She Means Busi­ness

Malaysia Tatler - - FACES -

Do not let her unas­sum­ing and de­mure ex­te­rior fool you, as Datin Hasliza Abu Has­san proves that en­trepreneur­ship can be a woman’s realm, as Kath­lyn D’souza dis­cov­ers

Had datin Hasliza Abu Has­san not found her call­ing to be a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur, she would have been found lec­tur­ing MBA stu­dents at one of the most pres­ti­gious uni­ver­si­ties or colleges here. Born in Se­lan­gor and hav­ing stud­ied in the US, cer­ti­fied as an ac­coun­tant and MBA holder, she is now one of the big­gest names in Malaysia’s en­tre­pre­neur­ial cir­cles, yet shows no sign of stop­ping or slow­ing down, not in the very least. This tenac­ity dates to her younger years, which she re­calls with a gig­gle, “I ac­tu­ally got into a big con­fronta­tion with my fa­ther, who told me to stay at home, and think of my six chil­dren. I said no; just be­cause I have six kids doesn’t mean I have to stay at home—it isn’t writ­ten any­where, you know?” In the end, her fa­ther did come around, and agreed that her abil­ity to man­age and com­part­men­talise things is one of her great­est traits. “I want to go out there and im­pact oth­ers,” she added. “If I stay at home, I feel like it’s a waste of knowl­edge and tal­ent. Ever since I was lit­tle, I made sure I got what I wanted. And once I set my mind on some­thing, I go for it.” ‘It’, these days, con­sti­tutes of her men­tor­ing mil­len­ni­als, ad­vo­cat­ing a work-life bal­ance among her staff as well as the com­mu­nity at large, and or­gan­is­ing pro­grammes fo­cus­ing on women’s em­pow­er­ment. She had re­cently or­gan­ised the In­ter­na­tional Work Life Bal­ance Fo­rum, two months back, in which peo­ple from all walks of life gath­ered in one spot to share their ex­pert ad­vice on how to achieve a work-life bal­ance as a na­tion, and as women, in par­tic­u­lar. “As sim­ple as it sounds, a lot of women are strug­gling to do things they are pas­sion­ate about and bal­anc­ing their lives, sim­ply be­cause there are jeal­ousy is­sues. They fo­cus on other peo­ple too much, rather than them­selves,” said Datin Liza. “We want to make sure that they fo­cus on them­selves. It’s not about oth­ers, but about you and what you want.” Other than the sub­ject of com­pe­ti­tion, the fo­rum also touched on how to man­age re­la­tion­ships, mar­riage and chil­dren as well. Datin Liza also plans to gather more women—es­pe­cially from the SME in­dus­try, who are good at what they do, but whose tal­ents go un­recog­nised by the masses—for a monthly brunch talk, where they share their sto­ries, mainly about how they build their busi­nesses. It is in a way, her form of recog­nis­ing tal­ents, so to speak. A motherly men­tor at heart, she is well aware of the strug­gles that mil­len­ni­als also face these days. “They need men­tors. They need peo­ple like us to go out there and men­tor them, be­cause I want them to be bet­ter,” she ex­pressed. “It is a big chal­lenge for them to go out there and make it work, and they have to be very care­ful in the ar­eas that they delve into, be­cause it’s all about in­vest­ing your­self in the right ar­eas. Most of them make the mis­take of get­ting into brand­ing with­out hav­ing put enough thought into it, and get too ex­cited in build­ing them­selves that they lose track or for­get about the busi­ness.” Speak­ing of her love of men­tor­ing, I asked if she would con­sider lec­tur­ing, to which she an­swered, “Oh, I would! I have a pas­sion for that as well. I have been called to teach at sev­eral colleges that have ex­pressed a lik­ing for me to be part of their aca­demic fac­ulty... maybe one day!” But be­tween her cur­rent and fu­ture ca­reer plans, one can­not help but marvel at how she man­ages to fit ev­ery­thing else in her life. Her an­swer lies in the power of list­ing down pri­or­i­ties. “When I do up my cal­en­dar, I will block ev­ery­thing per­tain­ing to my chil­dren first—school hol­i­days, ex­ams, birthdays. Those go first on the cal­en­dar, then only will the rest come in. That’s how im­por­tant they are.”

“Hav­ing six kids doesn’t mean I have to stay at home—it isn’t writ­ten any­where”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.