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In primary school, he had fun selling pencils, rubbers and sharpeners to his classmates, indicating clearly that business was in R. Doraisingam Pillai’s blood.

When he was 15 and studying at St Xavier’s Institution, he took the RM500 that he had saved from the profits he had made over six years, bought a fishing boat and hired a fisherman to catch fish. When the boat came in, he sold the catch along the shores of Penang in the evening.

This was in the mid-70s. Today, Doraisingam, 45, is a multi-millionaire and the CEO of the Lotus Group which is especially known for its chain of restaurants.

On Wednesday night, his entrepreneurship and success was recognised when he was awarded the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry’s (MAICCI) first Malaysian Indian Entrepreneur Award 2005.

He credited his father, Rengasamy, and mother, Parvathy, for his success.

“My father took me around when I was a small boy and showed me the ropes on how to build contacts and develop new business.

“My father drove home the point of being dedicated and focused in whatever I did and said that I must always be loyal to the organisation, and to him, when I worked for him, ‘right or wrong.’ “My mother also encouraged entrepreneurship and even helped me sell coconuts from my father’s plantations to her friends when I was 12 years old,” Doraisingam told The Star after receiving the award from Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

“When right, keep it right, and when wrong, make it right,” Doraisingam quoted his father as saying.

He said that his younger brothers Datuk Ramalingam and Nagasundram also supported his school business ventures and helped him carry coconuts on their bicycles to the market.

Doraisingam has kept the family together and his brothers and sisters head the diversified group’s ventures in restaurants, food processing, grocery stores, properties, hotels, plantations, IT, film production and distribution.

In 1981, he moved to Kuala Lumpur and started a small restaurant in Masjid India, and since then he has developed a chain of 15 restaurants serving Indian, Malay and Chinese food in the Klang Valley and Ipoh.

Samy Vellu said the award for Doraisingam was a long overdue recognition of the businessman’s achievements.

Source : TheStar