11/06/2024 03:34 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 (Bernama) -- From the glamorous world of entertainment, former actress Sharisa Haris Chong has moved on to become an entrepreneur, proving a career change is not a barrier to achieving greater success.

Sharisa, 35, who once captivated fans with her performances in popular dramas such as 'Adellea Sofea' and 'Matahari Terbit Lagi’, has made a name for herself in business and even won the Entrepreneur Icon of Negeri Sembilan 2023 award.

Sharisa, whose acting career started in 2011, ventured into entrepreneurship in 2017 by opening a restaurant, Mama Nor, in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan.

Also known as Akak Sado Tampin on social media platform TikTok, she said her success as an entrepreneur has inspired her to work harder.

“When I began focusing on my business, I was able to help many people and my life changed significantly. It wasn't just my life that transformed, but also the lives of my parents, family and my staff... it made me feel very happy," she said, sharing her experience in a recent episode of the podcast 'Hidup Ini Keras' (Life is Hard) produced by Digital Bernama TV and Bernama Radio.

Sharisa, who was born and raised in Tampin, said her decision to venture into business was due to life’s pressures, particularly the lack of acting offers after she was nominated for an award in the 2014 ‘Anugerah Skrin’ for her performance in ‘Matahari Terbit Lagi’.

"I had no choice and believed that business was the way for me to continue earning a living because I had been exposed to the restaurant business since I was a child," she said.

With a capital of RM30,000, which was the payment she received for her last acting job, and some help from her father, she took over an eatery in 2017, located in a shoplot owned by the Tampin District Council.

“Unfortunately, that place was ‘dead’; people didn’t know about it and its location was somewhat obscure, but... Alhamdulillah, after I took over, I rebranded it. I had zero business knowledge then, just the experience of growing up in a restaurant. I did it gradually until the place became a hit.

"We started with five tables and served three main food items: ‘yong tau foo, nasi lemak and roti canai. I had no staff then. I did everything myself to the point where I had to turn down several acting jobs," said Sharisa, who has a degree in counseling psychology from Universiti Malaya.

The ‘Ariana Rose’ actress, however, faced a loss of up to RM1 million due to her hasty decision to open a new branch in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, in 2018.

"I secured a shop in Kampung Baru with a monthly rent of RM20,000. Before starting operations, I renovated it at a cost of RM480,000. I used up all the money I had saved from my one year in business. 

 “Business was good but I had to close the restaurant after nine months because I couldn't manage it well due to my lack of business knowledge," she said, adding she will soon be launching her own ‘yong tau foo’ sauce..

Meanwhile, when asked about her acting career, Sharisa admitted she misses acting but has not yet found the time and opportunity to return to it.

"There haven't been any acting offer yet but if it’s possible, I would like to make a comeback. However, I hope to be given a suitable role.

"I miss all the characters I've played but if given the chance, I would love to take on a comedy role because of its free-acting nature and the flexibility it offers," said Sharisa, who last acted in the drama ‘Adellea Sofea’ directed by Shahrulezad Mohameddin in 2019.

Among the dramas and films Sharisa has starred in are ‘You Saka...Pergi Jauh-jauh’, ‘Karma’, ‘Tentang Dhia’, ‘Diari Plantun’,’Andai Bumi Tulip Takdirku’, ‘Monalisa’, ‘Bahaya Cinta’, ‘Bravo 5’ and ‘Suamiku Jatuh Dari Langit’.




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