Datin Hajjah Sharifah Anisah (DHSA) paved the way for other Malay female cosmetic entrepreneurs in chasing the Malaysian Dream of eternal youth, physical beauty and self-earned money when she founded the Mustajab Industries Sdn. Bhd (MISB) in 1991.
Not unlike the Estee Lauder Companies, MISB is a family firm established by its matriarch and expanded vertically into plantation, manufacturing, product development, management and marketing.
Before NR appeared on the local cosmetic scene, the domestic market was flooded with Indonesian brands such as Mustika Ratu and Sari Ayu.
NR managed to edge the Indonesian competition by staking her claim on the shared heritage of beauty secrets from the 'kraton' (palace).
Many Malay female customers must have felt a tinge of pride when her visage replaced the portraits of the quintessential 'Ibu' (mother) from 'Seberang' (across the Straits of Melaka) that graced the paper packets of 'jamu' (traditional herbal remedies) or the plastic bottles of herbal-based lotions and creams in 1993.
The group's plantation is operated by a sister company Pandan Intan (PI) Sdn. Bhd. in Gua Musang, Kelantan. It comprises 1500 acres of agriculture land, in which about 500 acres have been planted with selected herbal crops. PI forged collaborations with local universities and research institutions such as MARDI, FRIM, USM, and Oxford Natural Products of UK (ONP), "to develop a well managed, integrated and researched herbal farm".
The production plant is managed by another sister company, MISB Resources (MR) Sdn. Bhd.
It boasts of a highly dedicated team of Malaysian professional managers and scientists, who are committed to the aspiration of the Nona Roguy Group in "being a true and dynamic leader in the herbal industry". MISB Resources Sdn. Bhd. was awarded the New Millenium Award at the 32nd International Award For Commercial Prestige, Rome, Italy in November 2002.
NR's signature brands include Mustajab internal cleanser, Traditional moisturising internal toner, such as Madu tenaga/madu harmonis, Traditional personal health care, such as Dhia soap, Herbaneka bersalin (post-natal care) and Bio-tablet – herbal range of internal cleanser, that blazed the trail for other 'copycats' to follow.
Apart from products, NR branched into the fledging spa industry when it opened health centers that offers traditional health and beauty treatments, and specialized health treatments for various health problems which are conducted under the supervision of trained and skilled health consultants based in Kuala Lumpur.
There are also strategic alliances of Traditional Health Spas and Traditional Post Natal Care Centre with local and international partners, such as YTL Group.
Workshops on the art and science of traditional healing are also conducted to provide a holistic view of traditional Nusantara mode of healing. NR claimed to have trained thousands of its members and health enthusiasts in the art of herbal healing and treatment, using Asian herbs and spices, since 1993.
3. Marketing strategies
Instead of lining the shelves of pharmacies and selling OTC, NR banked on the bionetwork of direct marketing, which saved on additional distribution costs.
In Malaysia, it has 430 stockists serving more than 100,000 members while in other regional and international markets such as Singapore, Brunei and the Middle East, it appoints selected sole/master distributors, who in turn have their own networks for distributing the products and services.
NR also takes advantage of convenient online marketing.
4. Branding initiatives and IMC campaigns
As noted above, NR has used history and tradition of the Nusantara's health and beauty legacy to establish its brand image. Its slogan, "Keunggulan merentasi masa" (Enduring charm), underscores its core values of cultural heritage, traditional health practices and beauty secrets that are inherited from the past. Its corporate colors are green and yellow and its logo is a royal symbol from ancient kingdoms in the Nusantara.
In terms of IMC tools, it has used direct marketing via stockists and distributors' network, personal selling via health centers and training sessions, sales promotions, events and brand publicity to achieve sales and brand presence.
More information on brand building and IMC campaigns after executive interviews.
Analysis and discussions will be at the end of case studies.