KUALA TERENGGANU: A fitness gymnasium exclusively for the fairer sex is on the cards in Terengganu.
The gym will also be syariah-compliant in keeping with the practise of many public facilities in the predominantly Muslim state.
This is the brainchild of young entrepreneur and mechanic-turned-fitness freak, Amir Hakimi Che Razali, who currently runs the Shredded Gym in Bukit Payong.
The 25-year-old has invested RM200,000 into his present facility, opened since February 2015, is now planning to pump in a similar amount to establish the women-only gym in the next few months.
“More and more women are taking up fitness programmes at my current facility and from their feedback, there is demand for a separate women-only gym.
“Many of these women appear shy to workout with men. They prefer some privacy and they want to retain their modesty, by working out among their own sex, with women trainers too,” said Amir, a product of Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera (TUBE) initiated by SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp).
Amir added he was now scouting for certified women fitness trainers to run the women-only gym.
The entrepreneur said he chose the name Shredded for his gym to reflect the bodybuilding lingo, which means to break down body fat.
He charges RM70 for men and RM55 for women as monthly fees for his patrons.
Asked on his switch from motor mechanics to fitness, Amir said he had pursued an automotive diploma from Universiti Kuala Lumpur and worked for a year with a workshop in Kuala Terengganu.
“During this period, I was invited by friends to try my hand at doing part-time hawker food business at the Terengganu Equestrian Range at Prinz Park in Kuala Ibai for some time.
“It was then that I was introduced to entrepreneurship by SME Corp and took the challenge to establish a gym of my own as I enjoyed the sport, and it gave me an opportunity to be my own boss,” said Amir.
He added his parents Che Razali Adis and Faridah Ismail were at first concerned of his new venture but eventually supported his dreams.
“My parents initially wanted me to further my studies and take up a better job. Being civil servants, they did not initially see the potential of being an entrepreneur and were worried of the risks and negative implications involved,” said Amir, the youngest of six siblings.
He said he had explained to his parents that this venture was with the support of SME Corp and by sharing success stories of other fellow Bumiputera, they were more understanding.
Amir’s other siblings are all employed with the government and private sector.
International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan visited Shredded Gym recently and gave the thumbs up to Amir for his concerted efforts in becoming a successful Bumiputera entrepreneur.
On that note, Terengganu SME Corp director Muhammad Ibrahim said that there was a five-year plan to develop TUBE as a second layer to nurture young entrepreneurs in the state.
“We now have 165 youths aged between 18 and 40 who are keen to venture into businesses. Our target is to empower 100 youths a year as successful entrepreneurs,” he said.
Already, SME Corp has forked out RM56 million to supported 21 SMEs in the state from 2013.
“Under the Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programme (BEEP), we plan to offer more grants for successful young entrepreneurs to expand their businessness through renovations or fresh investments.
“The response via our e-promotions and other social media applications are encouraging with more youths becoming self-dependant, rather than relying on securing jobs with others,” said Muhammad.