The company just moved into a new production facility and offices in Port Klang, a major port about an hour’s away from Kuala Lumpur
CEO Mawarni Hassan said the company began planning to move to a new, more advanced production facility since 2016.
“Revenue was increasing, demand was increasing… If we stayed where we were, we would not have been able to cope with our growing business. So we gritted our teeth and put our money down.”
Keeping up with the market
Mawarni told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that sales in its domestic market were moving very quickly as awareness of halal beauty among Muslim consumers increased.
“There is a push of Muslim consumers buying halal cosmetics because they are looking for that certainty that comes with the halal certification.”
She revealed that the company experienced a surge in sales in the first quarter of 2018 when its Cosmoderm skincare brand was made available in retailer Watsons.
“The first quarter of last year we produced the same amount we usually produce in a whole year. That’s how fast we were going.”
With the new factory, the company is now able to cope with the demands of domestic and international expansion.
Even though Cosmoderm is a well-established halal beauty brand in Malaysia, the company hopes to further strengthen the brand’s presence in the country.
“Domestically, we plan to expand deeper and broader. We have to be strong domestically before moving into other markets,” said Mawarni.
She elaborated that the company was planning to expand its distribution channels to convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and hypermarkets such as Tesco.
It is also looking for opportunities to target its products more effectively to its consumers.
“We have a total of 50 SKUs but we know we cannot sell all 50 to everyone. So we are targeting specific people for specific SKUs,” said Mawarni.
For instance, Cosmoderm is now targeting the Muslims pilgrims with its Umrah and Hajj travel set.
“The pilgrim market is very big in Muslim countries and in Malaysia, it is very consistent. Yes, the majority travel from September to October, but there are always people going on pilgrimage during the other months,” said Mawarni.
Expanding across ASEAN and beyond
Cosmoderm’s international expansion plans will focus more on the ASEAN region as it plans to be the ‘halal skin care of choice in ASEAN’ by 2020.
The company is aiming to develop the brand in Singapore and Brunei where its products are currently available through Sheng Siong Supermarket and Guardian respectively.
Mawarni said that the brand would most likely launch in Indonesia by the end of the year through brick and mortar retailers and e-commerce platforms.
However, she said that the company is careful not to bite off more than it can chew.
“We are being quite careful with Indonesia. It is a big country and we will only cover certain areas first. We want to make sure we have the ability to handle the cost of entry and have what is required to fulfil the demand of the Indonesian market.”
Beyond ASEAN, the firm is working towards expanding into the Middle East.
“We are available in Lebanon but we don’t think we can increase our market share there because it’s a volatile region. We need to explore with more partners in the Middle East. I am very willing to talk to distributors who are committed to bringing Cosmoderm into the Middle East through online or offline retail,” said Marwarni.
Some other countries the firm plans to expand Cosmoderm into include India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Maldives and the US.
Mawarni believes that Cosmoderm can fulfil the demand for halal beauty in those markets, but the biggest challenge lies in finding the right partners.
“With every new market, the real challenge is finding reliable and credible distributors.”