A healthy lifestyle has become a popular culture embraced by many people, spurred by overbearing media messages on the importance of living healthily. The consumer demand for health products is evidenced by the increasing number of health retail outlets that spring up. Nur Diana Dzulkiply, a budding local entrepreneur who founded Ettijar Enterprise Sdn Bhd, has earned a recognition within the industry with the marketing of shoes that are medically approved and appropriate for great and healthy walking. In an interview conversation, Nur Diana spoke on her entrepreneurial ventures in the health sector through her company’s product, Medshoe, the current and future plans and her vision of changing the way Malaysians walk.
Embarking on healthy living for many has become the new normal. Looking for fresh ideas for starting an enterprise, healthy living was on the top of the list for Nur Diana Dzulkiply. An entrepreneur at heart, Nur Diana has always been keen on turning ideas into business realities. “My father was a businessman involved in the shipping industry. That has influenced me as I understand the challenges and successes of entrepreneurship,” says Nur Diana. A Muar-born lass, Nur Diana comes from a family of four siblings of whom two are in the business field.
“I am a lawyer by training. I did my undergraduate at a local university before continuing on to a Masters programme,” says Nur Diana. However, the challenges of the business world proved to be too attractive for her to ignore.
“I worked for other companies before deciding to embark on my own ventures as I knew I possessed the required knowledge and experience to start on my own,” says Nur Diana.
“I travelled the length and breadth of the country just so to get a good understanding of consumer demands before I embarked on my business venture,” recalls Nur Diana. “It was not exactly fun driving around on my own but I enjoyed meeting people and understanding their needs, one of which was good, reliable shoes that are affordable.”
In 2016, Nur Diana Dzulkiply started Medshoe, branded as medical shoes suitable for healthy living in providing the required support for walking. “We have got the support of the medical establishment in making shoes that provide the correct support for feet especially when walking,” says Nur Diana Dzulkiply. The shoes are made of imported microfibre and are produced overseas.”
The sales of Medshoe have been beyond expectations with sales exceeding 200,000 units. There are quite a number of outlets in the main cities with plans to open more outlets in the near future. The brand has an online presence with an agent seller network in place.
“I am satisfied with Medshoe’s sales performance in the local market. However, we are moving cautiously and do not plan to expand fast until the market stabilises,” says Nur Diana, “But there are plans to expand overseas once we are totally satisfied with our performance in the local market.”
The vision for the company is to turn Medshoe into a global brand. There are other ventures in the hospital industry including the production of nurses’ uniforms and headgear.
“I am a very determined person and have high expectations for myself,” reveals Nur Diana Dzulkiply who has an enterprising personality and possesses strong leadership qualities.
“But the outcome of my success is based on my desire to help people. That is the principle of my business ventures,” comments Nur Diana. “I practise the same principle with my 50 staff. I am generous but am result-oriented. I am ready to mentor my staff for them to grow and become more mature in their work,” says a resolute Nur Diana.
A mother of two, Nur Diana acknowledges the challenges of leading a balanced work-life. “My younger daughter, aged five, comes to the office after kindergarten and I spend time with her. Weekends are family time as we usually go travelling as a family.”
Her advice for newcomers to the business world is to follow one’s dreams as success starts its journey with a dream. Nur Diana Dzulkiply supports newcomers and encourages those who are interested in becoming agents to consider entering the industry.