BEGINNING OF
TISHA’S FOOD MANUFACTURING SDN. BHD.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

2011

The history began when Mr. Haji Shamsul, who is the fourth-generation descendant of the renowned 100-year-old murtabak maker Abdul Ghaffur, started the murtabak business in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city. The idea arose when he was retrenched from his position as Senior Quality Engineer leading the Quality team at a leading semiconductor factory, Fujitsu Malaysia Spansion Ltd, because the factory ceased operations in Malaysia and all positions involved in the operation of the factory were compensated. He was retrenched while performing the Hajj pilgrimage with his wife in 2011, who is also his business partner, Ms. Hajah Atika Mohd Ramli, a former bank officer.

This came as a shock to him, and he accepted the decision with an open heart. With unwavering spirit, he was inspired to start a business selling murtabak by learning the art of making Penang murtabak inherited from the legacy of Rempah Moyang A. Ghaffur, which began in 1923 at Bertam Lane, Simpang 6, KOMTAR. This ancestral recipe was passed down and taught by Mr. Haji Muhammad, who is also Mr. Haji Shamsul's uncle. Mr. Haji Muhammad also opened a murtabak business premises in Butterworth.


2012

The eldest son of their ancestor, Abdul Ghaffur, Abdul Tahir, inherited the murtabak business in Georgetown and through his son, Mubarak, he named the premises "Barak Best". After learning the traditional recipe of murtabak making with his uncle in Butterworth, Mr. Haji Shamsul started a small murtabak business in Wangsa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur on April 1, 2012, under the brand name "A. Ghaffur Murtabak" under the incorporated company "Shamsul Atika Ent." His business at that time was making fresh murtabak and flipping roti canai. The preparation ingredients for making murtabak were produced at his home. With daily sales ranging from RM50 to RM500, it was also generated by promoting free food samples to the residents and receiving strong support from friends. A worker was hired to flip roti canai. Mr. Haji Shamsul's vision at this time was to have a network of murtabak stalls in Kuala Lumpur.


2013

In 2013, Mr. Haji Shamsul and Ms. Hajah Atika started a murtabak delivery service using motorcycles under the brand name "Hot Hot Delivery" to cover orders from local friends and office workers around Kuala Lumpur. They continued the process of preparing murtabak fillings at home and sold them at their stall. Due to continuous demand, they successfully rented an MPAJ food court in Taman Melawati and started a frozen food business selling fresh murtabak, frozen murtabak, and other frozen food products from local vendors. The murtabak filling process was also moved there, and 3 workers were hired to assist in the operation process.

However, the dream of opening a network of murtabak stalls was hindered by the process of obtaining permission to extend the lease for a small stall in Kuala Lumpur, leading Mr. Haji Shamsul to continue the business using a caravan around Gombak. However, the process of preparing fresh and frozen murtabak fillings and frozen food products from local vendors has still carried out at the MPAJ premises until now (2024).

The business expanded using a mobile caravan named "Tishas on Wheel". The business operation functioned by parking at several locations around Taman Melawati, Setiawangsa, and Keramat. The caravan also demonstrated and offered on-site murtabak-making services at these locations. The sales revenue generated from this service ranged from RM500-RM1000. The promotions conducted included distributing free brochures, recommendations from customers, and word-of-mouth referrals.

Subsequently, as the business grew, the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) saw the potential of this business in the food and beverage management field around the Klang Valley and aspired to unearth the potential of Abdul Ghaffur Martabak by inviting them to be the first pioneers in the FAMA “Karavan Tani” (Mobile Farmers' Market) program. Abdul Ghaffur Martabak joined the “Pasar Tani” (Farmers' Market) using a mobile caravan for the "Pasar Tani" program managed by FAMA every day of the week at locations designated by FAMA. As a result of participating in this program, the company received a more stable return, with daily sales ranging from RM500-RM2500 depending on the location. Through this program as well, Abdul Ghaffur Martabak participated in various programs organized by FAMA. 3 workers were hired throughout this program.


2014

In 2014, the use of the Abdul Ghaffur Martabak brand was opposed by the first-generation descendant of Abdul Ghaffur, the owner of the "Barak Best" premises, Mubarak. This was due to the rapid business development of Mr. Haji Shamsul and both using the same murtabak recipe, resulting in a slight misunderstanding in using the brand that represents the murtabak dish from the original ancestral recipe preserved for 100 years. Mr. Haji Shamsul finally conceded and intended to turn a new leaf by renaming their business products to TISHA’S. The TISHA’S brand is a combination of the initials of both couple names, Mr. Haji Shamsul and Ms. Hajah Atika.

In expanding this business, TISHA’S aims to develop various frozen products sold and not just focus on murtabak production. The search process for a factory to produce frozen food products bore fruit when TISHA’S found INTEM, which stands for MARA Food Technology Incubator Complex, in early 2015. TISHA’S submitted a business proposal to INTEM and was selected to operate a factory unit producing frozen food products focusing on making roti canai. The development process of TISHA’S business operations from a small stall to a frozen food processing plant marked a paradigm shift for TISHA’S and proved the integrity of TISHA’S's commitment to becoming a leading manufacturer and pioneer of Muslim frozen products based on Halal and Toyyiban. 20 staff were hired to launch the factory operation process.


2015

Among other planning in the market development is the collaboration between TISHA’S and KOSENI (Artists Cooperative). Zed Zaidi was under the KOSENI association, which at that time was the holder of the position of President of Artists. KOSENI offered a business plan to TISHA’S and 37 other entrepreneurs to enter the Sabah market with a product value of around RM4.8 million, for 85 SKUs. The products also included TISHA’S products totalling 2 containers' quantity. In the process of sealing the business agreement in Sabah, KOSENI was unable to decide on a black-and-white agreement due to the facilities available in retail stores showing dilapidated conditions, limited space, and no refrigeration facilities. Furthermore, at the same time, even though the agreement was not formally sealed, frozen goods intended to be distributed to retail stores through several entrepreneurs involved in the Store Exchange (Kedai Tukar) project had already been transported to the port because the retail stores successfully convinced KOSENI to approve goods to be sent to their premises without a deposit. Another problem arising in this matter involved the logistics of the state port charging RM1500 for each item stored in the warehouse under the pretext of using container ships for SKU registration. This resulted in the goods in the container being stranded and damaged because the owners of the goods could not pay, and the stores did not want to take the goods. From the event between KOSENI and TISHA’S, in the business agreement, 2 containers needed to be sent to Sabah for distribution to retail stores. One container was sent, and TISHA’S continued the production of products for the delivery of the second container even though they did not receive payment for the products from the first container.

Upon learning that the loss incurred by TISHA’S amounted to RM500K for the delivery of goods in one container, TISHA’S had to turn back to re-enter the farmers' market for survival. To earn daily income based solely on cash, TISHA’S faced it considering the commitments they bore such as children's education, housing, and basic needs. In continuing the business, the revenue obtained also depended on the market placement site. A farmers' market with a large area could generate daily sales of up to RM1500 and vice versa if the market area was small, the revenue obtained only reached RM500. Due to the losses incurred, the factory operation stopped, and finally, the factory had to close operations.

This continued until the storage container for the excess products, which amounted to 850 cartons, was pulled. They almost reached a dead end and resigned themselves to the towering test, compounded by the fact that their product stocks were rejected from entering any supermarkets or retail stores because the expiration date was approaching, which only lasted for 4 months. Until the moment this incident occurred, in this precarious situation, they found a friends willing to help alleviate the turmoil they faced. They conveyed it through a status on the WhatsApp application with a statement addressed to all Malaysian citizens who had the opportunity to visit the farmers' market on Saturdays to help them as Muslim entrepreneurs who had been oppressed by KOSENI by buying and hoarding as much as possible because their stock could only last for four months. This statement touched the hearts of Malaysians who were very united and sympathetic to their situation. This also caught the attention of many, and finally, thanks to the help of friends and the concern of the Malaysian people, TISHA’S successfully sold all 850 cartons in just half a day. The atmosphere was lively with support from most orders sent by mothers from the East Coast states, especially those encouraging their children to buy TISHA’S products and donate them to the needy and Quran memorization students.

Although the TISHA’S brand had not yet gained widespread recognition, they sincerely helped TISHA’S in resolving the crisis that plagued TISHA’S. However, this was not only accompanied by support but also by ridicule from some parties who also called TISHA’S's actions cheap marketing tactics aimed only at boosting sales of goods. These groups came up arbitrarily to approach Mr. Haji Shamsul and Ms. Hajah Atika themselves, and they immediately refuted the following claims and accused TISHA’S of being acclaimed because Malaysians were indeed united in buying all TISHA’S goods until they were sold out.

As a result of the viral warehouse sale, TISHA’S managed to raise capital of RM68,000 in cash. Armed with advice from a business mentor who became the backbone of their business, the mentor guided them by exploring wider business opportunities for them. With remaining resources such as raw materials, flour, and plastics still abundant in the factory, the mentor encouraged them to open orders first by collecting names and selling frozen roti canai at a price of around RM76 per carton without payment. Only when the order is ready, TISHA’S will call the ordering customer, and the customer is required to pay for the ordered products.

With the guidance provided by the mentor to Ms. Hajah Atika and Mr. Haji Shamsul, they both decided to recall the staff who had worked with TISHA’S to start factory operations to fulfill customer orders. They continued to contact INTEM to reopen the factory for operational purposes, and finally, with the opening of orders that received continuous demand from all over Malaysia from September to December because of the viral, TISHA’S succeeded in collecting orders for up to 2 containers. Although at that time the TISHA’S brand was just beginning to take root, orders for TISHA’S products still received encouraging responses, with some buyers contributing to those in need.

TISHA’S also continued to participate in the farmers' market only in the MPAJ area. However, after they managed to secure a product at a supermarket, they finally decided to discontinue business at the farmers' market.