KUALA LUMPUR: The loss of fortune can drive anyone insane.

KUALA LUMPUR: The loss of fortune can drive anyone insane.
Fate dealt a heavy blow to Ahmad Shawal Mispan when the construction company he built from scratch as a teenager hit rock bottom.
At 27 years of age, the millionaire contractor had been reaping the fruits of his labour; he owned various assets and luxury vehicles. He was stumped when he suddenly found himself penniless and in debt.
Unable to cope with the stress, his life turned upside down. He spent most of his time living in isolation, often under a bridge. The community saw him as mentally unstable.
Not wanting to see their son dragged further into despair, Mispan Zaidin, 73, and Siti Khatijah Musanif, 63, acted quickly to save him and restore his confidence.
The support steered Ahmad Shawal back to the path. He was able to stand on his feet again and start life anew by venturing into the agricultural sector.
The successful agropreneur said, My parents realised I was mentally stressed, so they helped put me back on track.
His parents, said Ahmad Shawal, built a cowshed with the money they got from selling a piece of land in Negri Sembilan.
I used the cowshed for therapy. My days were spent with the cows at the shed. I talked to them until I forgot about the outside world and the problems I had, he said.
After eight months of living in a world of his own, the 37-year-old of Tanjong Sepat, Banting, said he felt strong and regained his spirit.
I decided to buck up and venture into agriculture. That was in 2013 and I have never looked back. At that time, I still had about eight hectares of land in Banting, Selangor. The Kuala Langat Area Farmers Organisation (PPK) helped me by providing a loan and I used the land as collateral.
I developed my agro-business empire and continued with my construction company, he said.
The proprietor of Bumijaya Rezeki Sdn Bhd made the right choice when he ventured into the agriculture sector.
He is now a self-made millionaire again with 80ha of vegetable farm, of which 0.8ha is used for his cow-rearing business in Banting. He employs 20 people on his farms.
The harvest from his crops like ginger, galangal, turmeric and sweet potato is sold at supermarkets such as Giant, Econsave, Tesco and Sri Ternak Mart Sdn Bhd nationwide as well as the PPK Kuala Langat farm harvesting centre.
On his future plans, Ahmad Shawal, the fourth of nine siblings, hopes to start a chicken farm in three years.
Even though I only completed primary school and failed in my business once, such obstacles are no longer a stumbling block to my success. The important thing is to not give up, to think positively, to be highly spirited and to be strong willed, he said.
Ahmad Shawal, also known as Boboy, also helps PPK Kuala Langat by providing training to budding agro-entrepreneurs. Bernama