By Norshazlina Nor’azman
KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) — The enormous potential for halal cosmetics and personal care products worldwide has drawn a trio of entrepreneurs to join forces and offer an e-commerce platform for such items.
Halal4Wellness.com’s co-founders KC Wong, Tengku Emma Tengku Abdul Wahab and RJ Liow have already set their sights on becoming the world’s No. 1 independent e-platform for halal cosmetics and personal care products by next year, a very ambitious target indeed considering that it was set up only in April this year and its clientele limited to mainly Malaysians now.
Nevertheless, they are positive about reaching their goal, their confidence backed by their vast business experience and acumen.
The trio proved that they were a team to reckon with when they won the 2014 Halal Tech Challenge in April, which was organised by the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creative Centre (MaGIC) under the Ministry of Finance.
The challenge saw them participating in a four-week intensive bootcamp programme during which they had to present their business ideas.
Under the bootcamp programme, launched this year, MaGic aims to build 100 entrepreneurs by providing them with the necessary support to launch 20 different categories of halal e-commerce companies. The Halal Tech Challenge itself comes with the goal of positioning Malaysia as the global halal tech hub.
MORE THAN 300 PRODUCTS
Wong said Halal4Wellness currently offers more than 300 products, comprising make-up, skin, hair, body care and shower products, as well as a range of perfumes and gift sets.
He said there has been a surge in the demand for halal cosmetics and toiletries as Muslim consumers become more aware of the importance of using beauty and personal care products made with ingredients that have been certified as halal.
“We are the first dedicated website in Malaysia promoting different halal brands and products,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.
“And, it’s our aim to see Muslim women being able to maintain their beauty and yet meet their religious obligations,” said Wong.
He said the Halal4Wellness site allowed consumers to browse around and choose from the list of carefully selected products with peace of mind, all within the comfort of their homes.
In addition, the products are delivered directly to them, thus providing them with a hassle-free shopping experience.
Halal4Wellness also has a dedicated “Haj and Umrah” section, which offers all kinds of accessories for the use of pilgrims. Items on sale include personal care products, food supplements, clothing, sling bags, prayer mats and even audio guides. The site also offers holiday packages tailored for Muslims.
APPROVED BY JAKIM
According to Wong, the line of products featured on Halal4Wellness has been given the nod of approval by the Health Ministry and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM).
He assured that besides being free of alcohol content, the products were also free of toxic chemicals and ingredients of animal origin, and were environmentally friendly.
“But to be certified halal, the entire supply chain at the manufacturing plants has to be fully compliant with the halal standards set by JAKIM, which is the most respectable halal certification unit in the world,” added Wong.
Tengku Emma believes that the use of halal products has turned into a lifestyle choice as the halal certification system came with a quality assurance system that even non-Muslims would appreciate greatly.
Tengku Emma’s own range of spa products, which she markets under the ‘Ku Em’ label, is also available in the online store. Other brands available are ‘Living Proof’ and ‘Forestra’ (both home-grown labels), and Turkish cosmetic brand, ‘Farmasi’.
Liow said he and his partners were also trying to convince other Malaysian companies to offer their halal products and services via the Halal4Wellness platform.
“We want to give our support to local small and medium enterprises as we know it’s costly and difficult for them to reach out to customers on their own… so we hope that they can benefit from using our platform,” he said.