This is the story of bankers turned entrepreneurs, doing something passionately meaningful and how even death did not stop them.
The interview was supposed to have taken place at Bukit Tabur in Taman Melawati where the backdrop of their daily office would normally look like, but it didn’t. We went to a nearby cafe instead. It has been gloomy all morning and it began to drizzle at 3pm. Amos was racing against time to finish the interview so he could reach home before the evening rush. A youngish lad at only 33 years of age, you wouldn’t imagine him to have had a thug past. When we met, he is an outdoor guide entrepreneur at OpenSky Unlimited and an investment banker just before that.
“Why do I want to use my resources to help people who already have money to make more money?”
That became his motivation to step out from the bank after only four years. Although not looking back, Amos was already pampered at fancy restaurants because of his “buying” position in his final banking year. The “sellers” on the opposite end would naturally come to court him. So the Chateaus and Cubans may have have flirted with him. But before this glamorous era, he was rubbing shoulders with members of the Young and Dangerous and Boyz N the Hood, living the bad boy life that almost got him disowned. The ultimatum, shape up or get out of the house, quite literally, warned his father.
You could say his decision to stay was a wise one. After regaining his sanity from the teenage bursts, he straightened up and pursued a finance degree. He did it so he could earn the “quickest money in the shortest time” and have enough to move out from his parents’ house – said the delinquent voice in him. But reality of the strenuous hours in the initial years quickly cleared the smog of the “glitzy” investment banker’s life.
Benjamin, 41, on the other hand has had a different path. You’d be mistaken for his stoic appearance but this mass of personality had it all in check from spiritual oneness to his desires for the woods, raftings and bikes.
“Yes Ben likes biking and he has taken a week off before to bike in Thailand,” beams Amos about the flexibility of their adventure outfit.
“If you know me well enough, you’ll know I like cycling,” Ben points out. “So, after growing up, I thought maybe I could be a cyclist, a sports-related person or something like that, or a personal trainer or sports science…” But this sportsman knew such an ambition was limited back then and although birthed with a desire for adrenaline, he too was tunneled into finance. His only saving grace, a slight interest in investment, although was in charge of Risks mostly in the bank.
Finance, banking, investment or risks, they were born to be with nature. Even before hiking became a sensation in Malaysia, they’ve scaled all the well known peaks. From the hills of Tabur to the waterfalls in Kuala Kubu Baru, they’ve brought fans from across the world to sample the true Malaysian nature.
“I mean like whenever the tourists come to KL, and after seeing the advertisements of Malaysia Truly Asia and all the nature in the brochure, all they see when they land at the airport are palm trees and the concrete city.”