TIME is his greatest challenge, says Mior Azim Badalishah. He does not have enough of it to spare on growing slowly. Given the competition in the food and beverage industry, the chairman and managing director of Mios Gastronomy Group is not banking on the conventional, but instead is charging ahead full-steam to ensure business sustainability and job security for his workers.
“Sales is the measure of our survival, so we need to expand our reach as well as our product range,” he says.
From its first restaurant setup in May 2011 at Shah Alam Section 15, Mios Kitchen now boasts four branches and one multi-purpose event hall; and is also listed on Grab. Going forward, Mior Azim sees 20 Mios Kitchens in his five-year plan, a central kitchen through which to produce ready-to-eat (RTE) food products, and export capability.
Mios Kitchen began life as a stall at a food court in 2011, before the culinary entrepreneur made the decision to expand into a restaurant after he graduated from Management and Science University (MSU) in 2015.
Before turning into Mios Gastronomy Group Sdn Bhd, the F&B business had operated in various Klang Valley locations as food stalls under the Mios brand.
Offering various cuisine choices including western, the Mios brand name stems from the names of the two Miors in his family – Mior Azim himself and his younger brother Mior Amin – based on the Malaysian pronunciation of ‘Mior’ as ‘Mio’.
The 35-year-old first developed negotiating and pitching skills as a young boy helping his mother sell kuih at a road-side stand. This early exposure nurtured his love of business, and the customer service skills he acquired under his mother’s tutelage honed his entrepreneurial acumen.
After years of managing the family business, Mior Azim decided to undertake a Diploma in Culinary Arts at MSU’s School of Hospitality and Creative Arts (SHCA), where the new learning experience presented him with the opportunity of working in 5-star hotels and gaining invaluable exposure in professional business management.
Working under others is important for you to gain new knowledge, he advises, admitting to spending 16 hours a day learning the ins and outs of business.
Mior Azim is now undertaking the Master in Business Administration (MBA) programme at MSU.
Whilst he credits his mother Sharifah Khazaimah for his early introduction to business, the alumnus thanks MSU for his initial success with Mios Kitchen.
“Educating, sharing, and inspiring others are bywords in the F&B business, and the MSU entrepreneurship ecosystem enhanced our exposure through the university’s collaborative corporate-community engagements.
“In addition, MSU also played a bigger role when I was shortlisted as a finalist in the Ministry of Higher Education Entrepreneurial Awards (MEA) under the Best Student Enterprise Award,” he says.
Mios Kitchen’s tagline of “Delicious and Affordable” translates not only into generous portions but also pleasing presentations, as well as an ambient dining experience. There is versatility in the menu, which had been originally designed by Mior Azim himself.
Now he has Chef Iqbal as his head chef, who helps him conjure up new seasonal menus every quarter, and who was the one who taught him how to cook basic western cuisine during his earlier student days at MSU.
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