SAY IT with Determination

Ng Say Leng has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and is currently in his late 30s. He was born in a small village in Penang and has only received 6 years of education in primary school. He was forced to stop continuing his study at high school due to transportation issue as his mother is no longer able to carry him back and forth from school. After his primary 6, he took up some plastic handicraft as a job. Even though he only earned less than RM100 a month, he never gave up in saving money as he always wanted to own a laptop. After a few years of saving, in year 1998 he finally managed to fulfil his dream and bought a laptop, and that was the beginning of his life.

Even though he did not know much about computer, he believed that technology can help him in achieving what he wants to do in the future so he invested time and effort to learn how to use computer from scratch. He wants to be independent and have his own job to support himself, therefore he wanted to learn how to use the laptop and hoping to have his own job using technology. With a laptop and internet access, he managed to find free resources online which enable him to learn more about how to create website without having to spend money to buy reference books. After primary 6, he had not leave the house until he was 25years old. Therefore he makes friends through the internet and got some jobs to create website through his online friends. He tried to learn as much as he can while he was working on those jobs. He was really satisfied when he first created his own website after learning some basic web designing. There was once he was asked to help create a website for his friend’s institution. It was a challenge for him as his knowledge was very limited but he decided to accept the job anyway because he believed that this is an opportunity for growth and learning. After a while, he signed up for a computer course sponsored by Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, the founder of The Mines Resort Berhad because he wanted to further improve his skills and knowledge. After he joined the course for some time he realized that he can actually learn more from hands-on experiences.

Whenever Ng encounter any issue related to his work, he would ask his friends for advice or do some research online. One of the challenges he was facing when he was working on the job was that he needed longer time to finish the job as he needs extra time to do research and look for ways to solve problems.

After much consideration, in 2005 he decided to move to Kuala Lumpur with his mother as he wanted to explore more opportunities and broaden his horizon as he has already spent almost 13 years staying at home. He worked for a few different companies throughout the years including information technology, e-commerce and design companies. After he has gained some years of working experience, he started thinking about becoming an entrepreneur. He named his company as “SAY IT” which is a combination of his middle name and the short form of Information Technology. Everything in his company is online based, from communicating to getting customers Therefore he does not need to travel from one place to another. The services provided at Say IT includes web design, flyers and name cards design as well as printing. He has also hired a person with disability to work for him as he also hopes to create more opportunities to other persons with disabilities who have the basics of web design or anything related so that they could also work at home. The customers at Say IT are usually referred by friends, existing customers and also volunteers that he met at charity events. He started the company together with a few partners and register it as a Sdn Bhd. But later due to high expanses he decided to change it to sole proprietorship. One of the challenges that he encountered when he first started running the business was having difficulty to take in more jobs. He also lack of knowledge on business management. He emphasized on the importance of mentorship as he thinks it will help him from the experienced on choosing the right strategy to move forward when he hit a roadblock. Previously, Ng has also joined a program initiated by Maybank Foundation which he finds helpful, it is known as the Reach Independence and Sustainable Entrepreneurship (RISE) program which is an economic empowerment program designed to support disadvantaged communities, particularly persons with disabilities to increase their income and improve overall standard of living. The program involves regular training covering practical topics in running a business, such as financial goals, operational planning, budgeting and tracking, and sales and customer analysis. Now he is working at another organization for persons with disabilities helping out in the IT Department as well as servicing his current clients.

As an entrepreneur, Ng thinks that one of the qualities that an entrepreneur needs most is perseverance. Those who does not have perseverance until they succeed tend to jump from one idea to another when encountering difficulties. Hence none of the ideas will have a chance to develop into something successful. In conclusion, there’s always about having a dream in many entrepreneurship stories. Without it, people might have nothing to look forward to and therefore no motivation for them to strive for more than what they already sustained. Instead of living within a comfort zone, having a dream can make people step out of their comfort zone and go beyond to create more possibilities just like Ng. Success or fail, at least you know you have tried your best to realize your dream at the end of the day.