By Afina Ismail
GOMBAK, 27 February 2017: Founder of the Wowkawkaw Empire, Muhammad Naeem bin Zaidi, secured second runner-up place in Best Student Enterprise category in the Ministry of Higher Education Entrepreneurial Awards (MEA) 2016 competition with just two years of experiences in business.
Wowkawkaw is a unique name that represents a brand, quite familiar with most IIUM students, selling drinks and now has moved into food as well.
Naeem said, “The word Wowkawkaw has been chosen as the brand’s name because it is easy to remember and I used the word a lot in social media as an exclamation mark for every single comment on social media and it received good feedback.” Thus, from that he decided to use it as the brand name.
Naeem started to open a business in the drinks when he saw the opportunity that the Green Tea drink has not got into Malaysia’s market but has already been sold widely in Thailand.
Having a family from Thailand is a big advantage for him to do this business. Then, he started by selling 20 bottles per day and eventually it managed to receive more attention from the customers.
He stressed, “I didn’t plan to only focus on food and beverages; I will also try various types of business. So, food and beverages are just a stepping stone to start a business since it is a sustainable business, even if the economy is bad, people still buy food.”
He said that he plans to expand his business by trying to get a subsidy from the government besides partnering with students to strengthen the brand. Currently he is building Wowkawkaw Media, Wowkawkaw Academy, Fit Wowkawkaw and also Cun Wowkawkaw for pedicure and manicure.
Asked on what he will be doing if he didn’t do Wowkawkaw, he firmly said, “I’m still doing business because my passion is there.” Wowkawkaw, he said, is different from the others because of its brand.
Naeem added, “Statistic shows that people spend 20% higher on the brand that they love, like and trust. So, I believe in the power of branding, that is why I’m building my brand since the day I started this business.”
Wowkawkaw’s main aim is to serve happiness to its customers, especially when they are stressful, and by drinking this drink they will walk away with a smile thus lessening their stress.
Naeem advised young entrepreneurs out there who are interested in doing business “to have a ‘wow’ factor and to unleash it”. “They must hold on to the word ‘WIN’, which is W for work hard, I for increase our knowledge, and N for never give up.” ***