The ability to adapt management practices and business models to take advantage of the rapidly changing global economic environment is a quality that every successful entrepreneur must possess. The Malaysian government has vested considerable energies and financial aid for the acculturation and education of the countries next generation of entrepreneurs. There are some unique and highly innovative individuals who stand above the rest, and who are lauded for the ways in which they have brought their companies to the pitch of international prosperity. These entrepreneurs, a number of which are found here, are most often cited as role models among young and old Malaysian professionals alike.
Tony Fernandes (Air Asia)
It takes an individual with rare talent and innovative acumen to transform a defunct carrier business, along with over RM40 million in debts into Asia’s most preferred choice for budget air travel. Fernandes was able to take advantage of waning aircraft leasing costs and readily available staff in 2001, and realize the need to create a budget, though still convenient, airline at a time when the economy had tightened significantly.
The sound and savy entrepreneurship of Tony Fernandes does not stop at his Air Asia business. In 2007, his Tune budget hotel chain (for the traveler on the go) also helped contribute to his considerable fortune. Tune hotels, though having only a bare minimum of features, have proven immensely popular amongst low-cost travelers from around the world.