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Entrepreneur Suthenesh Sugumaran delivers to a 'Be Malas' customers. Since the business was launched in April, Suthenesh has been busy running around fulfilling the request of customers. — Courtesy pic
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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17, 2015:
For the past few weeks, Suthenesh Sugumaran ate lunch at 6pm. It has been a hectic period for Suthenesh, or Nash, as some of his friends know him by.
“There is no time for lunch or breakfast,” he tells The Rakyat Post, minus any hint of disappointment.
In fact, he revels in it, even if it means his eyes are constantly fixed on his phone that has since required him to pack his power bank and charger everywhere he goes.
Being busy means that the startup — ironically called Be Malas, the Malay word for lazy — he and his business partner Adlin Yusman founded in March is picking up.
Be Malas was launched on April 19, with a simple business model.
Adlin explains that the business is a concierge service, where one’s wish is their command, within the boundaries of the law, of course.
Those craving for something as simple as nasi lemak or the latest gadget like the Apple Watch, for example, need only send Be Malas a text message.
Service charges are based on the complexity of acquiring the item.
“We are Alfred to your Batman,” Adlin, who was previously with Groupon and Expedia, said.
Be Malas, which is similar to an initiative in the United States, is reputed to be the first of its kind in Malaysia.
Going by the orders the duo is receiving — from one a day to one every 10 minutes — both Adlin and Nash have tapped into the lucrative market, that is the busy urbanite who “values time” and want to avoid hassles like getting stuck in a traffic jam or lining up.
When asked how the idea came about — one which was hatched up in a Kopitiam — Adlin explained that most people dream about having a personal assistant.
“And if they could afford to be lazy, they would ’tai chi’ everything to us,” he said, alluding to the colloquial term for passing on a responsibility.
For now, the relative success of Be Malas is attributed to good word of mouth, particularly from mothers in confinement.
Over 50% of their customers are returning ones, Adlin claims.
For now, Adlin says ‘Be Malas’ is helping “connecting the unconnected” in the Klang Valley although there are plans to expand their service to Penang and Johor Baru in the next couple of months.
Presently, the three-man team, which includes a rajin runner (hardworking runner) is constantly on the move to cater to their client’s needs, especially since not fulfilling it is something they cannot risk.
So what do most of their customers want?
Surprisingly, Adlin says it is the most mundane requests, like movie tickets, especially since they had prepared themselves for tougher missions, like acquiring novelty items.
“Half our orders are food.”
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