By Ahmad Muadh Bin Zainal Ali
Studying abroad would cost more than attending local universities. This is probably the reason why a number of international students studying in IIUM involved themselves in business. One of them is Yaqzhan, a communication student currently living with tight expenses.
Yaqzhan opted to be a co-owner of a shoe cleaning business in IIUM with his fellow countrymen as he saw many innovative opportunities to expand the business.
The business first started by an Indonesian guy named Fadli Zarli. Initially he did everything by himself including buying the necessary equipments as well as promoting the business. He started the shoe cleaning service by taking up a small space beside the mosque.
At first, the customers were his friends but gradually as people passed by him every day when he was cleaning the shoes, the customers gradually increased day by day. It could be considered as a marketing strategy by displaying the work in progress to the public. As the customers grew bigger, he started to hire his Indonesian friends to help him. One of them is Faiz, who is the current owner of the business.
After Fadli graduated from IIUM in 2017, the business stopped for two years as no one was able to take the responsibility to continue his business.
In mid-2019, Faiz, who was a former worker for Fadli, decided to continue the business and wanted to rebrand everything. He started to make a new design for the logo and also added a new platform for contacting customers which is Instagram and WhatsApp business.
Faiz wanted to have a partner to help with the business and that was where Yaqzhan came into the scene. He gave his ideas on handling and expanding the business.
Yosiko Shoe Care, which is the name of the shoe cleaning business, does not only clean shoes of all fabrics but also provides delivery services. They would provide the ease for customers for pickup and delivering of the shoes around IIUM campus with no additional expenses needed.
In the past, the service was conducted by the side of the mosque but now they have rented a compartment in the Mahallah Uthman to do their work more efficiently.
They invested RM300 for the business as a pair. They chose to buy the equipment in bulk to save money which includes the specialised soap and the different kinds of brushes. They also bought all the equipments necessary in Indonesia as they found that it is much cheaper.
The services that they provide include fresh clean which comprises of cleaning the mid and upper sole. This is a one-day service where the shoe received would be sent back the next day. The cost of this service is only RM12.
The other service that they provide is the deep clean where they would clean every part of the shoes including the mid and upper sole as well as the shoe lace and the inside of the shoe. This service, however, would take two days to be completed but would only cost RM15.
As the business has been going on for one semester, they can safely say that they have been gradually gaining customers for the business and their main goal for this semester is to pay back the capital that they have invested in.
“When I go back to Indonesia, I want to bring back something that I could be proud of,” said Yaqzhan as he explained the reasons for his involvement in the shoe cleaning business.
For more information, you can contact them (+60109589530) or visit their Instagram @yosikokl for more updates.***