Profil Usahawan Pilihan
Sumber : January 29, 2009, The Star.
Syarikat : One Drop Sdn Bhd.
Single mum and son make it big in perfume business
After three decades working as a factory production worker in Penang, Saffar Noor quit her job and started a perfume business with her only son.
The single mother and her son Josafri Johari, 31 pooled all their money and opened a perfume factory in Glugor, Penang, in April 2007.
Josafri quit his job as a senior executive handling foreign exchange and country reserve in Bank Negara.
A collection of eight bottles is sold at RM40. And in just nine years, they have come a long way.
Their company One Drop Sdn Bhd has over 2,000 dealers, with businesses in Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Australia and – since December last year – Britain.
They employed a perfumer, who formerly worked at the houses of Escada and Armani, and is now in Paris creating a new range of perfume for them. And the products are sold through dealers and distributors with more than 500,000 users in Malaysia.
Saffar, 50, said she worked 12-hour shifts and did overtime to make extra money at the factory.
“There’s nothing like working for yourself and being your own boss,” she said.
Saffar started working as a production worker in 1978 when Josafri was only 10 months old and had to fend for him and her ailing father when her husband left her a few years later.
Her introduction to sales started in the mid-1990s when a friend asked if she was interested in selling tudung material to her colleagues and earn a commission.
Saffar reluctantly accepted as she did not know how to sell anything but would leave the material in her locker and invite her colleagues to check out the tudung during their tea break.
She managed to sell them and received RM150 in commission at the end of the first month.
Saffar then started selling other products like cosmetics and perfume.
Meanwhile, Josafri was doing a triple degree in economics, accounting and finance in Britain under a Bank Negara scholarship and brought home an Egyptian college-mate who was the son of a fine fragrance manufacturer.
Saffar liked the perfume Josafri’s friend was using and asked for some of it for her to sell.
The perfume sold so well that she appointed “agents” at other factories, hotels and hospitals to sell it. Now, success smells so sweet.