Jenny's Magic Wand For Success

Last update: 19/06/2015

By Salbiah Said

SHAH ALAM, June 19 (Bernama) -- We often come across stories of successful people, and none of them achieved success by waving a magic wand.

They conquered the heights of success through hard work, labour and sacrifices. They worked hard day and night with passion, determination and dedication to realise their dreams.

In an interview with Bernama Lifestyle and Youth, Sydney Cake House Sdn Bhd Managing Director Jenny Chuang says she believes in the philosophy of 'one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration.'

"Everyone wants to be born with that luck. My philosophy in life is that nothing comes easy. I believe in hard work. I come from a very hard way," says Jenny at her factory in Shah Alam, Selangor.

"We can't be what we are today without our staff's hard work. Hard work comes with passion. If we are superfluous, with no passion, we can't achieve much. I'm sure my people can do it," she adds.

From humble beginning as a small confectionery shop in Damansara Jaya, Selangor in 1982, Sydney Cake House evolved into to a successful frozen food and pastry manufacturing company, with a string of accolades under its belt.

Today, Sydney Cake House not only produces halal products - for which it is one of the pioneers in the industry - but also halal bakery solutions. The company, which supplies halal products under the 'mak' cik' brand, values its staff of 160 and emphasise on working as a family unit.

Jenny's entrepreneurial journey was recently recognised in the National Women Entrepreneurs Awards (NWEA 2014). She was also named the Entrepreneur of the Year in the STAR Business Awards (SOBA) 2014.

Below are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Your puff pastry is labelled as 'mak' cik'. Why?

A: Some people suggested that I brand it as Jenny's. However, I was not too keen to have my name in the label. The legacy will stay with the person. One day we will leave.

We started the mak' cik kiosk retail outlet in 2013. Three more of such outlets were opened last year. We have now five kiosks - three in University Hospital and two in Central Market.

Q: What are your future plans?

A: Expanding our market abroad. Currently, we are exporting to Japan, Singapore, Dubai, Australia, New Zealand and Myanmar. Getting all the certification made it easier for us to export our products.

Our biggest market is Japan. We supply our products to three companies and they wanted 100 per cent Latin butter. We are eyeing the Indonesian market. So far, we have received confirmed orders from airlines. We are also aiming at China as it has a large Muslim population.

Today, exports contribute not more than 30 per cent of the company's revenue.

We have a total of 360 products comprising bread, cakes and pastries. Apart from frozen pastries, Sydney Cake House also supplies ready-to-eat pastries and cakes to bakeries, F&B outlets and airlines. Our best selling items are pastry, Danish and cakes.

We are going into franchising as it is important especially if you want to expand overseas. The company provides six-month training for interested parties to make them understand the concept.

Our newly-built plan at the Selangor halal hub in Pulau Indah, Klang will support our growth. The factory will slowly be turned into a smart factory focusing on halal frozen pastries, with the production line running 20 hours a day while the factory here (Shah Alam) will only produce cakes and bread.

I have also ventured into robotics. I started with one prototype at our factory here and am now patenting it. With this system, I don't have to go to the production centre to check the operation. I can just monitor from my office through the computer.

Q: Who takes over the reins of Sydney Cake House?

A: We have a very good team. My job now is to train and facilitate them. We have been working with a succession plan over the last few years and things are in place to ensure that the company continues to grow.

Q: What can you say about your entrepreneurial journey?

A:Nothing comes easy. I believe in hard work as I come from a very hard way. But where I am today is because of my people's hard work.

I would like to borrow US President Barack Obama's words: "We did not win because of fate or luck; we won because of the hard work by all of you."