TudungPeople – Fazrena Azleen and her E-commerce empire
By Wang jiaqi
The Information Technology (ICT) and Media Communication industries have an important implication for the growth of Malaysia economy. Currently ICT is not only a host to new industries and services but also an enabler that is central to business. For your information, ICT and e-commerce are inseparable terms as the e-commerce industry is absolutely dependent on ICT for its operations and intensification.
I decide to having an interview with one of company that growth rapidly in e-commerce industry which is TudungPeople International Sdn Bhd. We found this company by doing some research about e-commerce that having a lot demand product by local customer. I decide to looking for fashion and trend industry that now one of the best industry in e-commerce business.
TudungPeople was found by a strong and independence woman named Fazrena Azleen binti Abdul Aziz, also best known as Fazrena Aziz, who was an architecture student and now the director of TudungPeople and a successful business woman. She claimed that this business was unforeseen and it happened abruptly. “I wish I could find a headscarf that can cover me comfortably,” she thought and started to make shawls with her friends who had the same idea, as a hobby which turned into a dream and built her company to what it is now.
Tudung is a rectangular or square scarf that are wore to cover the head. It is also known as ‘hijab’ which is popularly worn by Muslim. The quote from Fazrena Aziz herself, “by the people who wear tudung, for the people who wear tudung.”, shows how TudungPeople got its name in the simplest and unique way possible also, giving a deep and straight forward meaning for the society. TP is the abbreviation of TudungPeople.
Fazrena Aziz was a final year student when she started her business in 2011. She was a final year architecture student at International Islamic University (UIA). The saying, ‘nothing is easy in life’, truly narrated the story of her career. While she was studying at a university in Kuala Lumpur, the storeroom was located in Penang and she had to go back and forth from Kuala Lumpur to Penang and vice versa to pick up stocks and deliver them to the customers.
Fazrena Aziz first started this business as a hobby. When she first started, Facebook community was growing and she started to venture into e-commerce when it was introduced. As this hobby turns into a passion, she decided to create an online business store to promote and sell her products.
A year after, Fazrena Aziz opened her first physical store located on the 3rd level of a shop-lots building. It did not get a gratifying welcome as the location was not strategic and ideal. As it was located on the outskirts of town, the place was lacking in foot traffic and lift were not provided for easy access. Growing from an environment which is strong and opinionated, Fazrena’s persistence on keeping the business running not only for profit but also to life up to her resolution which is to provide an alternative and to celebrate all women in modest wear and to find comfort in modesty, she decided to keep going until TudungPeople turns into a well-known headscarf empire.
In the year 2016, TudungPeople opened it second physical shop at Bangi Sentral after closing down the first physical shop due to its nonstrategic location. A café is also opened in the shop to let the customer rest while surveying the collections in the shop. Also, the other reason for opening the café mentioned by the director of TudungPeople is to let the husbands rest without complaining while waiting for their wives and daughters to make their purchases.
Now, TudungPeople has gained the attention from the society and maintaining its steady status in the business world. Fazrena Aziz has also introduced her brand through the number one most visited boutique both online and physical shop, FashionValet. TudungPeople has also been issued in some articles in magazines and newspapers. Fashion shows have been conducted since 2017 and TudungPeople also features in Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW), one of the most famous fashion show in Malaysia.
The company is now occupied with up to 30 employees managing both the physical shop and the online store. TudungPeople is a brand not only available in Malaysia but also other countries. It has expanded its branches to Japan, Singapore and Brunei. On early of May, she went to Korea for My Hijab Story Campaign to get to know the Muslim in Korea. TudungPeople business scope is retail which covers the online store and also physical store. Their target customers are mostly Muslim women in the city as the city is the heart of the country.
TudungPeople is well-known for their inclusivity in every aspect. Most of their product materials come from China and Malaysia while the warehouse and production house is located in Malaysia. Their products or collections include scarf, inner scarf, essentials and accessories. However, this brand focuses on the production of scarves as their main product and their signature scarves are the rectangular shawls. TudungPeople’s director, Fazrena Aziz was the first businesswoman to introduce scarves with sizes available in M, L and XL. They also offer scarves for every occasion; from casual wear to gym and from nuptials to commemoration. Every one of their products are given a name and a picture of significant stories which make them special and sentimental. A new collection is released every week with up to 60 colours of scarves, each have their own names to ensure buyers do not have difficulty while choosing and ordering also, during purchase. Every one of their products are a picture of significant stories which make them special and sentimental.
As we all know, TudungPeople products are not just designed for young women, but also mid-aged women and about. This generation may be compatible with technologies while the older generation may not. Some of them prefer to be attended, to feel the materials and to try the products themselves. Hence, it has led to the opening of a physical shop to provide ultimate services to all customers. In Fazrena’s opinion, she thinks that there is no possible ways to be successful with just an online shop. “I think that, right now, in Malaysia, for a few years, for these recent years business has not been doing very well. We can see that there’s a lot of shops closing down, a lot of businesses are closing down. So, I think it is important for you to have it online but at the same time, in order for you to counter all the disadvantages of ICT, you need to have a least one physical store. So right now, the trend is to have both online and physical store. It has to work together.