If consistency is king, Khairul Amin Kamarulzaman a.k.a @KhairulAming is the current reigning monarch. If you think this 31-year-old (2023) strategically engineered his way through success, you might be right, and the reason why he can do that is not just because he is very skilled in his craft.
Honing Skills Since His College Years
A student from SMK Ismail Petra, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, he then furthered his studies in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in the United States of America at the age of 20. He got his first DSLR camera at the age of 21 as he wanted to learn more about photography and videography. How good were his skills you might ask? He bags around US$5000 (about RM25,000 in today's money) for a travel video contest during his semester break when he documented his travel across the United States.
It was not just a simple video. His video, Postcard, initially aims to share his experience as a Malaysian student who is studying abroad and also inspires them to do the same. It was an elaborate plan of asking Malaysian high schoolers to send him photos of them to America and he then ask local citizens whom he meets via his travel to hold that photo to be captured by his camera. He turn the moment that he took into a postcard and send it back to the kid with some inspiring words. Check out the video HERE
Getting The First Taste of Reality
A testament to his high-achieving mindset, he graduated first class and got dean's list every semester. He got his first job as a Rotating Engineer and then switch roles to a Piping Engineer. At the age of 24, he went out of his comfort zone to join the logistics side of his industry where he start to understand how global business and supply chain works. While maintaining a full-time job, he also does some side hustles such as selling a healthy meal kit, dabbling in fashion, and creating a resume template business. It was not that successful in generating a significant income for him. He then falls back to his core skill and passion, doing videos and cooking. He created video recipes and upload them on his Facebook page, RasaPop.
In less than a year, the audience grew to half a million. He then devises a monetization plan to upsell products to his community. With no prior experience in food manufacturing and FMCG production, he created his first product, a Sambal. He personally manages the R&D, production, and logistics side of the product and also invested a significant portion of his savings. Hoping for success, all he met was Failure. The sambal did not sell.
The Pivoting Move
At the height of the age of influencers, he took a bold step to be one. Using the experience he got in growing RasaPop, he shifted the spotlight to himself. Instead of just a normal recipe video, it was a recipe video by @KhairulAming. His audience also switched from trusting his brand, RasaPop, to loving him, @KhairulAming. His personality mixed with his quirky way of describing how to do the recipe captures the heart of everyone.
His fan favorite, "30 hari, 30 resepi" is an annual video where he showcases 30 types of recipe ideas for the whole month of Ramadhan. Today the @KhairulAming brand gains more than 8.4 million followers across all social channels, and more than a million views for the majority of the videos posted.
Spicing Up His Journey
In Early 2021, he started replicating his initial game plan, upselling products to his audience. He launched "Sambal Nyet Berapi", a second iteration of his first product with RasaPop, "Sambal King".
It was so successful, it generates RM1 million in sales in 3 months. His tweet that mentions his revenue gained more than 73,000 likes showing the amount of support that he got from his audience. In one year, the business grew to RM14 million in revenue pushing him to open up his second production facility.
Becoming the actual "SAMBAL KING"
Initially, he can produce around 200 "Sambal Nyet Berapi" per day, and he then strategically scales it to 5000 per day. He also manages to scale up from a 14,000 sqft warehouse to now managing 2 facilities that can produce, pack and ship his product around Malaysia.
In the year 2022, he has managed to generate total revenue of RM21.5 million, selling 1.5 million jars of "Sambal Nyet Berapi". He was also awarded Best New Seller and Best Customer Service by Shopee.
A 10 Years Journey
When it comes to success, it's never a short journey. For him to hone his skills and passion, it takes persistence and a lot of patience. He himself is proof that if you work hard enough, you might turn your passion into a career. He only decided to quit his job after gaining significant success, and even as a side hustle, he is undeniably all in and grinding at 110%. Is he the next Adabi? You can put your money on it.