The desire to experience the sweet taste of success has always been an intense one within her. When she found her passion, she pursued it relentlessly to make a big success out of it. In a recent chat with the affable and down-to-earth Yadz Haryati Harudin, the Founder and CEO of De Natura Dache Sdn Bhd, Top 10 of Malaysia learns about her journey to self-discovery, the ups and downs of her career and the exciting prospects that await her entrepreneurial prowess.
It is no surprise that Yadz Haryati Harudin’s career started in the construction industry given that she has an educational background in architecture and civil engineering. Besides, she has no qualms about working at a construction site and it did not matter to her that she would have to start from the very bottom. She willingly took on the post as a Junior Trainee Supervisor. “All I did was making copies of drawings for about three months,” Yadz recalls. However, her competency in executing the tasks given her paved the way for her to become the Assistant Project Manager within three years and Senior Project Manager within ten years.
“They call me the trouble-shooter,” says the 41-year-old gutsy entrepreneur. Throughout the years, she has been involved with various mega projects. Among the notable ones are Marina Bay Sands, Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 and Istana Syarqiyyah in Terengganu. Yadz has proven that she has what it takes to successfully lead her team to overcome the challenges and to complete every task successfully. “Whenever I complete a project, I feel very proud. It is pure satisfaction. It makes all the effort worthwhile.”
Yadz admits that she is a tough leader. “I know the facts and I will not compromise without basis. But I will listen to you if your ideas are better than mine.” Speaking of the difficulty to lead as a woman in a male-dominated industry, Yadz says that it is not about gender. “You must understand the facts, see the whole picture and be fast to act.”
Her niche goes beyond the construction industry. In due time, Yadz recognized that her interest and ability also lies in interior designing too. She then took a leap of faith to start a company of her own in 2013 – De Natura Dache, an interior designing company. It has been engaged to design the interiors of cafes, residencies and offices in Malaysia and abroad and the company follows through with the execution of the designs.
The art enthusiast has since devoted her heart and soul into growing the company. It is Yadz’s fighting spirit and motivation from her family and friends that has kept her going. She has also ventured into the fashion industry with her backpacking-friend-turned-business-partner, Julie Widuri Ibrahim. Realizing how underrated saris are, Yadz decided to focus on them. Their ‘Colours of Spice’ collection which features saris with a modern twist, “targets those with attitude”. The creations have received a positive reponse at the Malaysia Fashion Week 2016 and are set to grace the Couture Fashion Week New York 2018.
In moving forward in her entrepreneurial journey, Yadz teamed up with Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Zinin, a former Deputy Inspector General of Police, under a setup known as Dache Holdings. Apart from interior designing projects, construction, fashion, smart city development and halal hotel ventures are on the list of its business services too. In addition, Yadz is a council member of the International Council for SMEs and Entrepreneurship, Malaysia and she holds the fort in the Connectivity and Strategic Alliance portfolio in the organization.
There is no denying that this Negeri Sembilan-born entrepreneur has indeed come a long way. Being the visionary individual that she is, one of the factors of Yadz’s success lies in the way she sees things. The nature-loving Yadz observes the environment to take life lessons from it. “There is one type of Meranti tree with leaves that do not touch each other no matter how high up the tree is located. This shows respect. The spaces between them also allow sunlight to penetrate, giving those at the bottom the chance to grow too,” she shares.
Yadz’s advice to those who seek to succeed is that one must look to oneself first. “Just be who you are. Always believe in yourself. Never give up. Don’t change because people ask you to change. It must come from your heart and remember, there’s no shortcut to success,” she says.