It is a rare sight for anyone to come across their friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man selling petai at the side of the road unless you live in Slim River, Perak and have seen the shenanigans Selvakumar K. Tharmalingam has been up to the last couple of months.
The 22-year-old who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration is hard to miss, with his vibrant blue and red Spider-Man suit, holding onto a bunch of petai which he sells for RM10.
The reason why he’s doing this is to simply to revive an old family business since he has a lot of extra time now due to his physical classes being turned online.
“I started selling petai two months ago. My grandfather used to sell petai but no one in the family took over the business from him. I thought, why not give it a try?” said Selvakumar in the SJ Echo.
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Just like Spider-Man in the comics and movies who was an ambitious young man, Selvakumar shares the same traits as he did not just want to be an average petai seller, leading him to turn it up a notch by donning the Spider-Man suit to attract more customers, which was a smart move as heads began to turn wherever he went.
“People get attracted to Spider-Man and they buy petai from me. My marketing strategy actually works. It proves to me that one must not only work hard but work smart as well,” said the second-year degree student.
According to the Malay Mail, Selvakumar travels almost 50km one-way from Slim River to Kuala Kubu Baru, and almost 100km one-way from his hometown to Ipoh to sell petai. The income from selling petai helps with expenses for him and his grandmother whom he lives with.
Although it might be a tiring job, Selvakumar stated that he does not mind putting on a superhero costume under the blazing hot sun to earn a living as he hopes to grow up one day living his childhood dream.
“I want to be a policeman someday. It is something I have wanted for as long as I can remember,” Selvakumar revealed.
The commendable effort that Selvakumar puts into his petai business is indeed an inspiring tale. If you live around Slim River and happen to spot him, make sure to support him by buying his petai.