—we must al­ways think ra­tio­nally, and profit will come when we’re pro­fes­sional in han­dling trust. Trust doesn’t come eas­ily, it has to be built over the years.” Those fa­mil­iar with Rahim & Co should know that the com­pany’s slo­gan is in­spired by its chair­man who lives by it: any­thing worth do­ing is worth do­ing well. “I’d rather not do a job or ac­cept a job if I know that I can­not carry it out,” he ex­plained. And one thing that Tan Sri Ab­dul Rahim does ex­cep­tion­ally well is tak­ing good care of his staff. “I take ab­so­lute pride in say­ing that we have the low­est turnover rate. I never had to re­trench; of course, there are ex­cep­tions with those who do not be­have pro­fes­sion­ally. When this hap­pens, I will sit them down, tell them what they have done wrong, and ex­plain that we have no al­ter­na­tive but to let them go. If we don’t do that, the con­tri­bu­tion to the com­pany and so­ci­ety would be lost.” Where con­tri­bu­tions are con­cerned, three peo­ple have shaped Tan Sri’s life. His mother, who was not ed­u­cated but man­aged to open a busi­ness by sheer hard work—buy­ing and sell­ing chicken, un­til it was enough to set up shop—in­spired him to get into busi­ness. The sec­ond was his fa­ther, who, de­spite the olden day view that send­ing your chil­dren to an English school was haram (for­bid­den), pushed for his son’s ed­u­ca­tion. “Be­ing a teacher, be­ing paid peanuts, he was able to raise three chil­dren and made sure I went to school,” Tan Sri Ab­dul Rahim added. The third, was his late wife, Datin Zainab Rahim, who was al­ways be­hind him in all the de­ci­sions that he made. “Be­cause I wanted to open a busi­ness of my own, she left her teach­ing pro­fes­sion to join me full­time as an es­tate agent. Like they say, be­hind ev­ery suc­cess­ful man there is a woman. That is es­sen­tially what my wife was to me.” What of re­grets? This man said he has very few. “I have raised my chil­dren and gave them the best ed­u­ca­tion they can have, and I think we’re a very happy fam­ily. I hope that when I go, they have a le­gacy to re­mem­ber and more im­por­tantly, the will to con­tinue to run the com­pany. In life, I sup­pose you have to lose your loved ones, and I’ve lost those who have shaped my life, but life has to go on. And I hope that I have shaped my chil­dren’s lives to be bet­ter than it is to­day.”

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