Haryati Binti Zainal, @rasa_ili
For Haryati Binti Zainal, baking cakes was a hobby that she indulged in whenever she had time to spare. Holding a full-time job as an executive in Global Banking, she could only do so during the weekends.
Her passion in baking goes back to the early days when she used to help her mother bake cakes for family and friends. She was encouraged by the favourable feedback on her talent for baking and toyed with the idea of becoming a full-fledged baker one day.
When she found out about the GO Ahead. Take Charge! (GATC) Entrepreneur option, she started to seriously consider taking on her passion full-time. Acknowledging that career aspirations may change over time, GATC creates the flexibility needed for employees to take charge of their career aspirations through the various options offered on the platform. It was the impetus for her to kick-off the change in her career aspirations. In October 2020, after spending over seven years in Credit Risk Management, she decided it was time to pursue her passion. She is grateful for the years of invaluable working experience gained in the bank and believes that it has made her a better person. Besides, the soft skills that she has picked up in the course of work as well as the organisational skills learnt have paid off handsomely in her dealings with clients and in keeping track of her business targets. Moreover, with a daughter who will be graduating from a culinary arts course soon, everything seemed to fall in place for a mother-and-daughter business venture.
Since the day she started to focus full-time in the production aspect of the business, Haryati was able to ramp up the sales of her products exponentially and within six months, she has sold a total of 1,500 cakes through online and offline channels.
She is also targeting to fetch an order of 1,000 cakes for the upcoming Hari Raya season.
Her clientele market is as diverse and wide-ranging as her geographical market reach. While her delectable products are making an impact on the well-developed palates of many, from the man-in-the-street to the VIPs and royalty, her market reach stretches from Semenanjung to East Malaysia across the sea to Bumi Kenyalang (Sarawak) and to the Land Below The Wind (Sabah). Not content with resting on her laurels, Haryati recently attended a three-day entrepreneurial training course with the National Institute of Entrepreneurship or Institut Keusahawanan Negara (INSKEN) to strengthen her skills in business management.
While preparing to take her business to new heights of growth, she has secured a shop lot where most of the production takes place. At present, the shop is merely a production centre and does not yet cater for walk-in customers. In the pipeline are plans to open up a bakery cum café with her daughter when the latter completes her culinary course. With her running the production single-handedly, Haryati is kept on her toes all round the clock but she doesn’t mind the change or pace because this is where her passion lies.
She enthuses “I’ve come to embrace change as a part of life. You’re never too old or too young to make the switch especially when it comes to things you are passionate about. GO Ahead.Take Charge! helped made it easy for me to make that switch. As a newbie in business, I still have a lot to learn. One thing that is very prominent to me is that passion is an essential ingredient in running a business as it will take you through the thick and thin of times.”
For those who would like to savour a slice of her signature cake, Yati’s steamed prune cake which she calls her “killer product” (i.e. kills the competition) as it is made with the best quality ingredients, please place your order at @rasa_ili.