In 1890 (as Malaysia was known at the times), a young Smith at the age of 20 left his home farm in Kellas for Malaya. It is not known why he ventured to Malaya for career opportunities much less when he actually arrived. However, he integrated in to the community with ease. He bounced around several business opportunities finding some success but it wasn’t until he met an estate owner called Alma Baker. Baker obtained several government projects to built roads in South Perak and had won concessions from the state government to clear 360 hectares of forests in Perak. Their partnership in these projects led to quite a bit of profits.Smith started planting rubber trees and dabbled in the tin mining industry. In time, he became the owner of Kinta Kellas Estate and the Kinta Kellas Tin Dredging Company and to purchase a 960 acre piece of land for his rubber tree plantation and homely estate in Batu Gajah.
Through various business ventures such as Planting Rubber Trees and the Tin Mining Industry, Smith’s wealth grew. In 1903, he returned to Scotland to marry his sweetheart Agnes. He brought her back to his home in Malaysia and later that year the couple was blessed with a daughter named Helen. He loved his daughter but wanted a son, an heir to his empire. Poor Agnes found it hard to conceive a second child. It was another eleven years before she became pregnant again. In 1915, Agnes gave birth to a son named Anthony. In celebration, Smith began planning the construction of a huge castle.