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How a Local Pet Shop Stayed One Step Ahead and Helped Their Business Thrive During a Difficult Period

“Back then, it was a bold move for us to digitalise. Now, we’re thriving despite the pandemic.” - Darren Cheong, Irene Aquarium

Irene Aquarium is a family-owned pet shop located in Petaling Jaya. The business has been serving its surrounding community for 20 years and many pet owners in Klang Valley consider them as their go-to pet shop for everything they need. The shop is currently managed by Vivien and Darren, the sister and nephew of the original owner. 

Preparing for challenges ahead

Vivien thought of digitalising the business as she saw the potential of bringing the business online to drive more sales. However her limited experience in the digital world didn't stop her from doing what's best for her business.

Instead she turned to her digitally savvy sons, Darren and his brother, who started building the shop's online presence. They first started with their own website before venturing into popular e-commerce and social media platforms where they began to sell online.

Thanks to this pioneering spirit, Irene Aquarium continued to thrive even when the pandemic started affecting countries and businesses worldwide. From here, the next step for them was to increase efforts to get new customers and direct traffic to their online platforms.

New opportunity

For Irene Aquarium to gain more customers, it is crucial that they reach potential customers beyond the Klang Valley area. This prompted them to consider digital marketing. However, they were not familiar with the technical aspects of online advertising, especially when involving platforms like Google and Facebook, and the intricacies of designing online advertisements.

Because of this, Vivien and Darren made the decision to get the Digital Marketing Lite by Maxis Business. With the help of the Maxis SME Help Squad, they were able to apply for the SME Digitalisation Grant and claim funding of up to RM5,000.


Through Digital Marketing Lite, they are now able to target the right audience online and boost revenue with the help of specialists at Maxis who help them run end-to-end digital marketing campaigns on Facebook and Google. This service turned out to be really useful, as they were able to gain more customers and drive more sales. In fact, their sales increased by multiple folds, and orders never stopped. Despite challenges, they didn't just survive, but also thrive, thanks to their digitalisation efforts.

Future Plans

Vivien and Darren understand that digitalisation is a long journey, and there is still a long way to go. They both hope to continue the journey and are now focusing most of their efforts in making sure that they are prepared to face any e-commerce-related challenges ahead.

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