The beginning of success is passion. GS Fauziyah Md Aris, also known as Qash Aris, has been interested in entrepreneurship since she was a child. Hajah Asmah Ismail, a Minangkabau and Indonesian-Chinese woman who used to sell everything from food to health products, sowed the seeds of entrepreneurship in her daughter. Her mother was not only concerned with providing for her family, but she was also eager to share her entrepreneurship talents with others. Her mother's principles not only encouraged Qash Aris to develop her entrepreneurial abilities, but they also helped her develop creative, innovative, and advocacy skills that she still uses today.
She enrolled in an accounting programme at University of Technology MARA (UiTM) after graduating with a diploma in business studies, despite having an offer to continue her studies in the UK, due to financial constraints. Her post-graduation plan was to work in the business world, but fate had other plans for her. During her studies, she was offered a job as a Value-Added Service Product Designer in Celcom Technology's Marketing Division. Her interest in technology grew from there, and she is now a graduate technologist certified by the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) as a Creative and Educational Technologist in Art, Media, as well as a trainer at HRD Corp.
Being a successful entrepreneur now gives her a clear sense of purpose in life. She has successfully trained hundreds of B40 entrepreneurs, freelancers, and particularly female entrepreneurs in Malaysia, having developed and designed an entrepreneurship curriculum for the Institute of Professional Development at Open University Malaysia.
Her ultimate goal is to advocate and empower Malaysians to achieve a sense of empowerment, purpose and growth into becoming a better version of themselves in this era of digital technology. And she believes that the only way to achieve it is to demonstrate humanity skills alongside 'hi-tech' and 'high-touch' skills through creative and digital technologies. This sparked her interest in researching "Tiktok in Education" for her PhD in Educational Technology at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
Every inspirational story has its own set of challenges. Qash Aris has found it difficult to balance her role as an educator while also managing her own studies. To get past this stumbling block, she made a mental note to always remind herself that problems are opportunities to grow and to remember her 'Big Why' for accomplishing what she was doing. Diamonds are formed under pressure; not overnight, hence patience is virtue. As a result of her efforts, she has realised that life is beautiful and that we should all be proud of our accomplishments. Struggles and failures are only temporary; they should be used as motivation to push ourselves further and to remember to stop and appreciate the moment. She shares, “What I can say now is, be creative, be innovative and be the best version of yourself.”
Qash Aris has released her self-published e-book "Kreativiti Aku Belum Mati," in which she recounts her 20-year career in the creative sector, as well as her personal tips, tactics, and advice that she wants to share with the world. It's completely free, and you can obtain it here.
When asked about the Digital Business Programme under Mereka Academy, Qash Aris said “Mereka Academy is the ‘doa’ that I pray for me to learn to become who and what I am. I had googled when looking for solution(s) to my needs.”. She also added that another reason for her participation in the programme is being inspired by the Group CEO of Biji-biji Initiative and Mereka, Rashvin Pal Singh.
Overall, according to her, she rates the Digital Business Programme as “perfect 10 out of 10” as there are not many programmes out there truly inspiring and motivating the participants while learning about ‘How to Become a Better Digital Entrepreneur and Digital Business Owner’. She said, “I love Mereka programmes and the Mereka Hub, a great educational and digital business platform providing tools especially for people like me.”
To all digital business owners, she advises to embrace digital technology immediately. Project-based and collaboration are the two keys to move forward. Make use of all your digital resources, venture out to more digital entrepreneurs and grab any collaboration opportunities that suit your purpose in order to flourish in this career path.
She concluded with hopes that the Digital Business Programme should be expanded and reach out to more Malaysians that clearly need it.
If you run your own small business and would like to transform your business digitally, sign up here.