BY: THACHAINEE LINGAM / UPM
SEREMBAN: Business is always not impossible for a positive thinker and confident person. Same goes here to Mr Francis Santukasan. He is a hardworking and a successful entrepreneur. He thought of and found a way in doing a business at the age of 25 years old. Moreover, starting a business at a young age, will have many obstacles, where they will face difficulty in getting opportunities. This is because they are still considered as young entrepreneurs. As a saying “Don’t wait for opportunity, create it!”, was implied by the sir, Francis in his life to start this business. At the age, 24 years, he started his working journey at a private dental laboratory as a staff. He worked there for a year plus. Thereafter, an idea struck in his mind that, ‘why don’t I start selling the dental products instead of working there for monthly payment. Moreover, this idea appeared in his mind due to the knowledge and experience he gained through working in a laboratory. The idea was to start a dental business where they can provide dentures and dental implants and services. In addition, he completed his studies in Singapore regarding this dental field. He studied there for three years and was qualified for this field. Then he came back to Malaysia, in 1990 and joined for work as stated above. To proceed with his business idea, he applied for a loan, where then he invested the money for his dental business to buy the apparatus needed and other props that is necessary for the business.
Then he rented a shop to carry out his business. At first, he started his business on a small scale, where he bought a few machines and a few tools (in quantities from 2 to 4) to make dentures. He received a good response from the public and clinics, where they said his product was good in quality. Then as the year passed, he upgraded his business little by little, by means of an increase in the machines, tools, apparatus, and laborers.
After a few years, he got married, where his wife helped him too in this business. They worked together and did the orders on time. This increases the trust of the customer towards them. They do their work carefully and manufacture their product with the same quality even after gaining many customers and good reputations, as to maintain their reputation among their customers. In addition, the dental products that were sold were also in an affordable price range.
Now, he had become a successful entrepreneur in this field. What actually he does in this business? He does manufacturing and services like pharmedical and laboratory. In his laboratory, he manufactures dentures and dental implant, where they also import and export dental products to and from clinics. The products that were usually used in clinics for patient are served by them who does dental business, where these people are more similar to the backstage people. In this case, Mr Francis’s laboratory serves some numbers of clinics in Seremban district. As well as, there are direct customers too, who came to Mr Francis, for dentures and dental implant.
He has been doing this business for around more than 30 years at Jalan Rasah. This place is a strategic place, where it is almost in the middle of the town. Hence, it eases many to come there or give orders by the clinics. Now, his children are also helping him in this business on their holidays.
However, he also faces some challenges in this business due to this pandemic but with God’s grace, it wasn’t to that extent. Therefore, he managed to overcome it. The challenges he faced were like he didn’t get any orders from clinics or hospitals, as they gave prior importance to Covid-19 cases during the first MCO. Apart from that, due to the SOPs, he cannot communicate well and mingle with his customers as before. However, he also states “Nevertheless it is also good to follow such SOPs which is kind of good for our own country’s progress during this pandemic”. After practicing these new norms for nearly more than a year, he doesn’t feel any difficulty.
He hopes that the younger generation that have started their business or have an idea of starting a business could be able to carry it out successfully. No matter, whatever business it is, they must find a way and work hard for it and make sure it is a legal business. He also said that any kind of job or business is not worse than anything; hence it must be done with full dedication and honesty in order to achieve success.