Kavievanan Subramaniam decided to start this business after he months of not being able to land a job.
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A young recent engineering graduate who cycles around Brickfields selling cups of masala chai has won the praise of Malaysians online for his hardworking nature.
The young Kavievanan Subramaniam (aka Kavie)’s story caught attention when a post shared on the Facebook group UnderMYPayung highlighted his mobile tea-selling business while praising the graduate’s diligence.
This fit, handsome person, Mr. Kavie is very inspirational and motivating to me. Graduated from Uniten with mechanical engineering last year but unable to get an engineering job due to this unprecedented year. How many other people would just sit and lie and wait for jobs to come to them with no results….UnderMYPayung, Facebook.
It turns out that the 23-year-old recently graduated from Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) with a mechanical engineering degree but could not successfully land a job with the pandemic-addled economy.
Kavie – himself an avid tea drinker – got the idea to start this chai-on-wheels business from the traditional chaiwalas (tea sellers) in India who also peddle their brews on bicycles.
He told Malay Mail that it has always been his dream to start his own business, and the sluggish job market became just the push he needed to make it a reality.
The masala chai Kavie sells is his own recipe with some input from his mother, for RM1 per cup between 3 -5pm as “that’s what time people like to have tea.”
Kavie said that he cycles an average of 5 kilometres a day around Brickfields with the filled-up 40-litre dispenser attached to the back of his bicycle along with some cakes and buns to go with the tea.
He sells the Masala Tea at RM1 per cup, and also sells an assortment of cakes and buns to go with his tea as well.
While Kavie’s story is inspiring, it’s also a sobering reminder of the hardship faced by thousands of Malaysians in securing a job.
Bad news for all
A recent study by the World Bank titled “The Vulnerability of Jobs to COVID-19: The Case of Malaysia” highlights that many workers and businesses have been impacted by the movement restrictions put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Several months of mobility restrictions and business closures have severely impacted Malaysia’s economy, resulting in a 17.1 percent year-on-year drop in GDP in the second quarter of 2020.The Vulnerability of Jobs to COVID-19: The Case of Malaysia, World Bank.
The study also points out that the economic slowdown has led to a sharp increase in unemployment with 7.35 million outside Malaysia’s labour force in August 2020.
Data from the Employment Insurance System (EIS) also show job losses increased by 42% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, and is expected to continue
increasing between 50% – 200% year-on-year for each subsequent quarter in 2020.
Against this backdrop, the study argues that proactive social protection and jobs policies are needed to mitigate the employment impacts of Covid-19 in Malaysia.The Vulnerability of Jobs to COVID-19: The Case of Malaysia, World Bank.
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