SM Nasimuddin SM Amin

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SM Nasimuddin Amin
Born 25 January 1955
Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Died 1 May 2008 (age 53)
Los Angeles, United States
Occupation Founder of Naza Group
Net worth US$31 billion

Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin (25 January 1955 – 1 May 2008) was the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Naza Group of Malaysia.

The Naza Group, formed in 1974, has 14 business divisions including motor trading, bikes, manufacturing, transport services, machine tools/parts, engineering, plantation, cigarette distribution, credit & leasing, water crafts, properties, hotel operation and insurance agency.

However, Naza is more famous for its automobile business. Naza Group currently holds the Malaysian franchise for South Korea's Kia vehicles, and France's Peugeot vehicles. It also holds the import permits for Mercedes Benz and Mazda vehicles.

Background[edit]

Born in 1955, Nasimuddin was always interested in cars and the automobile industry. He received his early education from Sekolah Rendah Tunku Munawir (1961–1966). He then studied at Sekolah Menengah Tuanku Muhammad (1967–1972). Both schools are located in Kuala Pilah, Negri Sembilan.

In 1974, when he was 19, he had RM80,000 in his bank account which he saved from his remunerations from helping out his contractor father. He started his automobile business with an allocation of Approved Permits (APs) to import foreign cars. APs are government-issued permits to import cars for bumiputras. He made his first million in about a year.

Going into business[edit]

After starting up the business, he flew to Japan where he spent three months purchasing his first 20 units of used Japanese cars. Upon his return to Malaysia, he sold off all 20 units within three months.

Nasimuddin's automobile business began with a shop lot in Taman Maluri selling 10 to 15 units of cars each month. In 1979, he opened a branch in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur doing retail and selling 40 to 60 cars monthly.

During those years, Nasimuddin had already shown his business acumen when he decided to import used Japanese cars at a time when Japanese cars were popular with Malaysians.

He faced some challenges, including financing and how to convince customers to buy used cars when many were then not keen on foreign cars. But his passion and faith in the business drove him to success.

“To succeed you must love what you do and you must know what you are doing. You must plan ahead and have direction," he said. "In business you must start from small, study everything and go step by step."

Despite being a highly successful and wealthy businessman, Nasimuddin says he has not changed much. "The only difference is that I started off with five employees and now I have about 4,000," he claims.

Businesses[edit]

The Naza Group now has 14 business divisions covering industries such as cigarette distribution, credit and leasing, engineering, hotels, insurance, machine tools and parts, manufacturing, motorcycles, property, transport services, plantations and water craft.

He owned TTDI Development which is one of the most prominent real estate companies in Kuala Lumpur.

The Naza Group currently holds the Malaysian franchise for South Korea's Kia vehicles, and France's Peugeot vehicles. It also holds the import permits for Mazda vehicles. Naza has now also become the biggest and most prominent importer of luxury high-end vehicles like Mercedes Benz in Malaysia with endeavours such as Naza-Brabus.

He was reported to be interested in buying a 40% interest and taking over Malaysia's national carmaker, Proton, which was reported to be in financial turmoil. He stated that he had already drawn his plan in turning around Proton if the Malaysian government gave the nod for him to buy a controlling stake of the company.[1] He planned to build a RM1.2 billion factory in Bertam, Penang.

In April 2008, he ventured into the food business by launching the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant and Market.[citation needed]

AP Controversy[edit]

Nasimuddin was implicated in the AP controversy of 2005, when he was dubbed the "AP King". It was claimed that he and three other prominent businessmen were monopolising the issuance of Approved Permits (APs). APs are government-issued permits used to control car imports, whereby 60 percent of APs are given to bumiputra Open AP holders, and 40 percent are given to franchise holders. The practice of APs helped shift dominance of the car import industry from the ethnic Chinese to the Malays. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad described Nasimuddin as an example of the New Economic Policy's (NEP) success, Bernama reported.

He said Nasimuddin had an extraordinary approach in developing his business, starting with selling imported used cars from Japan and then going on to collaborating with foreign companies to produce and sell local cars under his own brand name.

"He proved that the NEP was capable of producing successful bumiputras if they seized the available opportunities well. If all had the same opportunities and did what he had done, we may have achieved more than the NEP objectives," Dr Mahathir told Bernama.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In appreciation of his services and contributions, he was bestowed with several awards, which among others, include the federal award Panglima Setia Mahkota (P.S.M.) by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which carries the title Tan Sri
  • In 2002, Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin was named Motoring Man of The Year by the News Straits Times. Pak Din
  • Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin received one of South Korea's highest awards for his contribution to the automotive industry. He received the Presidential Award industrial service medal from South Korean ambassador to Malaysia Son Sang-Ha, on behalf of the President of South Korea, at a ceremony at the embassy in Malaysia. He is the first Malaysian to have received the award[2]

Death[edit]

Nasimuddin died of stage four lung cancer at a private hospital in Long Beach, California, US on 1 May 2008. He was 53 years old. His body was brought back to Malaysia on 4 May 2008 and taken to Masjid Wilayah, Jalan Duta. More than 6,000 people came to Masjid Wilayah to pay their last respects including the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad. The body was later taken to Batu 9 Muslim Cemetery in Hulu Langat, Selangor to be buried next to the grave of his beloved mother, Salbiah Abdul Majid.

References[edit]

  1. ^ A plan for Proton, The Star, 20 January 2007
  2. ^ "Naza boss honoured". The Star. 7 January 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2008.