Datin Norliza Razali started at IBM as a Client Relationship Manager. Developing and executing relationship plans, understanding client’s industry and at the same time identifying opportunities to develop various client-valued solutions helped her learn the ropes. With her passion for communication, client relationship and sales were then optimized in her various roles as Change Management Lead, Workstream Lead for one of the major oil and gas players in the country.
She then progressed to assume the position of Vice President and subsequently Deputy CEO at a Management Consulting company where she exercised her passion in strategic alliance, business developments and solutions provider. As an advocate of Technology, Datin Norliza has started a CSR programme with Pusat Penjagaan Anak Yatim An-Najjah where she has built a small computer lab for the children in the age group of 6 to 17 years of age.
She founded Tresdata Sdn Bhd focusing in Enterprise Asset Management, Technology Solutions, Big Data & IoT and Management Consulting.
A recipient of the Women Icons Malaysia award in 2019, Datin Norliza Razali shares her thoughts on making it as an entrepreneur in this chat with AsiaBizToday.
Charting out as an entrepreneur
I founded the current business in 2016. It started as my passion in technology and business. My background as an Electrical Engineer and the experience that I had gathered in the Utility and Oil and Gas industry provided a newfound passion in addressing the challenges of the industry in promoting automation with advanced technology enablement.
In my years with multinational companies, I gained the knowledge and built credible networks with business partners both in local and international. In order to build local capabilities, these are the partners that I collaborated to create local talents and contents for us to be able to serve our clients. Training and understanding our service offerings and client’s need are the things that I emphasized to ensure that all of my team have the same alignment and are able to work independently and together as a team when needed.
Motivation to get into this
I see the opportunities in the market to do something better than it has been done before, and therefore work out how we can deliver upon this notion. The market requires a good solution and what better way to do that than delivering it from our homegrown talent and solution provider.
Experiences running this business
It has been a great ride so far riding the waves of evolving trends, competitions and even technological advancement. The talents that we recruited too gave us the edge that we require from time to time. We learnt a lot throughout the process and I think that is the best experience so far; being able to learn, unlearn and relearn various processes, knowledge and insights while running this business.
Factors that keep you going
Knowing that I have people counting on me through this business. Not only that I am passionate in delivering effective solutions, but I am also passionate about developing talents. I believe in providing opportunities for talents to continue to grow and develop their professional and personal skills. Great talents produce innovative, out-of-the-world solutions while having the good work ethics. So even though one day, they may no longer be with me, I find a sense of pride seeing them flourish elsewhere, doing great wherever they are.
Challenges in running the business
Of course, obstacles are inevitable especially in doing business. But mostly it is about defying the social expectations especially among male entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, I believe that we made it to where we are today through hard work and perseverance, and most importantly, you’re there. Earning people’s trust and respect too can be challenging. Therefore, the confidence has to be intact in order to defy these challenges and emerge as a strong and competent entrepreneur.
Source of inspiration
Of course, my family has always been a great influence in this. I grew up with 3 generations of great businessmen among my family members, relatives and friends. The closest was my late father. His strength, determination and wisdom inspires me to work equally hard as him. I will always carry with me his spirit and I know that whatever I do, I do to the best of my ability and that will make my father proud.
Other than that, my mother and husband are two of my important support structures, always there to lend a helping hand and advise on the workarounds of the business.
I also seek inspiration from other prominent figures in the business world. I read and internalize their success secrets as part of my source of inspiration.
Proudest moment so far
Seeing how my team has grown. We work very closely with one another and I spend a great amount of time monitoring their progress and mentoring them. It is a great joy seeing their progress daily and eventually able to lead the projects or initiatives and own them. It truly is a proud moment being able to say that my team did it.
Definition of success
Success is a very personal thing. What drives me is spending majority of my time focused on work or tasks that are fulfilling, able to maximize my potential and help other people in a meaningful way. Seeing others succeed through this is another form of success for me too.
Advice to other aspiring Entrepreneurs, especially women
I strongly believe in the power of empowerment. Being a woman, it is not easy to pave the way in the business world especially with various stereotypes of how women, in general, do things. Nevertheless, with strong empowerment, budding women entrepreneurs can go far. It is crucial for us to continue encouraging one another to be authentic and most important unapologetic for being just us. Women entrepreneurs should be able to celebrate their wins, no matter big or small, with strong sense of pride. Therefore, to all the women entrepreneurs out there, empower one another and spread the good energy that you have to inspire more women to come onboard.