Yasmin Rasyid, President and Founder – EcoKnights
Yasmin Rasyid’s love for the Environment, rooted during her university years and education in marine biology, spurred her to form an Environmental Organisation – EcoKnights, which she has led since 2005. Her passion is quite diverse. She loves science and arts. She did extremely well in the science but deep inside her, she has always had this inkling feeling that her creative side is underutilized. So her passion spans across this spectrum.
She is an outdoor person, with a huge love for environmental protection and conservation, and strives to use creative approaches to advance her advocacy and activism in environmental issues. She tries to marry both of her diverse passions.
Most people may be aware about environmental issues such as climate change, but only a handful actually do their part in trying to save the environment, this is the genesis at EcoKnights.
In terms of career, she is a biologist by profession. She has always loved the biological science. Over the years, her academic interest evolved to the sustainability science. The nature of sustainability- related work especially in the NGO sector is that it’s hard to not address human and social issues in environmental protection, says Yasmin. So she sees her interests in sustainability developing to one where she is very focused on community engagement and development.
Here are some more insights from the recipient of the Women Icon 2017 Award by BERG Singapore, as shared with team ABT.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I don’t have a particular prominent individual who inspires me; I mean in general many people inspire me. But if I have to condense this, my family would be my biggest source of inspiration. My mum is phenomenal and I don’t say it often enough. Patience, perseverance and unconditional love – that fuels my heart, soul and head. And she does just that for me. She has been the epitome of my career as I find a lot of the values which I have incorporated in my life and in the work space, in the organizations and companies that I lead, is strongly influenced by my mother.
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey.
I am an accidental entrepreneur and the journey has been exciting and interesting. Many highs and certainly many low as well. Over the years, what I have discovered as an entrepreneur has been very meaningful and beneficial in terms of my inner and personal development. You need to have a strong and positive mental attitude.
You’ve got to be willing to take risks and really crack in to hacking in to so many potential roadblocks. And that’s the journey so far. It’s exciting, scary sometimes, but overall, fulfilling and definitely mind expanding. I love the challenges that come with it. It feeds me energy and I like the entire process of digging in and with so many tools and ideas in the world today, you got to be able to work it out. But hey, you need to have a whole load of patience and perseverance.
Women are often referred as “better halves”‘ what are your thoughts on this?
First thing that came to mind was that it means that Women Complement Men, and vice versa. At least that’s how I see it between my husband and myself. The Yin & Yang (in Chinese Philosophy Yin and Yang describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another). And I feel that if we can strive out this balance in any relationship, life is just more pleasant and positive.
What are your views on the current digital wave that is influencing our lives?
I love it and I hate it too. When I need it, is when I love it the most. When I don’t get a reaction from my 15 year old when she’s glued on her gadget is when I hate it the most. One thing that I need to highlight though, I think many of us underestimate the advancements of digital technology. I can’t imagine reaching out to new customers using traditional methods.
With the current digital wave, conducting a business is just so easy, and you gain immediate access to global players as well. The current digital wave has accelerated our potentials as entrepreneurs so much more today than before.
Tell us about your most Cherished Milestone?
I am proud of how life has panned out for me so far. I’m a very realistic person and I am also very simple. Material gain and awards are a great way to mark my achievement however achievement is more than that, it’s more than a trophy or that feature in the newspaper, or that interview on television. To me my greatest achievement to date is that I have a wonderful man in my life and together we have two wonderful daughters.
That to me, is an achievement and it gets better as we all grown older too.
What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
I have a future road map in my head but it’s a fuzzy one. I’ve got so many ideas scribbled in my faithful notebook and diary. My challenge in determining my next step in this “future road map” is, “what would I like to start doing first?” I would like to find an opportunity to serve the government, to be honest. I’m a hard core patriot, and ever since I came back to Malaysia, being part of the national agenda, has always been an ambition. But I was never lucky enough, or perhaps it wasn’t time yet.