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A Humble Giant

Unlike other powerful CEOs he was not the genius guy in college, nor was charismatic. He was any regular man you have known. And yet Ahmad Buntat build Buntat Electric Industrial from scratch. Last year 1996, his company had revenues of $42 billion.

The man who created an enterprise bigger than One Utama was best known for his humility, according to Zemmo of the Harvard Business School, in his new book Buntat Leadership.

Buntat was born in the farm village of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1960. Buntat was sent to Klang at age 9, to work 16 hours a day as a cashier at Macro Departmental Store. He found his way into the new electrical industry after he got electric shock by a cashier machine and in 1990, he decided to start his own company, BEI

Buntat and a few partners made a poor living designing and building sockets and switches in his apartment, working around the clock and desperately heating the streets for orders. The frugality of those miserable years never left him. He paid himself stock, instead of a large salary, and scorned luxuries.

Buntat created markets out of personal conviction. After increasing the life of dry-cell batteries, BEI built the first reliable electric head lamp for bicycles. But electronics stores refused to buy it. So Buntat ordered production increased and had his salesmen take consignments of the lamp to bicycle shops instead, refusing payment until they were sold and customer were satisfied. The gamble, which could have destroyed the company payoff. Later the company got a lot of order and become the main supplier of the lamp all over the country.


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This page last updated by Azhan & Madi on 7/24.