He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth and yet, despite the challenges that arise, he strove to overcome them all. It was a lot of hard work and sacrifices. However, today, he can stand proud for what he has achieved. Top 10 of Malaysia speaks to Mohamed Sultan Ibrahim, the Founder, and CEO of GeotAuto Sdn Bhd, on his 30-year involvement in the automotive industry, the development of his company as well as how he has grown as a leader throughout the years.
Mohamed Sultan Ibrahim or Sultan, as he is better known as, is a well-recognized figure to many Selangor-based Peugeot owners as he is the Founder and CEO of GeotAuto Sdn Bhd. His connection with the French car brand has been established from way back when he graduated from the Federal Institute of Technology College. “After graduating, I worked at MBF-Peugeot Sdn Bhd for 17 years since 1988.” He started off as a mechanic but eventually, he managed to climb up the ranks and held the position of a service manager.
A couple of years before he left the company, MBF-Peugeot Sdn Bhd lost the franchise to Cycle & Carriage Automobiles. While many other employees acquired their Voluntary Separation Scheme, Sultan only received a letter that required him to stay with the company. “I was quite disappointed because I already got an offer with Cycle & Carriage,” reveals the 53-year-old entrepreneur. However, it was truly a case of a blessing in disguise.
Being the fast learner that he is, Sultan was soon promoted to a higher position. He proved his worth by generating profitable income for the company. Soon after, the management requested him to run the business. “I was motivated. I was always in the office by 7 a.m. and I would be the last person to leave at 8 p.m,” shares Sultan. “I never went for holidays or took medical leave,” he adds.
In 2005, Sultan decided to start his own workshop and that heralded the beginning of GeotAuto Sdn Bhd. “It was just an ordinary workshop,” he recalls. After three years, he applied for the authorized dealership from Nasim Sdn Bhd who by then had already taken over the Peugeot franchise in Malaysia. It was approved. Since then, GeotAuto Sdn Bhd was recognized as an authorized sales and service centre for Peugeot.
It was pretty smooth sailing from there until eventually, Dato’ Samson Anand George, the Chief Operating Officer of Nasim Sdn Bhd insisted that Sultan works on GeotAuto Sdn Bhd’s corporate image. “I consider it the biggest challenge because I had to raise RM600,000 and invest it to comply with the designated corporate image,” he explains. With the support from his family and staffs, he managed to pull it off. It was indeed a sweet achievement for Sultan. Spreading it further, GeotAuto Sdn Bhd launched its very own showroom at Jalan 222 in Petaling Jaya in 2016.
When asked whether or not he expected the company to reach this level of success when he first started on his own, Sultan explains, “My aim is to be the number one. My style is if I do something, I’ll give it my 100%.” He also credited his family and staffs for their support and contributions. “I cannot do this alone,” he says.
Sultan views himself as a leader who practices democracy. “I consult my staff and listen to their views when there are changes or decisions to be made,” he says. Throughout the years, GeotAuto Sdn Bhd has received several awards such as Best Improved Outlet, Best Aftersales Service and Best Revenue Achievement by Nasim Sdn Bhd. However, Sultan is still not resting on his laurels. He looks forward to representing another car brand under GeotAuto Sdn Bhd.
He has some words of advice to those who seek to thrive in the automotive industry. “You have to be knowledgeable. If not, you will be cheated easily.” He also believes that hard work, honesty and sincerity are the traits one must possess to be successful.