Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) full-time student Mohamad Sofian bin Alias, 25, did not expect that he would continue to run men’s modest attire brand Al-Wahid – a project first established as part of the university entrepreneurship module – as his business until today.
The project required students to set up a business idea for one semester. Sofian chose to make clothing he thought could be a good product to sell, especially online.
“Throughout one semester, the project received a good response and the demand was there, so I decided to continue the project and made it as a sole-proprietor and ran it by myself,” he said.
Al-Wahid is a name derived from his late grandfather – Haji Wahid bin Kalong. Sofian came up with a tagline, ‘One Lifestyle for All’ with the mission to showcase his products to all – regardless of religion, culture or race.
As an enterprise promoting modern-styled Syariah-compliant clothing, Sofian designs his line of clothing and has it sewn by a local tailor. All the materials are supplied from a neighbouring country.
Started in 2018 from the university project to a self-run business, Sofian has produced several types of men’s clothing including those that have a MIB-style, Kurta-style and modern style that was released this year, with more to come.
Al-Wahid previously offered Hijabs for females, which has now been discontinued for a while, due to focussing more on male clothing.
As a final year student undertaking a Bachelor of Business Management under the Faculty of Islamic Economics and Finance, having an online business and studying at the same time is not as easy as he thought it would be.
“Balancing my time between working on my business and studying, where I have a full schedule in university, is the only challenge I face, and Alhamdulillah, I can cope up with both,” he said. With his business operating fully on an online-basis via social media platforms, Sofian has received customers not only from Brunei, but also from Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. The products are also available for shipping to other countries.
All the clothing is made via pre-order, and customers have to wait at least a week for it to be sewn – depending on required sizes prepared by Al-Wahid, or based on customer’s body measurements.
Aiming to achieve his dream, Sofian is planning to create his own showroom for Al-Wahid after graduating, to allow customers to directly come and choose their desired designs, materials and sizes.
With great passion for business, he hopes to become a successful entrepreneur well-known for his designs and brand, locally and internationally.
Sharing a piece of advice to youth who wanted to set up a business, he said, “Have good intentions to start the business. Have short and long-term plans on what you envision on your business and lastly, take the risk and execute your business with supervision from your consultant.”