By Nabilah Saleh
KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) — Malaysia is a country blessed
with the existence of a rainforest that is rich with natural resources
like herbs and medicinal plants, that form the key ingredients in most
beauty care products and health supplements.
Taking advantage of their bountiful supply, Forest’Secret, a
company that produces a range of beauty and health care products, have
incorporated these natural resources as the base ingredients for its
The brand was first introduced to the Malaysian market during the
launch of Glocal Entrepreneur Programme on 27 March, 2007.
Subsequently, the company was incorporated in April 2007.
Within the short span of its existence, Forest’Secret gained wide
recognition when its products won the 2007 BrandLaureate Award for body
care and skin care products.
This writer met Forest’Secret Communications Manager, Intan
Hyriatee Mohd Zawai at the 5th Malaysia International Halal Showcase
2008 (MIHAS 2008) held here recently, to find out the key to the
Set to become the hub for herbal products, Forest’Secret is
developed and managed by Forest’Secret Sdn Bhd (FSSB), a subsidiary of
PNS Francais Sdn Bhd, a franchise investment arm of Perbadanan Nasional
Berhad (PNS), which in turn is an agency under the wings of the
Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development (MeCD).
“Forest’Secret was developed in realisation of the fact that due
to its easy availability in our rainforest, the partake of herbal
products as remedies for various ailments has long been a traditional
practice that’s popular with all the races here,” Hyriatee said.
The company receives its supply of raw materials from 13
independent suppliers and these are collectively repackaged under the
particularly apt brand name Forest’Secret.
“Most suppliers generally lack the marketing expertise and capital
needed to promote their products. Our role is to provide assistance in
the form of quality packaging and re-branding, so that these products
are homogenous and easily acceptable in the market,” Hyriatee said.
Currently, FSSB has a range of 114 products under its brand in the market.
According to Hyriatee, the company is confident of a ready demand for its herbal extract based products.
One might easily be misled into assuming that the company’s
products are similar to those of produced by The Body Shop and Skin
& Beauty Care Products.
This misconception is quickly dispelled by Hyriatee, who insists
that Forest’Secret products posses their own unique and special
“Admittedly, many people have this erroneously perception that our products are similar to everybody else’s.
Forest’Secret products are totally made from natural ingredients
found in our rainforest, as opposed to the mixture of various trace
elements present in those produced by the others. Every product is a
perfectly balanced blend of traditional herbal therapeutic cures,” she
“In line with the Prime Ministers aspirations to see Malaysia as
the hub for halal products, Forest’Secret offer a complete range of
herbal body care and skin care products that is halal,” Hyriatee added.
Remedies that have been the secret cures dispensed by generations
of traditional healers are now available to anyone in a convenient and
Product line includes Body & Skin Care, Aromatherapy & Spa Kits and Health Food & Drinks.
“This head to toe availability which cannot be found in herbal
outlets anywhere else, is one of the attractions that bring customers
in,” she said.
Presently, the general notion among youngsters in the city is that
herbal products are only suitable either for the elderly or those in
the rural areas.
To most of them, the easy availability of imported cosmetics and toiletries has made traditional herbal products redundant.
Forest’Secret aims to dispel such misconception and prejudice among young urbanites.
“We aim to make the use of herbal products part and parcel of
cosmopolitan living. Our store is designed as such that customers from
all walks of life can just drop in to try our test products displayed
on the shelves without feeling intimidated or apprehensive,” she added.
INSTRUMENTAL ROLE OF MeCD
According to Hyriatee, the company would not be where it is now were it not for the guidance and assistance provided by MeCD.
A company must have the logistics of having skilled personnel,
training facilities, finance and infrastructure at its disposal, in
order to run a successful franchise business.
In this regard, Hyriatee acknowledged the major contribution of
MeCD’s Franchise and Vendor Division in developing and transforming
Forest’Secret into a successful franchise business.
“Through its One District One Industry (SDSI) and Gerak Usahawan
2007 programmes, the MeCD has helped many Bumiputera entrepreneurs
develop and establish an extensive business networking,” she said.
MeCD has conducted programmes that have enabled these
entrepreneurs to come up with efficient marketing strategies and an
effective distributing system.
In addition, a various kinds of business outlets ranging from shop
lots, kiosks and push carts are rented out for them to run their
“These entrepreneurs need not suffer the burdened of a huge capital outlay in order to start their businesses,” she explained.
According to Hyriatee, through the Overseas Promotion Programmes
2007 under the SME Marketing Committee, MeCD has helped introduce local
products to the international market.
The company plans to increase its range of herbal products from
the present 114 to 500 products comprising and appoint another 25
franchisees, Hyriatee said.
“The quality of our products is at par with those of international
brands and we plan to rope in unemployed graduates into the business,
either as franchisees or as part-time agents and stockists,” she said.
Forest’Secret products are currently available at The Curve in
Mutiara Damansara, Sunway Pyramid and Tesco outlets in Kuala Lumpur,
Melaka and Johor Baharu.