Syed Mohd Ilyas

Founder of Sugar And I

Passionate and driven, Syed Mohd Ilyas always had a burning passion for anything business related. Following a two-year stint at MMC Gamuda, Ilyas decided to leave all of that behind to pursue his dream as an entrepreneur. Seeing a vast potential in his sister’s small bakery that she established at home, Ilyas decided to pour his heart and soul into it. Through his undertaking as founder of Sugar and I, Ilyas manages to turn something that was home-based into a legitimate business endeavour. On top of his efforts as a business owner, Ilyas finds joy in teaching and training children, as evident in his crucial involvement in Far Post Academy, an academy that provides a safe and fun environment for children to develop their futsal skills, as well as embrace their individuality while learning to thrive in a team or community setting.

We speak about his lifestyle, the social media landscape and what it takes to be a gentleman in this 2019 interview.

How do you think your current lifestyle defines you?

My current lifestyle allows me to be able to see things in multiple perspectives. Due to the uncertainty of my work nature, and meeting my customers from various backgrounds daily, I guess I am known as the problem solver and quick thinker.

August Man Malaysia is a magazine for the discerning gentleman. What makes a gentleman in this era?

It is easy to be wise but it is not easy to be kind. Many usually say a year older, a year wiser. But for me, a true gentleman is not only wise but also kind. To make a gentleman, your academic scroll and career accolades must be bolstered with kindness.

As a user yourself, what are your thoughts on social media?

I think it is a double-edged sword. Like everything in life, I believe in
balance. It is a tool that can equally propagate kindness or hatred. While
the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacre tried to publicise his heinous act via social media, it was soon blocked and drowned by a stronger wave of solidarity by the victims and their families from across the globe. Social media has made the world smaller and redefined globalisation. My paternal grandfather is Yemeni and my maternal grandfather is Australian…with social media, my families are just one click away. It is however important not to over rely on social media and so, I personally set a one-hour limit on my phone to remind me regarding my usage.

What would you say is your mission in life?

Taking inspiration from the movie, Pursuit of Happyness, my mission in life would be to overcome challenges, seek happiness, and truly understand what it takes to be happy. Whilst doing so, I hope to make my family and friends happy as I owe it all to them.

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