KUCHING: More support is needed from the East Malaysian states and federal governments to bring Borneo products to markets overseas, a local entrepreneur of Cassandra Havelock Creations Sdn Bhd (Cassandra Havelock Creations) says.
According to its founder, Cassandra Havelock, local entrepreneurs from Sabah and Sarawak such as herself would very much like to be given the same opportunities as their Peninsular Malaysian counterparts when it comes to exporting their products to markets overseas.
Havelock hoped that aside from just focusing on exporting popular Borneo delicacies such as Sarawak’s layer cakes or terubok fish, assistance should also be given to other businesses with high quality products in the two states.
“Since (we are now) under our new Pakatan Harapan government, we hope they will help us East Malaysians too,” Havelock said.
“(We) all have the vision of having our products reach international stardom to make fellow East Malaysians overseas proud to see our East Malaysian (products) in overseas markets.”
“We also want to give inspirations to our fellow Sarawakians and Sabahans by showing them that our products are good for export. We are hoping our government will also support us.”
Havelock, who has taken part in several trade shows, domestically and internationally, said she hoped that the government would assist them, especially when they take part in these events overseas.
For Havelock, she is now aiming to market Cassandra Havelock Creations’ products internationally, with an aim to export its all-natural personal care products from Borneo to regions such as Europe, the Middle East and China.
With a wide array of personal care products, as well as health and beauty enhancing, all-natural formulations, Cassandra Havelock Creations’ range covers hair care, skin care, baby care, men care, pet care and cosmetics.
The company even offers a range of products under its spa category which includes essential oils, massage oils, bath oils and many more. The unique selling factor of these products are the Borneo-derived ingredients used in the formulations.
“For us to compete overseas, if we were to use the imported herbs, we would be fighting with those who are already established in the market. I thought since we are from Sarawak, from Borneo island, I will use whatever we get on Borneo island, something which is so exotic that when people see our products, they will see that the ingredients are not what you get in your average, everyday market.
“From Sarawak, I use our sago, pepper, dabai, beras jawa and many more ingredients for our products while from Sabah, I infuse my products with their tongkat ali.”
With such natural and exotic ingredients, Havelock knows that her products would be able attract foreign customers given their preferences for natural-based products.
Havelock, along with one of her partners for marketing firm Cassandra Havelock Marketing Sdn Bhd Gerhard Kohler from Austria, plan to introduce Cassandra Havelock Creations in his country and is confident that it would be a huge hit in the European market.
“The awareness is growing about what (products) are good for you and what’s not. We do have a lot of natural products already in Europe,” Kohler said.
“Ingredients such as the Illipe butter, which I initially did not know much about but after studying and trying it out, is really superb. I said to myself, this is the product, this is exactly what Europe is looking for.
“A lot of things are natural, but in terms of products that have such high potency and good results as (Cassandra Havelock Creations’), honestly, it’s a rare encounter.
As such, Kohler, who has been residing in Kuching for a year now, has decided to go back to Vienna, Austria to set up a complete marketing strategy for these products.
“We need to look at how to best bring these to the people that are really interested in such products,” he added.
“The products from these rainforests here, people don’t really know much about them but they are so potent and highly effective. Of course, for the European market, it is very exotic and I think that is the key (factor) as well,” he concluded.
Source: Borneo Post Online