Ex-serviceman making it good in printing business

02 May 2023 09:01am
 Wan Mohd Zamri Wan Abu Bakar - Bernama pic
Wan Mohd Zamri Wan Abu Bakar - Bernama pic
KUALA LUMPUR - When Wan Mohd Zamri Wan Abu Bakar retired in 2010 after serving in the army for 22 years, the only thing he could bank on to carve a successful life for himself and his family was his propensity to work hard.

He was only 42 years old then and considered setting up a business offering graphic and printing services. Fortunately for Wan Mohd Zamri, 55, who held the rank of warrant officer 1 at the time of his retirement, he had the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in graphics and printing by attending a course organised by the Ex-Serviceman Affairs Corporation (PERHEBAT), which is based in Sungai Buloh, Selangor.

Today, he is the proud owner of Galaksi Wany Enterprise. His office and printing press are located in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, and his company generates a net profit of about RM30,000 to RM40,000 a month.

PERHEBAT offers various three- to 18-month-long technical, vocational and entrepreneurial courses to armed forces personnel due for mandatory retirement in order to improve their socioeconomic prospects after they retire.

"Before I retired in 2010, some of my colleagues and I were offered a choice of skills-based courses that we could take. I had an interest in the multimedia field so I chose to pick up graphic design skills by learning to use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop software,” he told Bernama.


Wan Mohd Zamri owes his success to "lots of hard work, perseverance and grit”.

"Thanks to PERHEBAT, I was able to learn new skills and set up my own printing company. My perseverance came from my wide experience while I was stationed at the (army’s) Royal Air Defence Artillery Unit (at the Sungai Besi camp in Kuala Lumpur).

"My work taught me what patience as well as mental and physical resilience were all about. It (work) required me to be skilled in using all types of canons such as the Oerlikon 35mm as well as memorise their names and functions. After 10 years of service, I was made a trainer and had to train them (trainees) on all aspects of artillery and military radar and designs of aircraft including Sukhoi and Mikoyan MiG-29.”
Related Articles:

"I’ve been making use of the invaluable experience (and qualities) I gained (throughout my career) to build up my own company brand,” he said.

He added that his success has also helped to get rid of the stigma that armed forces personnel become unsociable and stop serving society after their retirement.

Wan Mohd Zamri, who was born and raised in Tanah Merah, Kelantan, said he has, in his own way, been giving back to society through his firm by helping small businesses in Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur.

"Before I started my printing company, I noticed many petty traders, especially those operating along the beach in Port Dickson, needed help to promote their businesses. Many of them didn’t have signboards to promote their products. That’s when I got the idea of starting a printing firm and offering them (reasonably priced) graphic and printing services,” he said, adding that his clientele has grown since then and includes restaurants, polytechnics and even well-known Port Dickson hotels such as Hotel PNB Ilham Resort, Hotel Klana Beach Resort and Hotel Seri Malaysia.

His company, which has four workers, prints posters, banners, buntings, stickers, company signboards and name cards.


Even though Wan Mohd Zamri’s company is making a profit now, it has not been a smooth ride for him to get to where he is now.

He said the problem he dreaded the most was the breakdown of a printing machine as it would disrupt his company’s productivity.

"Printing machines are very sensitive and they constitute the pulse of my company. Repairs are expensive and it can cost up to RM7,000 to get a printing machine repaired,” he said.

He has four printing machines at his premises, each costing about RM65,000, but since embarking on his business 13 years ago, he has spent nearly RM250,000 on repairs alone.

"Well, any entrepreneur needs to overcome all kinds of problems in order to be successful,” he said, adding that he plans to open a branch in Kelantan and Melaka.

He also intends to employ more youths as he sees the graphic and printing business as profitable and with a lot of scope for expansion. -Bernama