10 Most Talked About Malaysian Indian Brands
The Malaysian Indian or Indian Malaysian is an individual who may be of complete or fractional Indian descent. They are descendants of the people who came from India amid the British colonization of Malaya. Most were conceived in Malaysia while some have moved into the country since independence.
In 2015, there were just over two million individuals distinguished as “Indian” with Malaysian citizenship or permanent residence. Even though they are only the third biggest ethnic group after the Malays and Chinese, they still dominate some sectors and are popular brands in Malaysia.
Below are the topmost Malaysian Indian Brands and a little of their history.
Maxis Communications is part of a vast business empire. In 1996, the company launched Malaysia’s first three satellites; MEASAT 1, 2 and 3. Maxis is a communications service provider in Malaysia with about 11.6 million subscribers, about a third of the population. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Maxis provides a variety of communication products, applications, and value-added services for consumers, large enterprises as well as small and medium business owners.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Maxis provides a variety of communication products, applications, and value-added services for consumers, large enterprises as well as small and medium business owners.
The majority company stakeholder is billionaire Ananda Krishnan. He is currently estimated to have a net worth of US$11.3 billion, MYR37.3 billion making him the second wealthiest in Malaysia and number 129 in the world.
AK, as he is known as the force to be reckoned with a presence in media, satellite, oil and gas, to telecommunications and leisure; he has made it big in the world of business from his humble beginnings in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.
Ananda Krishnan shuns public exposure and is known to maintain a low profile for a person of his stature. Several high-profile celebrities like Siti Nurhaliza and Jessy Wong have signed on as spokespersons for Maxis; the Malaysian reality television show, Akademi Fantasia contestants are all on board. Maxis was the first company to launch 4G services in Malaysia on 1 January 2013.
Lotus Group was initially established in 1988 as a restaurant at Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur. It became a popular eatery for the Malaysian Indians and other ethnic Malaysians alike. The founder of this group, Renah Doraisingam Pillai is a dynamic personality who gained much of his valuable experience and business acumen from his late father Philanthropist N. Rengasamy Pillai.
Lotus Group moved to Petaling Jaya in 1990, another dynamic locality, under the name Lotus Family Restaurant Holdings. This grew into a chain of 15 outlets throughout the Klang Valley and beyond. Lotus Group also established convenience stores and went on to be the industrial caterers for leading industry players and government functions.
Dorai, meaning “boss” as he is fondly known, remains the CEO of the Lotus Group which include music shops, cinema theatres, star hotels and holiday resorts. He was awarded the Malaysian Indian Entrepreneur of 2005 by Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry. With 13 companies within the group and growing, his current worth is near the half-billion mark; the name, Lotus, is on everyone’s lips.
AirAsia Berhad is a Malaysian low-cost airline operating from KLIA 2, the second biggest airport in Malaysia. It is the largest airline in Malaysia by fleet size and destinations. AirAsia operates scheduled domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations in 25 countries.
Its affiliate airlines operate from the neighboring countries, while its sister airline, AirAsia X, focuses on long-haul routes. AirAsia’s registered office is in Petaling Jaya, Selangor while its head office is at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. AirAsia has managed to hit the best operative figures in the industry and is described “pioneer” of low-cost air travel.
Most of this has been made possible by its founder, the flamboyant businessman Anthony Fernandes who bought an ailing and heavily in-debt airline for US$0.27. He declared, “Everyone Can Fly”. That attitude has grown him into a net worth at US$650 million and earned him the award as the world’s best low cost carrier for 8 years in a row in international travel and airline awards until 2016.
The Air Asia Group stated vision to be the largest low cost airline in Asia and serve the 3 billion people is becoming a reality, truly, now everyone flies Air Asia.
Westports Malaysia is a leading port in the world supported by superior productivity and water depth of 15 to 17.5 meters. This makes it the preferred hub port for the shipping lines in this region.
The company vision is to be a successful gateway for the Malaysian trade inventory and become the pride of the nation in terms of employee relations, customer satisfaction and corporate citizenship. The mission to achieve 12 million TEUs and 12 million tonnes of cargo by 2020 is
The mission to achieve 12 million TEUs and 12 million tonnes of cargo by 2020 is at the grasping distance, This is translating into excellent returns for the employees, shareholders and customers while making the country proud.
Gnanalingam is a prominent Malaysian Indian figure known to almost all Malaysian businessmen, nearly all imports and exports have to be thru his WestPort. He is the current executive chairman.
Born in Singapore, raised in Port Dickson and Kuala Pilah and of Sri Lankan Tamil ancestry, he was instrumental in steering the port into a leading cargo and freight player in Asia.
He stands at number 18 on the list of Malaysia’s richest with almost US$ 1 billion. Although he is a man of few words, he has been praised for his wit and great leadership skills that inspire his team. Similarly, the WestPorts is on a high-rise path to surpass all forecasts.
The Petra Group, through its subsidiaries, provides financial and management support for early stage technology businesses. It engages in researching and commercializing in the field of biophotonics for applications in agricultural, medical, food technology, green technology, communication, entertainment events, stage productions and financials.
The company is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with operations around the globe. The Petra Group operates as a subsidiary of The Sekhar Foundation.
Vinod B. Sekhar founded Green Rubber in 2001 and later the Petra Group serves as its Chairman and Group Chief Executive and President. He is associated with the Standard Malaysian Rubber Scheme used worldwide among producers and consumers of natural rubber.
Sekhar received the Corporate Leader of the Year award for his efforts in the field of corporate responsibility and is a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist in Malaysia.
Lowyat.Net started in the early 2000s as a simple website publishing the price list of computers and gadgets from Low Yat Plaza founded by Vijandren Ramadass. In 2011, Lowyat Networks obtained MSC status and expanded its portfolio with the launching of Lipstiq.com, a women lifestyle portal. Lowyat.net is the 17th most visited website in Malaysia with over 2.22 million visitors monthly.
Vijandren Ramadass is a Malaysian Indian entrepreneur who founded the oldest, largest and most influential online community. He also serves as the CEO of Lowyat Commerce and Lowyat MSC. He holds a degree in computer science.
The domain boasts a lively forum community that hosts a combined of over six million visitors to its sites. Wanita.com, hype.my, storekini.com, autofreaks.com, buildupmalaysia.com and fourthofficial.com are some of the booming web operations on the same platform.
As the Malaysian Indian premier spice brand BABAS has transcended the cultural and culinary boundaries in the Malaysians multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society over the past 39 years. Its range of over 33 different products in 59 sizes can be found on almost every retail shelf nationwide.
Pagalavan, now the chairman of Baba Products, Malaysia, started out in the late 70s with his mobile sundry shop; a van full of cooking essentials that catered to multiracial Malaysian customers. Demand escalated but Pagavalan never compromised on the quality of his curry powders perceived and developed from constant customer feedback.
Sheer hard work and grit grew the business into a spice empire with a global market presence, wherever Indian food is served.
Baba Products, the company, puts the values high, to provide its customers the best products made from finest quality ingredients, at the best possible prices and its vision to become the trusted brand with a definitive mouth-watering edge to all food served on Malaysian plates is almost a reality. The young man in a van has evolved into the BABAS brand!
Greater Springfield Development is a suburb of Ipswich City in Queensland, Australia. It is the first privately built city in Australia and it is the the largest master planned community in the country at nearly 2,860 hectares with a population of 30,000 and growing fast.
Maha Sinnathamby is the entrepreneur behind the Greater Springfield Development. Born in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia in 1939, he grew up on a rubber estate during the Japanese occupation of then Malaya. Maha moved to Australia, studied civil engineering, worked as a civil and design engineer in South East Asia before embarking on the multi-billion-dollar project at Greater Springfield.
Maha Sinnathamby whose wealth is estimated at US$650 million, has won an award for the design and engineering of his development from University of New South Wales, the world’s best master-planned city at the 61st World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation at Bali and was the award recipient for the Gopio International Renowned Entrepreneur Excellence Award 2010 for his achievement.
The developer, who remains passionate about Malaysia, feels that the country has the potential to grow further. He has plans to design a community that can be expanded into a truly Malaysian multi-racial city.
The Asian Banker
The Asian Banker, established in 1996 provides strategic intelligence on the financial services industry, helping decision makers develop creative solutions around research to achieve tangible business goals. The long list of self-description starts with the statement that they strive to be amongst the best in the world for what they do; it is a proven fact too.
A wide range of products and services as laid out in their corporate website are the testament to how to add value to your business.
Emmanuel Daniel, the chairman and founder of The Asian Banker served as a committee member in the Entrepreneurs Organization, a grouping of young business owners worldwide and is an associate member of The Asia Society, New York.
He was awarded the prestigious Citibank Excellence in Journalism Award for the Asian region for his work in determining the impact of the Internet on banking. Emmanuel is also a highly regarded speaker and provides consulting advise to leading institutions and government agencies on developments in the finance industry.
The above visionaries just got it going by doing what they thought would work. Although most of them were from grassroots, they have created well-known brands that are talked about at international forums. Many more Malaysian Indians who have also ‘made it’ will be featured in later issues of MiBrand.my magazine.