In many ways, Tuan Rafiq Dato’ Haji Rahmat, Managing Director of SRT-EON Security Services Sdn Bhd fits the quintessential profile of a diligent and committed millennial. He harbours big dreams of changing the world by continuing his late father’s legacy and taking the organisation to even greater heights. Since 15 years old, Rafiq has been shadowing and following his father around meeting clients, attending talks and negotiations.
Under his leadership, he has been able to expand the business operations by opening another seven branches nationwide and continue sustaining the profitability of the company despite several turbulent crises. After listening to his inspiring story, we at Wargabiz would like to highlight that no matter how rough the road or how tough the circumstances, hardships don’t last forever.
Climbing the ladder of success
Growing up as a son of YBhg Dato’ Haji Rahmat Ismail, he was given the opportunity to dive in the company and familiarise himself with it, and he took to it like a duck to water. Rafiq joined the company as the Executive Liaison of the company in 2013 and was the company director and director of East Malaysia operations till December 2018. After the passing of his father, he was appointed as Managing Director with all the trust given by all shareholders and board of directors.
As a young leader, people tend to try and outsmart me. Thankfully, with the knowledge, guidance and exposure given by my dad, I managed to overcome it.
As a young leader in an age-old industry, it was not an easy job and questions will certainly arise on his ability to be the forefront of such a challenging industry. However, he was grateful to be given the opportunity and experience to work directly with the people who have been serving for more than 20 years. The experience let him learned about the curve of the industry and actions to take in rectifying operational hiccups.
Since the incorporation of SRT-EON Security Sdn Bhd in 1984, the company has been facing several challenges. Rafiq shared with Wargabiz that in the past, before he joined the company, there were many issues that were not highlighted to the top-level management in Kuala Lumpur. As a young man with a mission and a keen eye for detail, he managed to overcome the challenges – armed with the knowledge and experience given by his late father. He managed to steady the ship – by taking care of the staff, clients, bringing the company to where it is today. Through his efforts, SRT-EON is still the leading security company in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.
“The first task given by my dad was to manage the internal crisis in the Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan branch. It was a huge responsibility and a formidable task to anyone, never mind a young man like me.” Despite the hurdles, he managed to overcome them and proved his outstanding capabilities to all board members that he is ready to continue the legacy of his late father and bring the company to even greater heights.
Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.
His credibility further is further shown when he also managed to again maintain the profitability of the company even with the impact of the minimum wages being implemented by the government. “We suffered a great loss due to our clients walked out from the new quotation and we had to find new clients.”
SRT-EON in tackling the advent of technology
The rising of the electronic security devices such as CCTVs, cameras and drone do significantly impact the security industry in term of manpower. As a matter of fact, the industry in total has reduced a large amount of manpower – and SRT-EON had to take the same action too. From having 3,000 staff, they have had to consolidate their manpower to 2,000 staff.
“Our main service is to protect the interest of our clients by providing security services as well as cash in transit and cash management system services. “In today’s technological revolution, changes are inevitable and SRT-EON Security Services is leading the change. We are not only changing with the times but we are leading the change,” he quipped confidently when asked about what the future brings.
As a pioneer in the security industry, SRT-EON has a very healthy 30% market share in the industry and is fourth out of a total of more than 800 security companies in Malaysia by revenue. They also have a lion’s share of Sabah and Sarawak by controlling over 70% of the market there.
This achievement did not just happen overnight. It involved blood, sweat and tears to build trust among clients. “To be where we are today, we focused on building our employees’ trust first. We have guards exceeding 25 years of service. The reason behind this loyalty is because our company protects our staff and through 37 years of operation, we have never failed to pay our staff salary on time. In fact, we are the only company in the industry that manages to even give annual bonuses,” he added that in return, all the staff pledged their loyalty to protect the clients’ interest.
He also mentioned that under the SRT-EON family, he is leading a paradigm shift and their security guards are no longer called guards but security officers, giving an even more dignified approach and a sense of pride to his staff. He also stresses that as a former soldier who served Malaya, his late dad felt strongly against foreigners taking up the responsibility of protecting the nation and therefore SRT-EON’s company policy was to hire only thoroughly-vetted Malaysians.
Among other notable achievements, on a personal level, Rafiq was recognised as Sabah’s Top Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 at the Sabah Top Achievers Awards 2019 while SRT-EON Security Services was awarded for Excellence in the Security Industry. To ensure a continuation of excellence, SRT-EON is also in the midst of attaining the ISO 18788:2015 Private Security Management System Certification under SIRIM
Incorporating innovative features and international expertise
Currently, SRT-EON has over 33 branches nationwide and they are in almost all states. “Physical expansion is not in our radar but SRT-EON is moving the direction of partnerships both locally and abroad. We are glad to share that SRT-EON will be leading the industry by providing our clients with a value-added package by providing added insurance protection. Besides our collaboration with a renowned Singaporean insurer, we are also collaborating with high-tech companies from South Korea and Singapore to lead the security landscape in the region with state-of-the-art technological equipment.”
Furthermore, with the advancement of e-commerce, SRT-EON is looking to revolutionise the way we buy and receive goods. “For the longest time, courier services have not been viewed as a secure way to send and receive your valuables. But through SRT-EON’s services, we hope to change the landscape that by merging the security with e-commerce”
Giving back to society
As a father of two kids and also the Managing Director of a multi-million-ringgit company, Rafiq shared that one of the key things that keeps him going is his family. “My natural instinct is to protect the people that I love and give them a sense of comfort, not just security. I believe that my clients deserve the same way how I treat my family”
In anything that you do, remember to give back to the people – that’s of utmost importance
He also stressed the importance of giving back to the people in order to be successful. “Business is not all about chasing wealth – it is more than that. In whatever things that you do, remember to give back to the people,” he ended.