Chief Operating Officer
Halal International Selangor (HIS)
THERE WERE great expectations that the Covid-19 pandemic would abate and thereby open up the markets, including halal. However, we have seen new Covid-19 strains and countries suffering from 2nd and 3rd waves. Given this scenario, what are the expectations?
After a year of going through the pandemic, it is only natural that expectations are high, but the reality is, it will take longer than that for things to return to pre-pandemic. While specific industry prospers, it will take some time for the rest of the sector to bounce back. Assuming the recovery starts somewhere in the second half of 2023, the healing will also happen in a chain-effect manner. The halal industry is riding on the conventional industry. The business will be focussing on bouncing back and rebuilding, and I expect the halal industry will only gain momentum after this phase.
i) The Malaysian market (taking into account the Emergency too)
With the halal-meat scandal and expected cut in spending to further develop the halal market, the industry is expected to stagnate. The existing halal food players may have the advantage to grow (in volume) during this period but growth here if any is set off by the lack of new players and new markets.
ii) The international market
The international market will follow the above trend. Expected similar trends in halal player countries will dictate the global direction.
The Tokyo Olympics was postponed from last year to 2021. Malaysian companies were expected to be players by participating in the provision of halal goods and services. Do you think it will happen?
Assuming all the Malaysian companies will remain as participants in the provision of halal goods and services in the Olympics, whenever that may be. How they benefit from this depends mainly on how the Olympics will be received by the world (post-Covid-19). One thing for sure, pre-Covid-19 enthusiasm is unlikely to return.
The halal industry was the fastest-growing sector in the market pre-Covid-19. What are now the predicted numbers and volumes for 2021?
I am not sure it will remain the fasted-growing. I have no prediction numbers and volume if the choice is between up and down, I believe it will move south in 2021.
What would be the size, share, trends, market demand, growth, and opportunities be?
Any prediction on size and share can only be guesstimated. Hence, I will refrain from giving. Demand and growth will naturally pick up later accordingly. There will be opportunities for players with resources and ability to change with speed to adapt to the new normal and altered consumer behaviour due to the pandemic.
It is back to the drawing board for your agency. What are the expected adjustments and reviews?
Revamp of current programmes and creation of new programmes considering the effect and changes brought about by the pandemic.
How do you reckon is halal tourism being re-shaped?
Halal tourism does not exist in isolation as such re-shaping of halal tourism depends mainly on how the tourism industry recovers from the pandemic and the actions taken to bring back the confidence to travel. People are looking forward to travelling but do they dare? I think the re-shaping of the tourism industry depends immensely on the method and manner how the industry brings back the confidence to travel to the people.