Fake perfumes have been flooding the market for a long time and selling at a much cheaper price and easy to get. For Nik Azahari, the founder of Luxury Perfume Malaysia who sells authentic and luxury perfumes, it’s quite challenging to gain customers’ trust and educate them about authentic perfumes. Through his experience dealing with customers from all walks of life, he managed to expand the business not only in Malaysia but across the neighbouring countries.
A humble beginning
For a 48-year-old guy from Kota Bahru, Kelantan he explained that the Luxury Perfume wasn’t started with light and glory. During his earliest days as a Senior Clerk in a bank, he began selling perfumes to his colleagues in a small-scale to support his family back in hometown. By night, he mustered his courage and strength to open a pop-up stall selling perfumes in Danau Kota.
I wasn’t born in a rich family, so I have to work hard to support my mother back in Kelantan
“In 2007, I decided to quit my job and fully focus on selling perfumes at the night market until 2014. Thankfully, after eight years embracing the path, I managed to open a physical shop in Kenanga Mall,” he tells. With his strong entrepreneurship attitude, he managed to buy three unit shops in Kenanga Mall and increased the profit from RM100,000 to RM500,000 per month.
The initial decision of quitting a stable job to fully focus on being an entrepreneur was solely made to earn extra money. As the fifth sibling, he held the responsibility to support the family. “I wasn’t born in a rich family, so I have to work hard to support my mother back in Kelantan,” he utters. He believes that owning a business can guarantee higher profit and offers more opportunities for him.
As a big player, Nik Azahari is not afraid of competition. In Kenanga Mall particularly, Luxury Perfume is the only shop that sells authentic perfumes with cheaper price than those at the fragrance outlets in the malls. “Competition for me isn’t a huge issue to tackle. Selling luxury and authentic perfumes require a bigger investment, so not many entrepreneurs confident to start the business,” he shares.
If you run the business based on liars, believe me, the business will only sustain for a few years only
Following the latest trend of e-commerce, Luxury Perfume has diversified the offering by joining the movement too. They have been in Lazada and Shopee for quite some time. “Customers can purchase perfumes at our physical stores or they can simply purchase it via online.” Apart from that, Luxury Perfumes allow customers to buy perfumes in bulk – making them the biggest supplier in Malaysia.
Money is not everything
For Nik Azahari, honesty is the most important element in any businesses. “If you run the business based on liars, believe me, it will only sustain for a few years only. The main thing that keeps you going is honesty. There’s no shortcut to success.”
Perfume business is not as easy as it may see. As a businessman who has extensive experience, he shared that in order to success, you must know the suppliers. “Many cannot sustain the business because they don’t know the basic of marketing and sale. What I can say is, they focus more on making profit rather than rolling the stock, so you must change the business game.”
Challenges are a part of everyday life
In any business, it involves struggles and sacrifices. The earliest days of selling perfumes at the night bazaar was a tough moment for him. He claimed that he once lost approximately RM200,000 value of perfumes. “Someone broke in my house and stole my stocks. But for me, it was a blessing in disguise experience as it thought me to never give up,” he explains.
He never imagine the business will expand this fast. Due to the bigger market, Luxury Perfume has been known by customers in neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. “For now, Vietnam and Indonesia are still in a small scale But, we have higher demand from Thailand. Most of our online customers derive from Thailand and each transactions value more than RM 100,000!”
Don’t be ashamed to ask for a help. Life is a continuous process of learning.
To further sustain the business, Nik Azahari is planning to improve the website to be more user-friendly. When talking about physical expansion, it seemed that he has sketched all the plans ahead and ready to do it.
“In term of branches, we do have a plan to open a branch in Melawati Mall and GM Klang too. The plan is there, but we don’t have enough manpower. It’s hard to hire someone who has broad knowledge in perfumes to best serve the clients. Besides, we do have a plan to open a branch in every state if things go well,” he adds emphasising the importance of having a solid fundamental and a good mentor to help. “Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Life is a continuous process of learning,” he ends.