I am Dato’ Rozalila Abdul Rahman, founder and owner of Lestari Prestasi Sdn. Bhd., a start-up company with an e-Commerce platform branded as leemporium.com since 2017. After 28 years in the corporate world, I decided to become an entrepreneur. Together with my daughter, Sharifah Aneesa Alsagoff, who graduated from Paris American Academy, a fashion design college in Paris, select products for our business under Aneesa Alsagoff’s collection, with a French twist.
leemporium.com is a virtual online boutique that carries specially selected high quality skincare products from Korea and Malaysia, quality Turkish rugs/prayer mats, scarfs, table linens, bedspread sets and other furnishings, American and Malaysian health/wellness product for busy Malaysian women who want great/unique products at affordable prices.
I am also a Director and shareholder of Awake Asia Distribution Sdn. Bhd., the Malaysian operation of AAD.Asia, a regional e-Commerce start-up with its headquarters in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.
Besides running my business, I am an Independent Non-Executive Director of Affin Bank Berhad (effective 4 February 2019) and MISC Berhad (since 1 August 2018).
Prior to me venturing into business, I was the founding member and Chief Executive Officer of Astro GS Shop Sdn. Bhd. from 2014 until 2016 and was instrumental in the success of Go Shop as the No.1 home shopping brand in Malaysia.
I have served TM Berhad as Chief Marketing Officer from 2010 until 2014 and was part of the management team to launch UniFi nationwide. It complemented my previous mobile working experience where I was a General Manager at Maxis Berhad from 2006 until 2010, responsible for the P&L of Hotlink and Maxis brands amongst the Malay consumers, East Malaysia and East Coast region.
I had a 2 years stint as Director of Sales & Marketing at Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) from 2003 until 2005. Prior to BSN, I had assumed numerous managerial positions in fast moving consumer goods
companies, i.e. Reckitt Benckiser (Malaysia & Singapore), Kellogg Asia Inc. (South East Asia),
Unilever (M) Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia & Singapore) and Perwira Niaga Malaysia, PERNAMA.
I also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Economics & Management, UPM from 2013 until 2014.
Areas of focus & professional background :
To share my experience as a Board member of public listed companies as well as 28 years of working
experience in technical, commercial and marketing of fast moving consumer goods, retail banking, telecommunications, TV home shopping and e-Commerce that operate in a challenging business
environment with enormous growth potential.
Educational Background :
B.Sc. Food Science & Technology, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, 1988
Certificate of Merit, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, 1987
Diploma Sc. with Education (Math Major), Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, 1985
Professional Training :
Board Directorship Training by Minda & LeadWomen, ICLIF & Bursa Malaysia, 2013 – 2019
Google CMO Academy at INSEAD Singapore, Sept 2013
“20 Conversations At Havard”, Havard Management Course, USA, May 2013
IMD Management Programme with Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Malaysia, Oct 2012
A day in the life of Dato’ Roza :
I do some house chores including cleaning the cats’ den in the morning (I have 7 cats in total) and
in-between I usually log into Facebook and Instagram to browse through the postings on leemporium.com. By noon, I have a quick bite and dedicate the rest of the day to my business needs as well as prepare for any upcoming Board/Board Committee meetings which leads up to dinner. Dinner is an important time for me and my family members to catch up and bond with each other.
Her life philosophy :
Have a positive mindset as nothing is impossible. Live life to the fullest and always be humble.
I have always held to that philosophy since my school days and it was put to test when I gave birth to my special son, Syed Rafiq Alsagoff in 1992. He was born with cerebral palsy and lived until the age of 20 years, 10 months and 6 days. He was the only boy (middle child) and I have 2 other daughters. Having to juggle between my career and attending to the special needs of my son, was a challenge at first. All of us in the family chipped in including my mother and late mum-in-law before it became our family routine and strengthened our bond with each other. I managed to excel in my career while having to care for my beloved son, so nothing is impossible. As a family, we learnt to appreciate the simple things in life and we cherished every moment we had with Rafiq.
Her proudest career moment :
There were many “proudest career” moments at the different stages of my career. However, the most
self-fulfilling for me is when my former staff and colleagues in almost all of the companies that I have worked, value my effort in developing them to become leaders in their own fields.
“I am passionate about…” :
Everything and anything that I do for myself, my family and relatives, my cats, my community. I believe in “doing it right, first time and every time”.
How she handles work life balance :
I am mindful that not only it is difficult to have a work life balance, in fact there is no work life balance if you want to be a successful career woman. You just need to have a very understanding spouse and family who support your career ambition, complemented with a strong domestic assistance to ensure that your
household is in order.
What she believes has been the key to her professional success :
Clear purpose in life – determination, perseverance and faith.
How technology has shaped her career :
Technology is the backbone of my e-Commerce eco-system. I was fortunate to be exposed to the different facets of technology in Astro GS Shop Sdn Bhd, TM Berhad and Maxis Berhad, in serving the needs of
Her advice for young marketers aspiring to be at the top :
Participate and challenge yourself to take on many projects within the company that cut across the different discipline – a holistic view of the project or business and then dive deep to grasp the depth of the subject matter.
Three things she wishes she knew at the start of her career :
- Nobody knows everything, just be yourself.
- Engage with everyone in the company, acquire the necessary knowledge and skills set as one
progresses in his/her career.
- HAVE FUN and enjoy the ride!