My mentor in real life is also my mentor at work, says Leeds born Amirah and boss of Arca.
Spending about eight years and most of her teen time in Melbourne for her tertiary education, Amirah the eldest child of Che Azizuddin is now the chief executive officer of Arca Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (Arca), a family business.
But what got Amirah to progress within the family business was the experience gained abroad and the parental mentoring, something that she holds in high esteem.
Amirah explains her rise as CEO of a well-oiled family entity saying: “My mentor in real life is also my mentor at work.”
And as part of this family orientation, Amirah told WFTV she was never forced to get involved in any venture that she did not have any interest in.
“What is really powerful in our family business is, we are never told to get involved with the industry that we have no interest in. In fact, we ventured in what is passionate to us. That is why we have a diverse business portfolio.”
Amirah holds a degree in Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communication) from the University of Melbourne, obtaining her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Before joining the family business in 2011, she served as a Management Executive at Outfit Recruitment in Melbourne before joining Bates 141 Worldwide as part of their client servicing team in the Kuala Lumpur office.
“The idea is for you to gain some knowledge and experience outside. It is only when you are ready that you will then come to help the family business,” said Amirah, who also holds the directorship of other companies under the Arca Group.
The 31-year-old explained that the name of Arca is created from the name of seven daughters which start with the A alphabet, followed by her mother’s name Ramlah, and alphabet C for the name of the men in their family – Che Azizuddin and Che Aiman.
“There is only one reason for choosing this name. The men are always behind the women to support and protect them,” said Amirah who was born in Leeds, United Kingdom.
Arca is a company with expertise in three main division – automotive, securities services, as well as education. Its aim is to be the leading company in Malaysia with credible and sustainable operations locally and regionally.
As the CEO, Amirah is always supported by the senior management who also happened to be her parents. Her passion is to get fully involved in the company that she is interested in and to grow from there.
“For me, to be in a business that is run by your own family extolls good values on me as my mentor in real life is also my mentor at work. Therefore, there is the ability to understand them and that makes communication easy, as you can ask them anything.
“We are very open in the sense of our management style here. Obviously, being in a small business, there is not much layering or hierarchy and that eliminates all the hierarchical lobby that would make it tougher to communicate directly with your big boss,” said Amirah who also has keen interests in the food and beverages sector.
She said her business philosophy is simple.
“I believe that for every interest that you choose, there will always be hurdles. For instance, being in the service-oriented segment that deals with different customers motivates everyone in the company to put everything they can into it and to give the best to their customers.”
Reacting on who inspired her the most to be at this level right now, Amirah said it will always be her parents. As the eldest in the family, she saw how hard her parents struggled to get into their current business.
“My parents have to work hard for me and my siblings to get as to where we are right now, making sure all of us get the best,” she added.
She would say that her best quote is take from what her father always say: “Either you do something at 100 per cent, or don’t do it at all.”
And at her young age, Amirah surely is giving more than the 100% given the successful achievements of Arca so far.