Hijrah Aluminium Sdn Bhd has been recognised as the leading aluminium frame maker in the aluminium and glass manufacturing. Located at Taman Perindustrian Puchong, the company is led by Ruzaimah Abd Rahim, a woman figure who has a strong personality.
Behind the soft-spoken and gentle nature, her excellent credibility is unquestionably incredible in building her career in an industry that is dominated by men. That being said, not many know the hardship she had to endure in order to be where she is today.
Journey to become a director
Born and raised in Kemaman, Terengganu, Ruzaimah lived in a simple and modest life. Notably, she didn’t get any exposure to the aluminium manufacturing or business in general when she was young. Her career begun after she graduated from UTM Semarak in 2000. Then, her degree in Computer Science couldn’t guarantee a stable job and she knew she had to do something. To that, she decided to work as a general clerk in an aluminium and glass company.
After a few months, she got promoted to a QMR (Quality Management Representative) and helped the company to apply for the ISO certificate. With her new role, the young ambitious lady had to learn the work flow and all the details, including manufacturing, production, purchasing and so forth.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.
Later on, she moved to an electrical company before shifting to a metal and timber door company. It was there that she started to earn a four figure salary and her exposure to various industries has strengthen her knowledge and widen her perspective on the business field.
Ultimately, luck was on her side when she was offered a General Manager position and would be handling a big-scale project worth RM 1 million. Yet, things took a sudden turn when the company closed down out of the blue. “I was so frustrated. Here I am, jobless. And I’ve no clue as to what I’m to do next. It happened so quickly! But I know I need to pick myself up.”
Thankfully, losing a job didn’t stop her from moving forward. She started manufacturing aluminium frame at her house in Rawang. Before starting the business, Ruzaimah knew that there is hardly any place for a woman figure in the construction industry, let alone a Muslimah. Despite that, she dared herself to take up the challenge.
From a small projects of installing sliding doors for housing residence and surau, she shifted to bigger scale projects, namely installing aluminium frames for Masjid Sultan Salahudin Abdul Aziz, Shah Alam.
The second fall
When her business started to flourish, she again found herself at a dead end. Due to financial difficulties, Ruzaimah was left with one option only – to close down her company for good.
There are no gains without pains.
She was devastated, mainly because she was in the midst of getting a big project. At the moment she thought everything was over, Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB) extended a helping hand. Needless to say, the whole experience was so inspiring, Ruzaimah decided to rename her company to Hijrah Aluminium, with “Hijrah” meaning a transition to something better.
Fighting for Bumiputera and women
The transition from a small business to a company that is well known among the main contractors wasn’t a smooth-sailing process. “Being a woman and Bumiputera, many people have a bias perception and are not confident in what we do. It’s hard to gain the trust from clients and suppliers, but we are able to do so by doing an excellent work.” As the director of Hijrah Aluminium, Ruzaimah shared the most important element for any entrepreneur – one must have a strong knowledge and try hard to create one’s value.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
For Hijrah Aluminium, it focuses on women empowering, which explains why most of the staff are skilful women. To date, the company has worked closely with Akademi Binaan Malaysia (ABM), whereby it introduced the Aluminium and Glass course. Currently, it has quite a number of interns from ABM. In addition to that, 38 out of 56 of the total staff are local and she aims to offer more job opportunities for Bumiputera. To that, her effort was acknowledged and has earned her an award from ABM recently.
Talking about her future plans, Ruzaimah wants to further establish Hijrah Aluminium to become a well-known Bumiputera company in the market. “We do have a plan to come out with our own brand and it’s still in progress. I hope Hijrah Aluminium can inspire women out there to dream big and work hard to achieve it.”