1. Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin enjoys racing and cars.
She is involved in a business trading cars spare parts and oil lubricants in the 1980s.
2. The shortage of supply would mean she had to depend on the Korean supplier.
That was when she thought she could start a blending plant and process the transformer oil and lubricants locally using Korean technology.
3. In 1990s, there was only one other bumiputera independent plant producer (IPP).
The lubricant business in Malaysia was growing.
4. Thus, Hyrax Oil was established in 1991.
There were lots of IPPs and backyard blenders but not many focused on government and industrial clients.
5. She got a local partner and Korean partners to invest in the plant.
It costed her around Rm10 million to construct. The Koreans owned 45% of the company and the local partner owned 55%.
6. She had to educate people on Hyrax Oil and transformer oil
The lubricant oil business has big players – the majors such as Petronas, BP and Castrol. Then, these major lubricant producers did not manufacture transformer oil, which is Hyrax Oil’s ‘killer product’.
7. Transformer oil was the company’s core product until 1997.
They exported 30% to the international market and supplied 70% to the niche market such as transformer manufacturers, Tenaga Nasional and service contractors.
8. Hyrax Oil was awarded 100% of the Treasury central contract by the government.
From there, the company branched into engine oil. Now, it contributes 70% of the business while transformer oil only 30%.
9. The Asian financial crisis in 1997 gave her the opportunity to sell her shares to PUNB (Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd).
When both the Koreans and the local partner cashed out, she bought over the Korean share of the company and sold 30% of it to PUNB
10. PUNB acted as a venture capitalist for five years.
Then, it gave loan stock, which provided the working capital to buy the laboratory equipment.
11. Today, Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin has bought over PUNB’s shares and now own the company together with another local partner.
She was also the inaugural Ernst & Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002.
12. Hydrax Oil is exporting to more than 38 countries now.
It does contract manufacturing and co-branding in markets such as Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
13. The lubricant business is all about planning.
“You have to buy base oil but you can’t carry so much stock. If you look at our cash flow, we have almost RM10 million in cash locked in our stock every month.”
14. She strives through in the man-dominated industry.
“The oil and gas industry is not a woman-dominated industry but I’ve always liked doing something challenging and different from the common and traditional path.”
15. She empowers women and believes in gender equality.
“To me, women can do whatever men can and vice-versa so it’s a level playing field.”
16. Her advice on starting a business is to have patience.
“A business doesn’t come overnight. It takes a long time. In any business you’re involved in, you have to remain focused.”
17. In September 2018, Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin has been appointed as Chairperson of PUNB, succeeding Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam who resigned in June.
The PMO said Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin currently sat on the SME Corp Business Advisory Panel and the board of Center of Entrepreneur Development & Research Sdn Bhd, and served as Ambassador to Commonwealth Women Entrepreneurs, Commonwealth Businesswomen. Previously, she served on the boards of Malaysia External Trade Corporation and Scientex Bhd as well as on the council of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers. She was also Chairman of Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations of Malaysia.