Datuk Doraisingam Pillai is the CEO of the Lotus chain of restaurants and companies, which include music shops and cineplexes.
He was awarded the Malaysian Indian Entrepreneur of 2005 by Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry’s.
Datuk R. Doraisingam remembers vividly when he was 15 years old and about to present his LCE report card to his father N. Rengasamy Pillai in 1975.
He studied at St Xavier’s Institution Penang. He failed his Form Three exams and could not conceive how his father would react. He was feeling nauseous and his hands were trembling from the fear.
“I was prepared to get a slap from my father,” he said during an interview with StarBiz.
When his father saw his results, he raised his hands. This was a climactic moment. Out of fear, Doraisingam closed his eyes. Instead, his father tugged his shoulders. His father hugged him and said: “Tomorrow, you start working for me.”
Doraisingam’s prayers were answered and his wish came true. Ever since then, there has been no reminiscence for the self-made businessman, entrepreneur and father of three.
He described his father as his mentor and the strongest influence in his life, looking at him with high regard, followed and observed the latter in his daily business dealings. From this, he learned the tricks of the trade.
“My father showed me the ropes on how to build contacts and develop new business,” he said.
His career stemmed as far back as the age of 12 when he sold coconuts from his father’s plantation.
“I would buy 200 peeled coconuts at 12 sen a piece and transport them in my father’s car.
“I would then sell it for between 25 to 30 sen a piece,” recalled Doraisingam.
With the savings from his school days and profits made from selling coconuts, he branched out into fishing.
In 1987, Doraisingam moved to Kuala Lumpur and began his first restaurant, the first Lotus Family Restaurant, in Jalan Masjid India.
Today, his restaurant has expanded into a chain of 18 outlets around the Klang Valley and Ipoh, as well branching out his business empire to include properties, hotels, film distribution, information technology and food distribution.
Doraisingam encourages all aspiring entrepreneurs to not only equip themselves academically, but emphasised that bravery, hard work and determination is key to success.
22nd February 2020 18:30