HIMALAYA: Introduction: Himalaya Herbal is originated from India and has been around since 1930. Himalaya clams that it is the only manufacturer of consumer goods that provide a wide range of solution based on herbal ingredients. It has its presence in Malaysia since 2004. Ms Sue Ong a Malaysian with 22 years of experience in beauty and cosmetic industry was instrumental in bringing in Himalaya. The entry and the progress of the brand was quite visible as the brand was already seen in the leading pharmacy market nationwide.
Himalaya offered a quite range of around 200 products under three main categories 1) pharmaceutical 2) personal care 3) animal care and all of these products were based on the ancient Himalayan practice of Ayurveda that were well known worldwide. Herbs include crude plant materials such as leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, stems and woods etc. It was estimated that one third of Americas use herbal products with herbal medicine. The Himalaya Drug Company has taken support from the Ayurveda expertise with modern medical research methodology.
Malaysia had over 2000 plant species that possessed medical value. Out of 20000 herbal plants in Malaysia, 2000 has been identified to be beneficent for better health care. The advantages of the herbal products are being highlighted over time by Government as well as private parties. According to Safeena ‘The COO and founder of Herbal Asia’ the industry will leverage on Government initiatives like a National Biodiversity Policy to create a brand which will be recognized internationally. We want to educate people about the herbal superiority and quality.
Market & sales in Malaysia: Marcel Gan the young and energetic COO talked about his dream of Himalaya “I want at least one product of Himalaya product in every household. ” As per Shahida Musa, The Deputy Director, operations of the federal agricultural marketing (FAMA), the local herbal industry recorded sales around RM10 billion in 2008 and was likely to grow by 8 to 15 percent annually based on the increasing acceptance of natural medicine. About 17. 1 % of Malaysian used herbals to treat their health problems while 29. % of them consumed herbal for their health maintenance. Ravi Prasad, President and COO of the Himalaya Drug Company, commented “ This is a significant achievement for Himalaya as it provides us a platform to reach out to our customers and communicate with them the scientifically backed herbal formulations”. Over the last 5 years annual demand was recorded at RM4. 5 billion with a growth of 8% annually. For further promotion of the herbal products the Government has provided number of support programs for herbal entrepreneurs.
Hundreds of the players have entered the herbal business after good support from the Government. As the herbal products are known as without side effects the demand for herbal products has shown a considerable growth over the conventional drugs. One of the established local successful herbs entrepreneurs was Perusahaan Orang Kampong Sdn. Bhd. The business was established in 1975 and was operated as a small business. Key issues: * The main issue involved by building the brand image of the Himalaya for the Ayurveda product concepts. Initially the product benefits were not supported by scientific proofs and evidences as most of the production was going on previous results of the herbs. Due to the lack of scientific data the customer was not fully satisfied. * Locally made herbal products seriously lacked in advertising and promotion. * Most of the herbs entrepreneurs were small traders operating with limited resources, thus experiencing low productivity and efficiency in their daily activities. * Lack of capital and skilled human resources were common disadvantages faced by small traders. The volume of production was at times as low as it couldn’t meet the demand. For the purpose of expanding market, it went to the reliable value chain through the new technology. Key Strengths: * Research and Development: Himalayas used scientific research in natural herbal remedies to provide scientifically proved products. In March 2001, they were awarded with “Good manufacturing practice” certified by the Licensing Authority of the Indian System of Medicine and in January 2004, they were awarded certification from Quality Management Systems certified by NQA. Effectiveness: Himalaya’s product goes under a period of 7 to 10 years of primary research and clinical trials before it went to market. * Natural and Safe: Himalaya provides mostly all the body and health products that promised goodness of natural ingredients with no side effects. * Wide range of products: Himalaya provides a wide range of products which consists of healthcare, body care, oral care, hair care and skin care.