Tales of the Survivors: The Bumiputera Entrepreneurs’ Experience

  •  Suraiya Ishak    
  •  Ahmad Raflis Che Omar    
  •  Azhar Ahmad    


Survival in the highly precarious business environment demands credible and resilient entrepreneurs. The issue evolves from merely “how to get started” towards “how to reach the highest potential throughout the entire business life cycle”. It is expected that entrepreneurs encounter several turbulences throughout their business cycles before stabilizing within the growth range. It is also posited that each cycle reflects different kind of challenges and barriers, thus leading to different moves and strategies. The ability to react accurately to those challenges will provide different business outcomes. This article aims to describe and reveal the experience of Malay (also known as Bumiputera or son of the soil) entrepreneurs pertaining to their business endeavours. This study adopted a case-study technique with four Malay entrepreneurs through in-depth interviews. This study concluded that all respondents encountered a period of turbulence before making a move to another stage of business cycle. To initiate the turning point, these entrepreneurs introduced some changes either in their products or job processes. In addition, the respondents noted that entrepreneurs without some working or industrial knowledge took relatively longer periods to reach their turning point. Experience entrepreneurs would reach the turning point earlier due to the benefits gained from their past business network as well as the enrichment of tactical and managerial tacit skills that they had acquired.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.