FROM the outside, the Golden Nasmir Hotel at Taman Pelangi near AutoCity in Juru, Penang, gives one an impression that it is a budget hotel.
However, not many would be aware that the gold coloured building is a three-star hotel, managed by Nasmir Holding Sdn Bhd, complete with banquet, conference room facilities and 24-hour security carpark.
Nasmir Holding's managing director Kadhar Shah Abdul Razak said customers were impressed with the facilities and services offered at the hotel.
“People have this misconception that if a hotel was operated by a nasi kandar restaurant owner, then it could only be a budget hotel and nothing more,” said Kadhar, who is known as Rafiq among friends.
He said he spent RM4mil to convert two four-storey shop lots he bought in 2002 into a hotel with 46 rooms, a coffee house, business centre and two conference rooms.
At 35, the father of three - Nasmir, 10, Nasriah, eight, and Nasrul, six - already owns several businesses including a tour agency, employment agency and 13 Nasmir Nasi Kandar outlets in the northern states.
He spent 10 years in Singapore, working as a waiter and learning how to make roti canai at a restaurant there.
“I left Penang in 1990 without having any knowledge about the restaurant business or about nasi kandar but with a lot of determination to learn something,'' he said.
Upon returning to Penang in 2000, he rented two shop lots in Taman Pelangi to open up a nasi kandar outlet.
“At that time, there was no Auto-City and the place was only known as Taman Pelangi.
“Not many people were even aware of my shop but I took a risk because I felt it was on a strategic location next to a highway,” Kadhar said.
Being a risk taker, he opened 24-hour mini-markets next to all his outlets and subsequently in 2005 he ventured into importing halal gelatine capsules from Pakistan.
He has introduced the one-stop concept at his hotel by setting up a travel and tour agency counter on the ground floor, selling tour packages, flight and Langkawi-Medan ferry tickets.
The hotel has four types of rooms – deluxe, superior, Nasmir suite and Kristal and Emerald suites starting from the promotional price of RM90.
Kadhar added that his target customers were professionals from the industrial sector on the mainland, civil servants and families.
He said since the soft opening on Feb 23, the hotel has recorded an average of 70% occupancy daily.
Kadhar plans to open more hotels in Kedah and Perak in the next three years.
Also in the pipeline are restaurants selling original Indonesian Nasi Padang in the northern region.
Source : STAR
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