Hj Mohd Fadzli Fathil, the founder and Managing Director of Solarcrest Sdn Bhd, is a building remedial works and waterproofing specialist who is winning the hearts of his clients through innovative products and customer-oriented approach. And after speaking to him, we can only conclude that there is a lot of reasons why we need a building doctor in our life.
“The wisdom from a great mentor helps you perceive and tackle the business from fresher angles”
Hailing from Selangor, Hj Fadzli’s entrepreneurial buds stemmed way before he graduated with a Business Commerce degree from Monash University, Australia. “I worked part-time with a global halal certification company. Although I was involved with marketing and event organising, it was a good experience which taught me crucial business knowledge,” says the young entrepreneur.
After graduation, Hj Fadzli returned to Malaysia in 2004 to help with his sister’s spa and aromatherapy business. The business was short-lived. After, Hj Fadzli ventured into a meat-import-export business before dabbling in construction. “I learned the business trait during my employment in a few small companies,” Hj Fadzli replies, recalling his early days in the construction business. He also admits that he was indeed exposed to a different variety of business niche. In many ways, the experience and exposure have also helped him understand the different areas of business.
The leak that started it all
In 2011, Hj Fadzli founded Solarcrest, a business venture driven from a recurring leak problem at his father’s house. “He was a victim of the touch-n-go contractors who only delivered substandard temporary solutions and never addressed the root cause,” he shares. In fact, it has always been his father, an academician and successful entrepreneur himself, who encouraged him to start his own business.
“Being an entrepreneur requires you to be unconventional and dare to ask ‘what if’ questions without being bounded by conventional laws”
Like father, like son
Needless to say, the father holds the biggest influence in his entrepreneurial journey. “He taught me in life, nothing is set in stone. There are times where we should get creative and think unconventionally to achieve our goals,” says Hj Fadzli, referring to his father’s problem-solving philosophy.
This principle has taken him well to where he is today. Besides his father, other prominent and successful business mentors such as Tan Sri Dr Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, Dato’ Mohammed Azlan Hashim and Dr Azizan Osman have also helped him polish his business and entrepreneurial skills allowing him to steer Solarcrest to its performing state. “Having a mentor and a vast business network is definitely important in business,” says Hj Fadzli. “The wisdom from a great mentor helps you perceive and tackle the business from fresher angles.”
Becoming the Building Doctor
“What is different about Solarcrest is having the proper method in tackling client’s issues, right from the beginning until job completion,” he replies, highlighting that the operation emphasises on keeping their clients informed about the problem, the cause and its possible solutions.
While troubleshooting his father’s problem, Hj Fadzli took the opportunity to study the situation himself. After much perseverance and brainstorming, he finally came up with a new innovation in waterproofing solution, namely the Dynamic Injection Solution System (DIS) that has become the pillar of Solarcrest today.
“Entrepreneurship is a lot about thinking on your feet and survival. If you are not one step ahead, you will fall back”
How being innovative paid off
The DIS is a form of building remedial system that covers the shortfalls of PU grouting and crystalline remedial methods that are available in the market. It is also a non-invasive technique that bridges the gap between the two conventional methods. “Being an entrepreneur requires you to be unconventional and dare to ask ‘what if’ questions without being bounded by conventional laws,” Hj Fadzli replies. “This mentality is exactly how we are able to improve and innovate to a state of leapfrogging to the future – much like how Elon Musk and Steve Jobs made our future better from their technology and contribution to the world today,” he added.
The US President situation
That was exactly how he found the solution, by daring himself to experiment and finally arrive at a workable solution for the problem. Believing in his product, Hj Fadzli pushed through and approached Jabatan Kerja Raya Malaysia (JKR) to convince them about its efficacy. He was later given a chance to prove it through a task of fixing an unsolved water leak problem in Istana Melawati, Putrajaya in 2011. “It was our first public project and we managed to successfully resolve the issue within two days in rainy condition.”
However, their big break came in 2014, when the inaugural visit of the US President to Malaysia was almost cancelled by the US Secret Service due to the possible risk hazards to the US President. “The waiting room of Sri Perdana has a water infiltration issue that was found exposed to the electrical luminaries of the building,” Hj Fadzli explains.
“Many conventional specialist contractors turned down the works due to the complexity, high risk and short time-frame given by Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM). Utilizing our skills and expertise, managed to resolve the critical problem within 3 days to the satisfaction of both JPM and the US Secret Service,” he says proudly, adding that the hosting event by the Prime Minister went on smoothly as scheduled.
As time went by, Solarcrest began to solve even more critical cases including the official residences of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in Putrajaya, thus gaining a strong reputation within the department and eventually became the trusted party for commercial and public buildings waterproofing and structural remedial works.
The formula for sustaining a business
Hj Fadzli also strongly believes in staying relevant in order to sustain and thrive in business. The company has taken one step forward and recently came up with a new campaign named Jangan Rugi Hartanah by The Building Doctor, where they offer a 3rdparty property evaluation service to help property owners identify defects in their new home within the warranty period. “Most property defect issues could be avoided given early detection. Here, we educate the society about their new home by helping them identify and tackle defects that could lead to a major problem and cost in the future.”
In running the business, Hj Fadzli continues to shape the culture of innovation in his company. And so far, the returns are immense. “Entrepreneurship is a lot about thinking on your feet and survival. If you are not one step ahead, you will fall back. Always think how to cultivate a solution and what you can really offer to your clients,” Hj Fadzli ends.