The dream that Mohd Ali Majis had harboured during his early childhood years materialized for this passionate entrepreneur when he grew up – the dream that one day he would own a successful business and prove the naysayers wrong. Today, the dynamic self-made Malaysian property millionaire, founder and CEO of Aliy Group has got more feathers in his entrepreneurial cap than one would care to count. In a recent interview with Top 10 of Malaysia he talks about his background, the hardships he faced and his entrepreneurial journey.
Hailing from Kajang, Malaysia’s young property icon Mohd Ali Majis did not grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth but he has always kept himself motivated. “I’ve been independent since I was ten years old. I’ve worked at a bicycle shop, food stall, as a caddy and at my uncle’s restaurant but when I was in the midst of pursuing a diploma course, I saved up enough to buy a carwash for RM3,500,” he shares.
“When I took over the carwash business, it wasn’t doing well so I came up with an attractive loyalty programme and business picked up 5 months down the road,” the 34-year-old Ali explains. “However, I was assaulted by a group of men with parangs as I returned from a stall nearby with food for my workers. They attacked and slashed me before fleeing. I was with a staff of mine,” he adds. The spot on Ali’s head where the blade of the parang landed is still visible. Although Ali survived the attack and the culprits were caught, his family was worried sick about his safety, convincing him to drop out of college to work at his uncle’s property agency instead.
“I worked there for years to pick myself up after the incident and gained a lot of knowledge about the property industry. I combined it with my passion for business and set up my companies in 2008 and made my first million at the age of 25,” Ali shares. “Aliy Property Development Sdn Bhd, Aliy Property Advisors Sdn Bhd and Aliy Auction House Sdn Bhd,” he adds. In 2013, he formed Aliy Homestay & Resort Sdn Bhd and Aliy Net Sdn Bhd (for the purpose of giving talks), and all the companies are now part of the Aliy Group. Ali also has a piece of real estate in Port Dickson for the building of a resort and he has plans to publish three more books in the next six months.
His first book, ‘Ikon Hartanah’ (Property Icon), published through Aliy Net, was successfully auctioned off. Ali plans to do the same with his second book. “When I had finished giving a talk at that time, I kick started a real-life auction of my first book which I had in my hand. The starting price was RM50 but in less than 30 minutes, the book sold for RM27,000. The Malaysia Book of Records labeled my book as the ‘The Most Expensive Book in Malaysia’,” Ali reminisces, adding that he channeled the proceeds to charity.
His first project, a 3-storey commercial development is in Sungai Besi and the second, consisting of 1,000 units, will be tentatively launched by end of 2017. It is part of 7,000 housing units to be put up by an affordable housing project owner in various parts of Malaysia and Ali is also in talks with this owner for a digital platform idea for developers to showcase their properties around Malaysia. “I see that more and more people in the industry recognize us now and that’s good but I cannot be satisfied with my company’s success as yet as we can still grow. However, I am grateful for everything I have and everything I can do for others,” he says, adding that God’s blessing coupled with his knowledge, drive and belief help grow the business.
Although there are many challenges in business, Ali says that his near death experience is the worst so far. He now manages his priorities better by spending 3 days a week at the office and the remaining days with his parents, wife and kids. “My wife and I love going to the cinema and travelling,” he adds with a smile. As a boss, Ali admits he is friendly. “I’m very approachable and am driven with passion to be a great Muslim property entrepreneur. I’m also inspired to help every Malaysian youth own properties. If I feel you’ve given me your best, I’ll give you my best,” Ali says. His three daughters are his greatest achievement. “They are the reason I keep going because they’re my legacy when I’m gone,” he says. To aspiring entrepreneurs, Ali has this to say: “Have faith in yourself and keep going no matter what. You’ll see improvement over time. The champion is inside each one of us. If you don’t see it yet, keep going. Secondly, wealth is something to build on, not something to be pursued relentlessly. Be practical and spend wisely,” he says.