A Good Run for Side Businesses at SIBF23

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A Good Run for Side Businesses at SIBF23

A Good Run for Side Businesses at SIBF23

The Selangor International Book Fair (SIBF23) from Dec 1-10 at the MBSA Convention Centre in Shah Alam offered a variety of food and beverage options.

They included traditional cookies, nuts and sandwiches, and heavy meals such as nasi biryani, ayam bakar and a variety of noodles. There were also gourmet food trucks available at the venue. 

Apart from F&B outlets, SIBF23 featured booths selling tote bags, gifts, key chains and ornamental fish. In all there were 62 stalls at the event, which included 12 food trucks.

The SIBF23 was organized by the Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Selangor (PPAS). It started as the Selangor Book Fair in 2006.

Here, a baker, a coffee seller and a keychain artist share their experiences at SIBF23.

“We must thank the wonderful job done by the organiser in making it easy for all traders at the event. They did a wonderful job in planning and execution,” said Siti Noorikah Mahbob, whose Khaliff Bakery sold bread and buns at the event.

“They gave ears to our problems and want us to do well,” she added.

Siti Noorikah, who runs the bakery with her husband Mohd Shahrul Azri in Batu Caves, said SIBF23 was her second experience. Her first was at SIBF22 but that was part of a Selangor state programme along with several other entrepreneurs.

“In SIBF23, we ventured on our own. We set up our own booth to sell our bread and buns. We had total support from PPAS. They were very helpful in making the necessary arrangement at the venue,” said the 40-year-old Siti Noorikah.

She said the sales at the 10-day event was “very good”.

“We increased our production and were ready for the demand at the event. Every morning we brought fresh products from our bakery to the venue, and by the end of the day, we were sold out. The visitors to the event gave us good support.

“Honestly I didn’t expect such a good response from the visitors but we were ready when the demand grew. Our bread and buns were freshly made and of good quality. Maybe that’s why people loved buying them,” she added.

She said she would love to return to SIBF24.

“And this time, we will be better prepared with more products. I also have a higher target to achieve,” she said with a smile.

Khaliff Bakery was among those who did truly well at SIBF23. Another outlet that did well was coffee seller Awaludin Jalalus Shuti through his Kopi Dua Darjat stall.

A brew for success

Awaludin is not just an entrepreneur. He is also a social activist who founded a non-profit organization called Chow Kit Youth with the noble intention of keeping the Chow Kit youngsters away from trouble.

“SIBF23 allowed me to fund my activism programmes,” he said with a wide beam.

The cherubic 32-year-old runs his franchised Kopi Dua Darjat outlet in Kampung Baru, just opposite Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur, mainly to fund his activism and to help employ Chow Kit youth.

“We made some good money selling coffee at SIBF23. And I have used it to run a new programme for the youth in Chow Kit,” he said.

The programme on film making and production attracted about 27 teenagers all aged 17 and below.

“This will help them learn a skill which they can now develop to get out of the poverty cycle even if they are not book smart. For this to happen, I must thank our supporters at SIBF23,” he said.

He said he did not expect the overwhelming demand for his coffee at the SIBF23.

“We had taken 1,000 cups for the first weekend but they all finished on that Friday itself. The support for our coffee was truly amazing. We want to be back for SIBF24.”

He said PPAS had done a great job in recognizing the need to allow small traders and entrepreneurs at SIBF23.

“This really helped in opening opportunities for small players. PPAS and its personnel had done a wonderful job,” he said.

For keychain artist Shamsudin Hashim, SIBF23 was a perfect event.

“The crowd was big, and mainly schoolchildren who wanted to buy keychains,” said the 53-year-old entrepreneur who is a veteran at setting up booths at events.

“SIBF23 was awesome. Traders can make money. The venue was nice and the event was popular. So we had a very big crowd throughout the 10 days.

“The organiser had put a lot of planning to allow so many traders to set up their booths at the event. Their main objective to help small businesses is very good,” he said as he explained that he was kept busy during the event by the large crowd.

All three traders also suggested improvements for SIBF24, especially in terms of more spacing for the booths, and to keep wet food booths away from the rest.

“With booths on both sides, only a small passageway is available for the crowd. They can’t stop to look at goods or spend time buying,” said Shamsudin.

However they were all glad to be part of SIBF23 and are eager to return for SIBF24.


JAN 20, 2024