“I think most people only perceive financial institutions as a ‘safe deposit box’. But it’s more than that. Banks are custodians of public funds and they provide investment services that have decent returns with relatively low risks. Malaysians need to be aware of this because in general Malaysians do not save (or save enough) and invest for their future,” informs the charismatic COO of YR Associates, Firhan.
YR Associates was founded to aid the bankruptcy situation in the country. “Historically, bankruptcy is a segment that most institutions ignore and neglect. Looking at the current and historical statistics, coupled with the current economic climate, me and my banker friends believe that it could pose a systemic risk,” he explains, adding that through this social enterprise, it can bring impact and create value. “I think that’s very important; more important than just making money.”
But Firhan admits that one of the biggest challenges is to get the financial institutions and his clients to understand the benefits of engaging with YR Associates. “Honestly, we understand that both parties may be hesitant to address the issue because it’s not an easy problem to solve. As part of our process to overcome this, we constantly engage with the banks as well as government bodies to explain our services and to raise public awareness.”
If given a second chance in life, what path would he have chosen? “I’m pretty happy with my life choices so far. But I do love sport in general. So maybe I would have chosen a sports-related career,” he says.