Mohd Ezran B. Baharum
CEO Symphonet SDN. BHD, 2010
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Multimedia
I wanted to compete against the best of the best, so when I was in Limkokwing I was competing against the international students and that is when you know where you stand.
25 May 2010
Story of a technopreneur
Written by Victoria Edwards
Mohd Ezran B. Baharum did not know he would be successful in the IT world when he was studying. The opportunities given by Limkokwing to explore one’s creativity was the seed that started his multimillion ringgit business.
From architecture to computer science to multimedia to web
“Before I knew about Limkokwing I was studying architecture in another local university but I didn’t like it; I was really into computer games and I wanted to do something with computers so I took up studies in computer science. After receiving my diploma I came to Limkokwing to pursue a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Multimedia.”
Ezran was very young when he made such a very mature decision; in order to succeed in business he would have to make the best choice to continue his studies. Instead of leaving the country to get an international influence he decided to enrol in an international university.
Pitting skills against the best at the best university
“I joined Limkokwing because of the branding. Limkokwing attracts the most talented creative youngsters. This gave me the chance to be part of such a unique opportunity. Limkokwing was the best choice for me because for me, I put other people as a benchmark for myself. I wanted to compete against the best of the best, so when I was in Limkokwing I was competing against the international students and that is when you know where you stand. There is always going to be someone better then you so you will try harder to be better and when you’re competing in a global market scale this is the starting point you need.”
I joined Limkokwing because of the branding. Limkokwing attracts the most talented creative youngsters. This gave me the chance to be part of such a unique opportunity.
During Ezran’s time at Limkokwing he did lots of freelance work to build a strong portfolio. Because of this he was offered a job doing 3D for a multimedia company. But he turned down the offer because of his devotion to education. He realized it was a big risk to leave school too soon.
“When I entered the industry I noticed that a lot of people were doing web design. So I decided to take up that course as well. After I graduated I was offered a job as a web designer in an oil and gas company. And they saw I had talent for networking. I got promoted three months later as head of IT department. This is when I realized the opportunities in the IT field were much wider than multimedia.”
To get into a new business you must always first make sure you understand the industry you are about to enter.
From sales manager to vice-president to technopreneur
Ezran has excelled in the business world since leaving Limkokwing. At the age of 26 he has already accomplished many things from owning an ICT outsourcing company, being Vice-President of a multimedia company and a sales manager for a construction company.
“In my ICT company I am involved in a lot of government projects that have to do with satellite and broadband. Our company enables rural areas to access coverage from telecom companies. In 5 years’ time I want to make this company a GLC or a public listed company. I am also in the process of making my own retail and fashion boutique. This industry contributes 30-40million per year in Malaysia. To get into a new business you must always first make sure you understand the industry you are about to enter. ”
Seeing opportunity in times of crisis
Many companies have gone bankrupt and lots of people have lost their jobs during the recent global economic crisis but Ezran believes that it is only a crisis if you allow it to be.
“In this economic downturn I see opportunity for me. For example, if there is a drop in the stock market, you buy stock which you can sell when it goes back up after the economy recovers. Something isn’t worth doing unless it is a challenge or a chance to prove that you can overcome it.”
Ezran’s formula for success is simple. It starts in the university. A university is not only about getting the degree, it’s about building your character and learning to problem-solve. However it’s not about finding the answer, it is about getting the formula for creativity and learning how to use it in your field of work.
Failure is to be learnt from and to be overcome
“I believe success is something that you achieve after dreaming about it. You want to plan your life so that you can influence people’s lives and make it better. Failure is a negative experience that I have to overcome. If you see failure as a challenge to be overcome or to learn from, then it will not be a failure.”
Listen up guys, don’t let his age fool you, Ezran has some tips for you to be successful too.
“For any of the students keen to enter the ICT industry I have a few rules for you:
Rule 1 You have to know what you’re doing.
Rule 2 Do not to forget rule 1.
Rule 3 You must have passion, perseverance, discipline and focus! Say you’re a football player, are you working or are you playing? In business are you here just to make money or do you have passion? Without passion you will never have discipline and you will lose your company or job.”