Small and medium-sized entrepreneurs (SMEs) should seize the lucrative potentials within the burgeoning global Halal market as it is the epitome of the Blue Ocean Strategy, a popular business strategy book first published in 2005 and written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne of The Blue Ocean Strategy Institute at INSEAD.

“When a market seems saturated, the next best thing to do is to create a new market. The Halal industry is exactly that,” said YB Dato’ Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, deputy minister for the Malaysian International Trade and Industries Ministry in an exclusive interview published in The International Halal SME Report Directory 2011/12.

MM-profile-400 He said that although Malaysia may be a bit behind as Halal food producers, it has done well in propagating the ideas and growing a global industry from scratch to one that is now worth in excess of USD 2 trillion a year.

The book estimates that the global Halal food market alone is worth US$720 billion (at 2009 prices), while Malaysia’s Halal food market is worth US$12.21 billion, or 6.3% of its nominal gross domestic product of US$192.82 billion (at 2009 prices).

“We are now seeing Malaysian SMEs exporting to GCC countries, when prior to this they would have no chance of doing so because they would have to compete with the Europeans and the rest. Because of Malaysia Halal standard and logo, they are now at par with the best of them,” he said.

“The point that I’m making is that, all businesses and SMEs have some room to play in this industry, and it is an extremely lucrative one; it allows you to access the global markets, and the perception is that this is a premium as compared to other products. I think this is the best thing that has ever happened to SMEs!” he added.

Reiterating Government’s Commitment

In that same interview, Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir also commented on the Malaysian Government’s commitment to the Halal agenda, especially since Halal isn’t one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA).

Reasoning that the Halal agenda has now become much deeper and more complex and that Halal is actually prevalent in all of the government’s plans, he singled out two industries in which Malaysia could find a good niche – Halal hospitality and tourism as well as Halal logistics.

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“At the government level, we want to promote this. It starts with awareness, because a lot of people don’t even know about this. But when we talk about it and explain to them, they start thinking that this is something we need. Then people are willing to pay a premium for that service,” he explained.

He also touched on the various plans and programmes undertaken by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), an agency under his Ministry tasked to ensure the development of Halal industry in an effective and orderly manner.

He also provided some updates on the Malaysian Halal park programme, budget allocation by the Government for the overall Halal industry, as well as training and awareness efforts undertaken to prepare local SMEs to be Halal-certified and penetrate the global arena.

A Definitive Guide

IHSMERD 2013/14 These and more are just a fraction of the reports, analysis and interviews published within the International Halal SME Report Directory 2011/12, which made its debut at the Halal Fiesta Malaysia (HALFEST) last month at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur.

In addition to Dato’ Mukhriz, the publication also contained interviews with several other key Halal market players including Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, CEO of the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC); an interview with Muhamed El-Fatatry, founder of, a popular social networking site for Muslims; as well as with Dr. Joseph Regenstein, a professor in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, New York, who also heads the Cornell Kosher and Halal Food Initiative.

Other key features include a global Halal industry overview that dissects opportunities for SMEs within five key Halal sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, services, tourism and finance; an economic outlook report for the entire Halal industry for the year 2011/12, which is equipped with a Muslim population consumption data by country, region and sector, as well as country market reports for Russia, United States and India.

Complementing the hard facts and figures, the 208-page A4-sized publication also highlights 60 key industry players within its premium listing section, as well as over 1,000 free listing of Halal-certified manufacturers of food, health products, ingredients, chemical, flavouring as well as many other related industries from all over the world.

Seamless Integration

“The Muslim population represents one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world and corresponds to a major growth opportunity for SMEs and businesses around the world,” said Kamarul Aznam Kamaruzaman, Editorial Director of H Media, publishers of the book.

“If your company is ready to penetrate this challenging but lucrative segment, then this is the book to have as it features only the most relevant reports as well as suppliers and manufacturers of Halal products and services from around the world,” he added.

Aiming to give senior decision makers an up-to-date view of the ever-changing global Halal landscape, the first-of-its-kind publication is also backed by proprietary web portals and, to provide real value content for both the readers and the businesses alike, helping to promote their brand names and Halal statuses within the global arena.

Quick Reader (QR) codes were also used extensively throughout the publication, directing mobile users to respective corporate websites or blogs, as well as premium content such as interview videos. More cool features are being planned with the sole aim of providing local Halal SMEs a true-to-nature globalised promotional platform, by utilising the powers of the Internet and social networking.

The book is available at major bookstores and premium retail outlets across Malaysia and selected cities around the world.[/pwal]