Founded in 1995, Duthane has withstood the test of time and continues to flourish under the guidance of father and son.
At 61 years old, Mr Khairoullah Shamsurie is the Managing Director of Duthane Industrial Services Pte Ltd. Mr Khairoullah does not see his company solely as a profit-making entity, education his core team to acknowledge and practice a more holistic view of the business. He emphasizes that Duthane must be seen as a platform to create a livelihood for others.
“I would like to erase the word competition and change it to business partners. Duthane works with many external companies as partners. We strive to get more business and help other businesses prosper too.”
A man of many talents, Mr Khairoullah started working onboard ships as a deck cadet in 1977 and rose through the ranks to become a shipmaster. In 1991, he decided to stop sailing to be with his family. After failing to adapt as a ship planner, Mr Khairoullah decided to offer marine surveying services, and that was how Duthane Industrial Services was born.
Mr Khairoullah had a tough time establishing himself as a new game in the industry. In the mid-nineties, he even explored other businesses, worked as a housing agent, renovation contractor, and owning a carpentry workshop.
Inheriting a Business
The father of five had always envisioned his children carrying on his legacy and taking over the business. As young children, they were given tasks at Duthane during their school holidays to ensure they remained grounded and appreciated what they had. However, only Mr Shahroull, Mr Khairoullah’s eldest son, had shown interest in the business.
From an early age, Mr Shahroull had a knack for business. He attended a boarding school in Hargeulis, West java. As his campus was self-sustaining where animals were reared and vegetables were grown, Mr Shahroull was exposed to the agricultural business.
After completing his national service, Mr Shahroull was determined to return to his alma mater to start an agriculture business. Unfortunately, his dream had to take a back seat as Duthane needed his help and he had a responsibility to fulfil. At the tender age of 22, Mr Shahroull took reins as Operating Director of Duthane.
A Blessing in Disguise
For most of 2013, Mr Khairoullah was abroad for business, leaving Mr Shahroull to overcome hurdles on his own. He faced issues with contractors, projects, and even with employees who felt he had not earned his place and did not see him as a boss, but the boss’s son. Pressured by the possibility of Duthane ‘failing’ on his watch, Mr Shahroull was still determined to help his father ‘straighten’ and ‘strengthen’ the company.
In 2015, he decided to pursue a diploma in Business and Information Management part time, while running the company. Putting faith in his son, Mr Khairoullah let his son take the lead and from then on, there was no turning back for Mr Shahroull.
Duthane recorded its turnover of about $600,000 in 2016. Currently, the company operates with 10 full time staff. They have many freelancers on their payroll and work hand in hand with numerous subcontractors.
Today, at the age of 26, Mr Shahroull has no heart to leave Duthane despite the daily battles. No longer a reluctant successor, Mr Shahroull has embraced his role at Duthane and has made plans to turn Duthane into a familiar name in its field of work within five years.
“If you don’t like something, you change it. If you can’t change it, you embrace it!” wise words from the young director of Duthane.