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Story | MAIN STORY

TUKAR turns shop from RM50-a-day into a RM1,000-a-day business By G T Naaidu

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he grocery shop, Aksaya in Taman Mount Austin, Johor Bahru used to rake in just an average of RM50 a day for buddies Andrew Paul, 23 and Abdul Anuar, 30, since they opened up for business in January 2011. All that changed two months ago when the magic wand of the TUKAR programme transformed it from a cluttered, dingy outlet into a modern shop with bright lights, tiled floors and neatly-arranged products in spanking new shelves. Shopping had been made easier and more enjoyable for Andrew and Anuar’s customers – and they rewarded the two with a daily collection of a mind-boggling RM1,000. It was just about six months ago that Andrew and Anuar, who became buddies after working together in a hotel in Singapore for five years, were almost beginning to despair that their dream of standing on their own feet as entrepreneurs was about to be dashed. “We tried everything we could think of,” said Andrew, who together with Anuar, had no experience at all in running a

sundry shop business. “We modified here and there, re-arranged the shop several times but we were not able to make our shop shine.” “We did not know suppliers directly and hence were unable to provide a variety of goods for our customers,” said Anuar, adding that the seed money of their five years savings while working in Singapore was being depleted. In fact they didn’t even know how to display goods systematically then. Their stocks were in disarray while the poor ambience in the shop gave the outlet an uninviting appearance. It was by chance that one day the two buddies stumbled on an article about “Project TUKAR” in a local magazine and quickly went on to get more details about it. They lost no time in contacting the Johor Bahru branch office of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (PPDNKK) which was located at Menara Ansar. In the beginning PPDNKK officers cross-checked their eligibility to partici-

pate in Project TUKAR. Once their eligibility had been certified, the duo were offered an option to select consultants from a list of hypermarket operators in Malaysia. They opted for Giant Supermarket as their consultants. On their first visit, the consultants made plans and programs for our shop. They even made sketches of needed improvement. The sketch covered improvements in lighting, ceilings, display shelves and even a having suitable refrigerator in the shop. “Our consultant offered us a lot of advice and assistance,” said Anuar. He also guided them on the best practices in business administration and the management of cash flow, product display, as well as stock management through computerisation and bar coding. The result from TUKAR’s twopronged transformation initiative was phenomenal. “Before, we were using shelves similar to those used in warehouses for our goods display. Even our lighting brightness was too dim. They taught us how to arrange goods properly on display shelves, stocks management and inventory control,” added Anuar. With help and advice from the consultant, Andrew and Anuar prepared their business plan and submitted their application for a bank loan to Bank Rakyat. Subsequently, RM60,000 was approved under the TUKAR scheme for renovations and stock purchases. They also became eligible for an additional RM20,000 as the ministry had just then increased the quantum of loan for eligible participants to the programme. The entire process took around three months. “Now, our shop looks so attractive. Our customers have a better shopping environment. We are happy and motivated. Project TUKAR has given us new hope,” said the best friends, now with renewed confidence in themselves and their business. Malaysian Indian BUSSINESS | 1


MAIN STORY | Story

They lost no time in contacting the Johor Bahru branch office of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (PPDNKK) which was located at Menara Ansar. In the beginning PPDNKK officers cross-checked their eligibility to participate in Project TUKAR. Once their eligibility had been certified, the duo were offered an option to select consultants from a list of hypermarket operators in Malaysia. They opted for Giant Supermarket as their consultants. On their first visit, the consultants made plans and programs for our shop. 2 | Malaysian Indian BUSSINESS

They even made sketches of needed improvement. The sketch covered improvements in lighting, ceilings, display shelves and even a having suitable refrigerator in the shop. “Our consultant offered us a lot of advice and assistance,” said Anuar. He also guided them on the best practices in business administration and the management of cash flow, product display, as well as stock management through computerisation and bar coding. The result from TUKAR’s twopronged transformation initiative was phenomenal. “Before, we were using shelves similar to those used in warehouses for our goods display. Even our lighting brightness was too dim. They taught us how to arrange goods properly on display shelves, stocks management and inventory control,” added Anuar. With help and advice from the consultant, Andrew and Anuar prepared their business plan and submitted their application for a bank loan to Bank Rakyat. Subsequently, RM60,000 was approved

under the TUKAR scheme for renovations and stock purchases. They also became eligible for an additional RM20,000 as the ministry had just then increased the quantum of loan for eligible participants to the programme. The entire process took around three months. “Now, our shop looks so attractive. Our customers have a better shopping environment. We are happy and motivated. Project TUKAR has given us new hope,” said the best friends, now with renewed confidence in themselves and their business.


Story | RETAIL BUSINESS

TUKAR turns 626 traditional sundry stores into modern outlets

Photo:Ravindran Devagunam The small retailer transformation programme (or Program Transformasi Kedai Runcit, Program TUKAR) was initiated by the Government to help traditional “pop-and-mom� sundry stores modernise to make them more competitive. The TUKAR programme are focus in four main strategies. 1. A total renovation to modernise the premises of traditional retailers. 2. Assist the retailer changing the arrangement of product display 3. Encouraging cooperative involvement in the retail business 4. Establishing local distribution centres. TUKAR raises customer service standard, synchronise business processes to trade in an efficient and cost effective manner and encourage sales of high quality products. One of the direct benefits of the TUKAR programme is that by connecting the owners to the retailers directly, the high cost of distribution, which can add up to 36% costs to the products, is cut

down. As of April 2012, a total of 626 shops have undergone a facelift since the programme was launched in February 2011 and another 393 are under way. nationwide, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, have joined the programme. The program targets to upgrade and modernised at least 10 per cent of current traditional small sundry retailers from an estimated number of 50,000 entities by 2020. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said those who had gone through the programme had seen an increase of between 20 per cent and 100 per cent in profit. The TUKAR programme is open to all sundry shop owners who have been in business for at least two years, are aged between 23 and 60, and possess a valid small-retailer licence. Hypermarkets Mydin, Carrefour and Tesco take on the role of consultants to

give a new lease of life to traditional retail outlets. Tesco has given its commitment to transform 150 retail shops and Carrefour, 400 shops. Mydin had given its commitment to modernise 100 retail shops this year. Recently, Co-operative Commission of Malaysia (SKM), Giant, Aeon and Econsave have joined in the programme as well. The TUKAR programme is well and truly on its way even if Ravindran Devagunam, Wholesale and Retail Director of Pemandu (Performance Management & Delivery Unit), Prime Minister’s Department, says the journey has only begun.

Malaysian Indian BUSSINESS | 3


RETAIL BUSINESS | Story

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the project TUKAR ? TUKAR is an Entry Point Project (EPP) under the Economic Transformation Programme that serves to modernise traditional “mom and pop” grocery stores and increase levels of competitiveness in their localities.

How to participate in TUKAR programme? Retail store owner can apply directly to the hypermarket involved or contact the office of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism in your state or branch. DELIVERY MANAGEMENT OFFICE (DMO) Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan, Aras 5, Podium 1, No.13, Persiaran Perdana, Presint 2, 62623 PUTRAJAYA No. Tel: 03 - 8882 6934 / 5827 No. Faks: 03-8882 6227 Project Manager: Encik Zahari bin Md Afandi / Encik Mohd Khairul Dahri bin Mohd Zawawi Emel : zahariafandi@kpdnkk.gov. my / mkdahri@kpdnkk.gov.my

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Who are the consultants involve in TUKAR Programme? Initially, Mydin, Carrefour Tesco. Now Co-operative Commission of Malaysia (SKM), Giant, Aeon and Econsave have join in as well.

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What is the role of a consultant in TUKAR Programme ? • Provide advisory services related to the modernization of retail outlets. • Provide the structure of retail planogram. • To assist operators in the grocery store renovation and upgrade of the premises. • Assist purchasing machines and related equipment including POS System • Provide Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for retail business. • Provide support/training assistance to entrepreneurs in the field of entrepreneurship grocery / retail / accounting / management and related stocks • To assist retail operators to obtain a continuous supply of goods for sale. • Monitor, evaluate and make improvements to the grocery store that has been modernized from time to time.

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Who is eligible to participate in TUKAR Programme Grocery store owner who meets the following conditions: • 100 per cent locally owned business (sole proprietorship, partnership, Co., Ltd.). • Has a license from Local Authority which is valid for operating a grocery store. • The owner of retail stores 23 years of age and not more than 60 years. • Area stores (size of the area does not exceed two-door shop or 2500 square feet). • Grocery store has been operating for at least 2 years.

Which is the participating Bank in providing financing for TUKAR Programme? Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Berhad (Bank Rakyat).

What is the amount, duration and service charges for financing the TUKAR Programme? The maximum loan is RM80, 000, term of loan of up to 15 years with a service charge rate of 3% per annum.


Malaysian Indian Business Magazine (test design)