Malaysian Entrepreneur’s Foolproof Guide To Success

Here’s how Nadzmi Salleh became a revered business leader

Meet the living, breathing example of an entrepreneur who lives by the saying “when there’s a will, there’s a way”. 

Positive, persevered and optimistic, Tan Sri Nadzmi Salleh proves that hardwork and business acumen can take you anywhere in life. 

Who is he?

Photo Credit: The Edge Markets

Even as a student in his former years, Nadzmi Salleh successfully completed his studies in different majors including Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics and Master of Arts Degree in Economics and Statistics abroad. 

Today, he is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Nadicorp Holdings, one of Malaysia's premier private conglomerates, and a chairman of several publicly listed companies. 

He was also previously the CEO and Chairman of Proton, and President at Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM). 

Despite being a respected figure among the local business circles, he is known to many as a humble leader who operates under the radar, especially when it comes to the media.

But knowing us at XMC, we’re not going to let a story worth telling slide. So, we had quite a long chat with the entrepreneur himself, and here’s what we learned.

Have a positive outlook

Photo Credit: Luxuo

According to Nadzmi, how one sees the world determines how one interprets their world, and also what happens to their life. 

Life is a series of causes and effects. Therefore, one must be prepared by adopting a positive mindset, never give up attitude and be optimistic about the future.

“I never give up because I believe if there's a problem, there's always a solution. So, it's a challenge for me to find the solution.”

These are the important attributes that one must possess internally so that they can be a successful person. Being optimistic also allows one to interpret things outside of their control in a positive way rather than a negative outlook that can cloud judgments. 

Knowing who is your greatest enemy

In referring to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, Nadzmi said that if you are successful, you will have two additional enemies in your life. 

The first enemies are the ones closest to you, such as an envious friend, brothers, sisters, neighbors and even peers. 

But the second enemy is one that would really determine your success in life - which is yourself. As humans, we are susceptible to inflated self-importance, or ego, as we achieve success. 

Nadzmi explains how being egotistical can be self destructive by making one think they are superior and hence refuse to see from different point of views and listen to another opinion, which could be the worst thing that could happen to anybody.

“When they have too much confidence in themselves, they will refuse to listen and take advice from anyone, thus becoming a successful person’s greatest enemy.”


Tan Sri Nadzmi Salleh during the interview at his residence.

Be a market disruptor 

To become successful in business, one does not necessarily need to compete with other existing businesses. 

Instead, Nadzmi called for the younger generation to disrupt existing businesses with innovative ideas. He cited Airbnb, Uber and Grab as perfect examples for disrupting the market.

Technically, these startups do not own hotels nor taxis, but they have managed to displace the main players in the hospitality and transportation industries through their cutting-edge technology and creative concepts. 

Nadzmi said it’s what happens when traditional businesses and their people fail to improve and innovate, hence coming out on the losing end. 

These are some of the main lessons we’ve learned from Tan Sri himself during our interview. Here’s the video interview in case you missed it on our FB Page!

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