Nasi Kukus vendor's sales soar to RM14,000 through IPR programme

Couple boosts income with government-backed vending machines

05 May 2024 05:00pm
Nasi Kukus vending machine. - Photo by Bernama
Nasi Kukus vending machine. - Photo by Bernama
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KUALA SELANGOR - A nasi kukus (steamed rice) vendor never imagined that his decision to join the vending machine business programme under the People’s Income Initiative (IPR) would have such a significant impact on his monthly income, which exceeded RM14,000.

Mohd Hermi Shahuddin, 47, said he is no longer worried about the uncertain income that plagued him before joining the IPR programme in the Food Entrepreneur Initiative (INSAN) category as soon as it was introduced by the MADANI Government through the Economy Ministry in March last year.

Prior to that, the father of four daughters said he ran a roadside stall in the Phase 3 area of Bandar Puncak Alam and catered for events in nearby areas.

He said with various challenges faced, such as weather conditions, unsold food and having to close his stall to take his disabled daughter to a doctor's appointment, the sheer hard work he put in daily was only able to generate sales of less than RM8,000 a month.

"The business we did before has many challenges, making it difficult to sustain a regular income. There were times when we could not sell any food, especially during heavy rains, resulting in wasted capital and food," he said.

"I have a nine-year-old disabled child who needs full attention and care. If there is a doctor's appointment, my wife and I cannot open for business, so there is no income for us on that day," he told Bernama while inspecting the self-service machine he operates at the Selangor branch of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Puncak Alam campus.

Mohd Hermi and his wife, Fadilah Hanum Abu, 47, who now operates a vending machine business at Kolej Angsana 2, UiTM Puncak Alam, described their participation in the IPR programme as a fruitful venture, and they did not have to spend any capital on food preparation and rental payments because these costs are fully covered by the government for two years.

Among the food sold through the vending machine are nasi lemak ayam goreng, nasi lemak pandan, roti kebab daging, sausage rolls, meatballs set, chicken popcorn and nasi ayam pedas, all of which are cooked by the couple.

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"All these foods are sold at RM2 to RM5, and the menu is changed or restocked every six hours to maintain quality and taste.

"This means that the IPR programme benefits not only entrepreneurs but also gives the public the option to buy ready-to-eat food at reasonable and cheap prices," he said while thanking the MADANI Government for providing initiatives that truly benefit the people.

Mohd Hermi said he can now spend more time with his family because the vending machine can be monitored remotely through an application that allows him to check the status of food stock or any technical issues with the machine.

"I feel so lucky to have been selected to participate in the IPR programme from thousands of applications received by the ministry. This programme certainly opens up new prospects for small entrepreneurs like me to generate income and increase the value of existing sales," he said.

Meanwhile, UiTM Selangor branch (UCS) rector, Prof Dr Ahmad Taufek Abdul Rahman, said UCS was the first public university campus to launch a self-service vending machine through the IPR INSAN programme, offering food priced between RM2 and RM5.

Currently, there are a total of nine vending machines operating on the Puncak Alam campus, with another in the process of starting operations. Plans are underway to expand the initiative to faculties and colleges to provide opportunities for IPR participants to generate income.

Ahmad Taufek said the Economy Ministry, in collaboration with UiTM's Student Affairs Division, also provides entrepreneurship courses to all 43 IPR participants across UiTM campuses nationwide, with UCS serving as the project leader.

"This course comprises two modules. The first is a mandatory module, focusing on financial literacy, while in the second module, participants are given four options to either participate in a food aid course, an agricultural course, a fisheries course or a mind transformation course," he said.

The IPR self-service machine programme was launched by Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli in March last year.

Through the INSAN initiative, the beneficiary will be provided with a vending machine at a selected location, and its monthly rental between RM600 and RM800 will be fully covered by the government for two years. - BERNAMA