I was 16 years old when I first heard of Composite Materials in my high school chemistry class at King George V in Seremban. Instantly I was enthralled with the possibility of mixing a fiber reinforcement and a plastic matrix to create materials that were stronger than conventional materials. Deep inside, I knew this was the future of materials and was determined to learn as much as I could.
At 18 years old, I left for Winona State University to pursue a Composite Materials Engineering degree. They were the only school in America that offered this program as an Undergraduate program. The knowledge I gained there didn't satisfy my thirst. Then I enrolled at North Dakota State University to learn about Bio-based Composites, where they use natural-based fibres and resins from bio-based sources such as plants. I instantly fell in deeper love with Composite Materials, especially the sustainable and eco-friendly types.
Upon graduation, I took up a job as a Project Manager at Sintex-Wausaukee Composites where I had the privilege of working on multiple projects for Fortune 500 Original Equipment Manufacturers. The experience of working with Caterpillar, John Deere, Siemens, Oshkosh Truck, General Electric, and many other notable clients in the Heavy Construction, Mass Transportation, Military, Agricultural and Medical industries gave me greater insight into the usage of composites in the global market.
After ten years of being abroad and receiving an H1-B visa, I had the opportunity to come back home after a very long time for a holiday. Upon returning and reconnecting with family, I decided to stay back and embark on my entrepreneurial journey that was always my destiny. I took initiative and started meeting people to see what my options were and partnered up with SKSBUS for my first startup Compositecniq. Worked with them for 5 years developing and manufacturing Advanced Composites for their buses. It was a great opportunity to learn so much about entrepreneurship and business from the SKS team.
The pandemic hit us as it hit the whole world, the bus industry took a massive fall and it was time for me to pivot and look for different opportunities. This is when I decided to follow my true passion for bio-based composites and started my second startup Midwest Composites. We registered the company in March 2020 and were immediately hit with the lockdown. This posed a huge challenge as our customers all were experiencing the same issues and business was at a standstill.
We as a team regrouped and pivoted in the automotive, rail, recreation, and bus industries taking all jobs that were on the table to keep the company moving in the right direction. We made some good traction and had the opportunity to be accepted into the esteemed Virtual Global Accelerator Programme Cohort 05 by MaGIC. This was a great opportunity for us to learn from some of the best people in the startup ecosystem and to get visibility. The program connected us with some excellent mentors that helped us learn so many fundamentals that we were lacking.
The program also gave me a lot of ideas and knowledge on how to take the next steps in my entrepreneurial journey. This saved me a lot of time as I didn't have to learn all this on my own organically. I am definitely looking forward to all the other benefits that are sure to come due to our participation in the program. As is already, it was of immense help. We have already been approached by some potential investors that are interested in the vision of our company and the current traction that it is showing.
Currently, after the recent lockdown, we are working together with a drone maker to build a drone with a wingspan of 2-3 meters. This project will open our opportunities in the drone space to become the premier body kit builder for all the drone builders in the region and globally too. We are also working on some projects in the motorsports industry where we are working with a partner to develop Electric Vehicles as race cars. Another customer is working with us to develop refurbished Electric Vehicles as trucks. We are also working with clients in the tanks and insulation markets.
We have ambitious goals of becoming the Premier Advanced Composites Company in the Region and then Globally. My experience in the Global Composites Market plus my extensive network of contacts in the USA and India will give us an edge in this growing and exciting industry poised to take over the world. We have a 5-year plan of building sustainable bio-based composites for every manufacturer out there that need our materials in their products. Our most ambitious plan is to be a premier bio-based manufacturer for the space industry.
For customers that are looking for innovative and eco-friendly materials, you can directly contact me at [email protected] where I’d be able to assist you to find your optimal solution in Advanced Composite Materials. You can check out our website at www.midwestcomposites.com.my.
This content is provided by Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).
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