“Actions speak louder than words” is the perfect proverb to describe Adnan Md Noh, managing director and founder of Utas Maju. Hailing from Malacca and armed with educational credentials in chemistry and economics, Adnan started out as a sales executive, managing clinical diagnostics business. “I ended up managing the business from A to Z and before long realized I had reached my limit. I would have more leeway in determining my personal growth if there was a greater sense of ownership,” he explained.
“Towards Excellent Customer Service”
The sole ownership start-up, Utas Maju Sdn Bhd (UMSB), was initiated in 2003 with a personal capital of RM50,000 and a RM2 million loan. The company subsequently expanded into the Ara Damansara head office. UMSB provides end-to-end clinical solutions with the inclusion of preliminary and post care. Its services are considered one of the most comprehensive in the market and is certified by the Ministry of Health and the international certification and Audit Company Societe Generale de Surveilance (SGS) as Good Distribution Practice for Medical Devices.
From just 10 employees initially, Adnan now employs 60 people comprising sales and marketing professionals, product specialists, bio-medical experts and engineers to provide application, technical and support services to customers. UMSB’s clients include both public and private sector medical-based organizations such as government and private hospitals, health centers, private laboratories, clinics as well as teaching universities.
Becoming an entrepreneur was a seamless transition for Adnan. After gaining the required knowledge and experience within the private sector and realizing that he could contribute and achieve more on his own, Adnan became a trailblazer within the Bumiputera entrepreneur community by setting up a clinical diagnosis solution provider called Utas Maju Sdn Bhd in 2003. The company made its mark by growing into a million-dollar business that now controls 10% of the clinical diagnostic market. Extolling the virtues and potentials of local entrepreneurship, UMSB foresees good prospects within the industry in terms of revenue and contribution towards the Malaysian health sector. Adnan’s reason for venturing into the medical industry is simple and straightforward, “I see tremendous growth potential in this industry and I believe that regardless of any situation, the medical industry will remain resilient,” he explained.
For almost 13 years, the company consistently posted positive growth with revenue in 2015 reaching RM37.7 million. Such growth can only be driven by strong core values, customer focus, vibrancy, learning, partnership, leadership and integrity which are embedded across the organization. Adnan puts his philosophy into practice of giving back to society and it starts with his employees whom he treats as family members. Employees are well rewarded for their efforts with generous bonuses and annual overseas trip, with the latest being a trip to Turkey.
Adnan believes every challenge faced by the company is also an opportunity. The current currency crisis has impacted the business as most of the company’s transactions are conducted in US dollars and most customers demand pre-crisis prices. Adnan said the second challenge is acquiring skilled workers.
As a person that has been in the industry for more than 23 years, Adnan shares a simple principle in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success, “Focus and be patient, success will come. Although the initial years will be a struggle, give yourself five years to build the business and gain knowledge about the market in which you will operate and success will ensue.”
Even though Adnan runs a successful business, he is not one to rest on his laurels but has set his eyes on expanding his business and diversifying. His vision is to have his own medical centre and also participate in health-agricultural opportunities providing traditional plants for medical therapy.
“Every dollar given is a dollar wrapped with love”
To Adnan, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a catalyst for a greater change. He strives to set examples for those he work with and sets high standards of environmental management, corporate donations and maintaining a diverse workforce. Through Utas Maju Kelab Kebajikan, Kecemerlangan, Sukan & Rekreasi (UMKKSR), Utas Maju has been successfully conducting and managing philanthropic events such as contributions to victims of natural disasters, partnership with the Ministry of Health and Teaching Hospital for Educational Program and cooperation with Non-Profit Organizations.
Utas Maju has received recognition and awards nationally and internationally. Year 2012 marked a historic year where UMSB was listed under the TERAS Program which is specific for high performing Bumiputera Companies. In 2013, UMSB enrolled in the Score Program and was awarded a 3-star rating. UMSB was awarded a 4–star rating for the same program in 2014 and listed as the top achiever in E50 Enterprise Award 2014. Other awards include the Asia Success Award 2014 by Super Health Brand and Asia Pacific Entrepreneur Award 2014. UMSB regards these achievements as a stepping stone to achieve further success.
Utas Maju is now recognized as a professional, responsible and reliable supplier. The company has also added two major services into its portfolio engineering technical support and application specialist. Utas Maju was set up to cater to the need for a professional Bumiputera supplier in the healthcare industry. It is governed by experienced and highly committed directors and executives. Utas Maju’s business partners come from various countries and include Beckman Coulter, Biodata Corporation and Accuvein (USA); Sebia (France); Techno Medica (Japan); TCOag (Ireland); Hemasoft (Spain); Alifax (Italy).