Singapore, 13 July 2011 – Overcoming a business failure once is difficult enough, but doing it for a second time after the first business fails calls for a certain type of fortitude.
Mohamed Salleh Marican did just that, and in the process, led his company to become the first Malay/Muslim-owned firm to be listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) Main Board. It is also this drive that has won him the prestigious Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award 2011.
Salleh received the award at tonight at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore from Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport.
The annual award, now in its 13th year, is organised by Singapore Press Holdings’ Malay daily, Berita Harian. It honours Malay/Muslim individuals for their achievements in their chosen fields, be it education, business, arts and culture, sports, the professions or social work. The qualities that the judging panel looks for include perseverance, determination, the ability to overcome odds and integrity. Above all, the winner must be a role model for the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore.
The winner of the award is picked by a panel of seven judges from the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore, headed by Mr Wan Hussin Zoohri, President of LBKM (Prophet Muhammad Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board).
Salleh’s journey to success had an inauspicious start, with a tailoring business at Peninsula Plaza failing after just four months in 1974. When he set up his next business the following year, he named it Second Chance to reflect his second shot at success.
By 1988, Second Chance was a household name in menswear with 18 stores, and Salleh even won the Malay Businessman of the Year award that year. However, that ironically caused sales to dip as customers previously had the impression that Second Chance was a western, rather than local, brand. Salleh quickly responded by diversifying his business into traditional Malay ladieswear and gold jewellery with First Lady and Golden Chance respectively.
The business was further diversified when Salleh began a systematic accumulation of properties at attractive prices, building up a sizeable portfolio. The company now has more than 70 properties, including three in Kuala Lumpur, with a combined value of around $150 million.
Now known as Second Chance Properties Ltd (SCP), the retail-cum-property group was listed on Sesdaq in 1997 and made it to the SGX Main Board in February 2004. Last year, the company's rental income totalled more than $10 million, with a net profit of $9.2 million. It was ranked 298 out of 802 firms listed on the board, based on market capitalisation.
Today, Salleh is the Chairman and Managing Director of SCP, which recorded an $11.33 million net profit for the first nine months of its financial year that ended in March 2011. SCP’s successful retail arm also has branches in most Malaysian states.
Since the formation of Tabung Amal Aidilfitri (TAA) in 1992, Salleh has been a regular contributor to the Charity fund with yearly donations. To date, he has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the fund, which was set up to help needy Malay/Muslim families.
Previous winners of the Berita Harian Achiever Award were:
- Dr Mansoor Abdul Jalil, lecturer with the Department of Electrical Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS)
- Professor Aziz Nather, director at the Tissue Bank and consultant with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NUS
- Madam Halimah Yacob, Assistant Secretary General of NTUC
- Mr Iskandar Jalil, master potter
- Mr Iskandar Mirza Ismail, veteran composer
- Haji Abu Bakar Maidin, a veteran of social service
- Mr Zulkifli Baharudin, Chairman of Mercy Relief
- Mr Mardan Mamat, millionaire golfer
- Mr Ashley Isham, fashion designer
- Datuk Mohd Zain Abdullah, accomplished businessman in the shipping industry
- Madam Som Binte Mohamed Said, cultural ambassador, and
- Mr Shafie Shamsudin, Chief Executive Officer of Carrefour Indonesia
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About Berita Harian
Established in 1957, the Malay daily covers a wide spectrum of topics from politics and sports to culture and religion. It is a paper which speaks with authority and understands the needs and interests of the Malay community.
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