Your best business development ideas in Malaysia

Hi everyone,

As a foreign entrepreneur, launching a business in Malaysia is a fantastic project and an exciting challenge. Some ideas are likely to succeed. Some others are promising but may not work as well as intended.

In your opinion, what kind of business or industry is likely to succeed in Malaysia? What kind of industry or service currently unavailable or underdeveloped in the country would meet local needs?

On the other hand, what are the most common business types foreign entrepreneurs would be eager to launch in the country but with very little chance of success?

Thank you for your insights.

food industry is the best in Malaysia ..

Food is the first thing that comes to mind but it might be the worst idea.

The fact it comes to mind first is part of whats wrong with the idea. In places like US, its possible to go long distances and not see much food so its somewhat out of mind. Here, there is food every five meters and that keeps you thinking about food 24 hours a day. You keep seeing it, smelling it, wondering about it. This led to even more food and more mental conditioning to expect to see it and try it and think about it. Food-thinking becomes an addiction and is nearly the first topic you are like to talk about even with strangers.

The prevalence of food is like a subliminal message that keeps you hungry and food crazy. But what do you teach from it? What do you learn from it? How does it help anything or anyone? You dont stretch your mind, you dont even need a tiny morsel of education to sit in a shop or on the side of the road frying something. Its distracting to your life, keeps you stupid, builds no character or experience, Its just empty.

The addiction causes people to argue for it like a Stockholm Syndrome patient: It taught me to be an entrepreneur! It taught me to manage money! It taught me courage and personal growth! And I met so many people! And thats the point. Many things can do that. Why not think of unique, new ideas the country needs to build up horizontally instead of vertically and no breadth or depth?

I tell you all this coming from the food business myself and I stopped when i realized the truth of what I just wrote. When I first came to Malaysia I saw a million holes that needed filling and I came to settle on food because it was the simplest way to start something. What I truly wanted to do was light years away from food but that needed time and ability to make work.

Food is always the first thing people think about because all you need is a pot and a flame and you are in business, and you do that to the exclusion of whats actually needed. Because everyone jumps at food, it also quickly becomes hugely competitive and a huge stomach ache too because consumers, blessed with too many choices become like butterflies and pay one no loyalty.

And what is it that the country needs? What works? I couldnt tell you because its up to you. If you must start with food because of low capital and absence of firm ideas, fine do that. But its a waste, just so you know, so also plan your departure from it.  Its better in the long run to choose your own dream, whats important to you, what you know and can be good at doing. Choose the hard path, the risky path. Innovate. Look around the see all the holes and niches. Start filling them with new and untested ideas, things that nobody else thought of because they were too busy thinking about food.

I suggest second hand buy and sell stores is good for the community especially economy is a bit low due to low crude oil prices.

Five years of disappointments! As worldwide renowned designer in Monuments, Hotels and buildings lighting and architainment, I had opportunity to collaborate with many entities, private or Public (Federal and States). One common business behavior in Malaysia: to try to milk the "foreigner" cow to death. I left a couple of weeks ago, some legal cases behind trying to be finally paid for my works. Malaysia is a wonderful country..heartbroken to have been forced to go...but I discourage anybody to start anything there, so much the business behavior is twisted mostly in chinese community. This tarnished opinion I still have in general for Malaysian people who are enduring consequences of it at first!

Malaysia plays host to several thousands of visitors every year. This leaves lot of profit to be made by investors in the country’s tourism sector. If you have a big budget, you can build a hotel or resort in Malaysia that caters to tourists that visit the country on vacation. Small businesses can also tap from the sector by offering products and services that cater to tourists as well. So, whether your budget is big or small, you can always make money from Malaysia’s tourism sector.

That's not true! As a specialist in Hospitality, I can tell you: opportunities are there but until business behavior changes..investment is more likely "donation", "business suicide" certainly waste of time and energy

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Dear P,

Thanks for contacting me. I dont much Idea about the the type of business in Malaysia to proceed with as I am just spent one year in Malaysia. But I can talk to some of friends and come back to you.



Moderated by kenjee last year
Reason : Share personal contact infos in private only. ( Use the private message system, click on the avatar of the member, and click on the 'Send Message' button )


Malaysians buy everything you sell. It is a great place for business. But for me, food is the most hot favorite item to sell.

I am from western part of India. I have few too good recipes which Malaysians and Indians like it.


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