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Anang, an entrepreneurial engineer, introduces Malaysian-flavoured Shawarma

GAMBANG, 22 February 2024 - The increasingly busy lifestyle of Malaysians, prioritizing healthy and fast-food options, has led to the growing popularity of food services. 

Shawarma, also known as Kebab Roll, is a fast and healthy food category originating from Middle Eastern countries such as Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq, which has begun to be marketed and well-received in Malaysia.

Shawarma is prepared using simple ingredients such as meat, pita bread, vegetables, seasoning, and sauce. It consists of beef, chicken, or lamb meat placed on skewers and grilled until cooked. 

The meat is then sliced bit by bit from the meat block for serving. 

The remaining hanging meat is left while being heated on its skewer. 

Shawarma can be served either on a plate or wrapped like a sandwich.


The increasing demand for Middle Eastern fast food has also sparked the interest of student entrepreneur at Universiti Malaysia Pahang Al-Sultan Abdullah (UMPSA), Anang Rustanto Suwito, to venture into selling Shawarma through his business 'Shawarma & Chill'.

Anang, who hails from Johor, began his diploma studies at UMPSA seven years ago. 

He then continued his Bachelor of Civil Engineering studies and is currently pursuing a fast-track Ph.D. degree.

Starting his business under the supervision of the Centre for Creative Entrepreneur Development (PUPUK), the Shawarma & Chill kiosk was opened at the UMPSA Gambang Campus Amphitheater in May 2023 and has been actively conducting business to this day.

Although he lacked experience in the business field, seeing the business opportunity at UMPSA with the guidance and supervision of PUPUK, he dared to challenge himself by starting a business. 

He didn't start empty-handed or blindly; he conducted research and development (R&D) on business operations and observed current trends among young people who are interested in Arab cuisine.

The uniqueness of his Shawarma sales lies in its recipe, which is tailored to the Malaysian taste for flavourful and spicy food. 

This recipe has received warm reception from the UMPSA community, resulting in an increase in sales from RM3,000 per month initially to up to RM10,000 per month at times.

The increase in the supply of chicken meat used during the early days of business was only 6 kilograms per day and can now reach 20 kilograms per day, indicating the remarkable reception to his Shawarma sales.

More impressively, during the 2023 Convocation Expo, he also opened a stall selling Shawarma, which generated a significantly increased sales volume.

This greatly pleased him because not only could he provide delicious food options at reasonable prices, but he also provided opportunities for fellow students to work and earn extra income while gaining business experience.

He began gathering initial capital for the business by working part-time during the final semester of his bachelor's degree studies. 

Although still a student, he managed to balance his studies and business operations, although it was very difficult at first. 

Among the other challenges he faced were financial ones when starting this business. 

He is very grateful to PUPUK UMPSA for offering financial assistance to student entrepreneurs who want to start a business. 

With this financial assistance, he was able to gradually upgrade his Shawarma business.

Starting with two part-time workers among students, he now has ten part-time workers working on a rotation basis at the Shawarma & Chill kiosk.

The biggest driver of his business success is his parents, who never stop praying for his success. 

Anang, an entrepreneurial engineer, introduces Malaysian-flavoured Shawarma

Assistance from his business partner, Nur Al Hawiwi, an UMPSA Safety and Occupational Health bachelor's degree alumni, also had an impact on his business. 

Assistance and support in terms of operational and financial management at the beginning of the business helped stabilize his business in the initial stages.

He believes that UMPSA's efforts through PUPUK to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus are on the right track. 

However, he hopes that UMPSA can emphasize entrepreneurship related to students' fields of study. 

Entrepreneurial skills workshops specifically related to engineering can help stimulate students' interest in delving into the world of entrepreneurship and can create opportunities for bilateral relationships between UMPSA student entrepreneurs and industries out there.

The Student Entrepreneurship Icon also emphasizes to students who want to venture into business to focus on ideas and interests. 

If students have both, God willing, they can go far as student entrepreneurs under the guidance of PUPUK UMPSA. 
Students interested in starting a business need to work closely with PUPUK UMPSA to get ideas and the right business plan so that their business foundation is on the right track.

By: Amira Wayhida Izzati Mohamad Amin and Halizan Mohmood, Centre of Creative Entrepreneur Development

Translation by: Aminatul Nor Mohamed Said, UMPSA Career Centre (UMPSACC)

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Admin UMP News