The Home of Good Hair

by | Jan 23, 2024 | Enterprises | 0 comments

The House of Ridz Okumura Sdn Bhd is a well-established Malaysian brand in the haircare scene. The company was started by the husband-and-wife team, Abdul Ridzuan bin Abdul Mutalib and Akiko Okumura in 2010, it has grown into a million-dollar business consisting of three salons and a florist. Through strategic networking and marketing, a loyal team and financial prudence, the company has built a steadfast loyal customer base that includes celebrities and royalty. In an interview with Top 10 of Asia, Ridz spoke on his entrepreneurial journey including his background, the challenges he faced, and what means most to him in life.

Ridz from Parit, Perak has travelled a long way, both logistically and career-wise, before embarking on his entrepreneurial efforts in hair care services. “I come from the school of hard knocks,” acknowledges Ridz. “Coming from a family of ten, we struggled for a living. My first job was planting oil palms and despite the odds, it was a success.”

“Subsequently I moved to Kuala Lumpur and gained experience from a multitude of careers whilst simultaneously picking up pointers about business strategies, people, and the environment. These jobs ranged from sanitation endeavours and sales to frontline hotel positions. Along the way, I met my Japanese wife, Akiko Okumura who has been a pillar of strength in building my career,” says Ridz with a smile.  

“In 2009, to realise our entrepreneurial dreams, my wife and I formed a business partnership called the House of Ridz Okumura,” recollects Ridz. “That was a turning point in our lives.” 

“My passion is to convert people’s hair into their crowning glory,” says Ridz, “The experience gained from training and hands-on work gave me the confidence to enter the field of hair care services. Further, our research indicated a good market potential for luxury hair care services at affordable prices.”

The first salon opened in Subang Jaya in 2010, followed by another salon in Johor Bahru in 2016 to cater to Singaporean customers and in 2021, the third salon opened at the Concorde Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. A florist business called Bunga by Ridz Okumura was also started in 2018.

“The early years were a big challenge,” admits Ridz. “Various marketing strategies including Groupon and distributing 5,000 flyers were not a success. Subsequently, through intensive networking and association with local celebrities, we gained publicity. From there, the business took off.

“When we started the business, it was more of trying our luck,” explains Ridz. “It was only after two years when things stabilised that we were able to have the vision of becoming a well-known brand in hair services.” 

“Notable challenges existed from the initial days of operations,” recollects Ridz. “We had to work from early morning until late night when we had to create awareness of our services. The lack of social media meant things were not as easy compared to nowadays. Starting from ground zero was a big challenge.

“As we are customer-focused, their feedback is the main benchmark used to manage staff performance,” says Ridz of his business philosophy. “A lot of empathy and flexibility is required. Problems are resolved through discussions. My staff are a key inspiration for me to bring the company forward.”  

With the wild success of The House of Ridz Okumura, one wonders how he manages to juggle it all. “Work-life balance is more tilted towards my home life as I enjoy spending time with my family,” he says. “I have a reliable, supportive, and experienced team who handles daily operations. I am in close contact with the office while working at home. For me, that is a balance.”

Speaking on what he treasures most, Ridz says with palpable pride, “My greatest achievement in life is my family, my wife Akiko Okumura and son, Sky Okumura, and also the businesses I have established.” Concluding with some advice for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, he says: “My advice to young people is to be astute in selecting opportunities and work hard with determination,” adds Ridz. “Gain experience in any field and grow from it.”