"Why fit in when you were born to stand out!" goes a quote by American children's author Dr Seuss.

It is this mantra that could very well apply to Selvakumar Tharmalinggam, 22, from Slim River, Perak, who has been selling petai in a "creative" manner, the last few months.

Instead of merely peddling the stinky beans from a stall, the enterprising youth dons a full costume of his favourite superhero Spiderman, to attract buyers - come rain or shine.

Speaking to Astro Ulagam, Selvakumar, who's known as Spiderman Petai, said his late grandfather used to sell petai, but no one else took to the business after his passing.

"I don't like working under people, so during the MCO (Movement Control Order), I thought why not I take up the business.

"However, I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to stand out. And that's how the idea of wearing the superhero costume came by," said the second year Business Administrattion student at a private college in the Klang Valley.

Business has certainly picked up since he donned the costume, added Selvakumar.

"Now, people will slow down to watch me selling petai, and then turn back to either buy petai or ask for a photo opportunity. Last time, I had to go looking for customers, now I get calls from people ordering petai, including in bulk," he said.

Selvakumar buys petai from the Orang Asli community in Perak, and sells it in Kuala Kubu Bharu, and the Slim River night market.

Besides, he also utilizes social media to expand his business, via his Spiderman Petai Instagram page.

He also has a quirky note pasted on his insta profile - 'To kiss after eating petai, would be a sign of true love.'

Business is catching up, as those wanting to purchase fresh petai have to place order a week in advance!

Apart from self-collection, home delivery of the order can also be arranged, said Selvakumar.

Being clad in a costume head to toe in Malaysia's scorching hot weather can be uneasy, he admits. However, it is one discomfort he's willing to overlook, for the sake of business.

He used to rely on study loan for his diploma but his degree is self-funded, thanks to his brilliant business acumen.

Those wanting to contact Selvakumar for fresh petai may do so via his Instagram page, or by WhatsApping him at 010-3827169.

Selvakumar's inspiring story has also been highlighted in the Journalist2Jabber lifestyle blog.

Kudos to Selvakumar for this creative business venture! At a time when most youths his age are complaining about their parents not giving them enough allowance, Selvakumar has decided to steer his life in the direction he wants.

Here's wishing all the best in his future undertakings!

Photo source: Spiderman Petai Instagram