Feature Story – Wan Krisnadi

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Google the name Wan Krisnadi, and you will see pages of news stories about Brunei’s latest business sensation in Export, Halal Products, Cosmetics and Soya Bean. Yes Soya Bean! A headline on Brunei Times read “Al-Hana Enterprise eyes 40% share of Japan’s halal market” and another mentioned “Japan Minister visits Brunei’s first ever soy plant”.

“The excitement and the media anticipation is because of the potential and the hope that the Hana™ brand represents in Brunei’s vision for diversification away from the oil & gas industry.”

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Wan Krisnadi

Who is Wan Krisnadi?
Wan Krisnadi and her company, Hana Soy & World (B) Sendirian Berhad (Hana Soy) and Al Hana Enterprise made a big bang on Brunei’s market in March this year by opening a $3 million facility producing a high quality Soya Drink. In fact, Al-Hana Enterprise is the one and only company in Brunei that currently produces dairy products such as fresh Yogurt and fresh milk.

The launch of Hana Soy turned into a media frenzy as it not only attracted the leaders in Brunei’s business community. Present at the launch were also a number of top government officials from various departments and the guest of honour was none other than the Minister at the Ministry of Industry Primary & Resources, Yang Berhormat Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Bakar.

Like most of us, you are probably keen to find out why all this excitement about the manufacturing of a soya bean drink? What’s significant about a joint venture with a Japanese company (Soy & World Incorporation is an authority on Soy Bean manufacturing in Japan)? What does it mean to have the Brunei Halal logo on the packaging of the drink?

The excitement and the media anticipation is not so much about Wan Krisnadi’s quiet charisma or professional expertise (Wan Krisnadi has held several senior positions with one of Brunei’s largest private sectors), but it’s about potential and the hope that the Hana™ brand represents in Brunei’s vision for diversification away from the oil & gas industry.

wan3Domestic Market
The market potential of Hana Soy is an extremely lucrative one, even if the sole focus is on the domestic market alone. Their flagship product, Hana Suku Suku soy drink is the first fresh Halal Soy Drink in the world with no sugar content. Instead it uses the Japanese Technology of Rice Juice to add some sweetness and is aimed at improving the health of its consumers. Containing a high level of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, Hana Soy’s first aim is to get into school canteens to provide Brunei’s 120,000 school kids with a healthy drink option.

Outside of the schools, you can find Hana Suku Suku soymilk prominently displayed in the chilled sections of major supermarkets like Hua Ho and Supa Save throughout the nation.

International Halal Market
We believe that what attracted the attention of their Japanese partner, Soy & World Incorporation’s to this region was not just the market potential of Brunei’s population of 420,000, but also the possibility of being able to reach the 1.9 billion strong Muslim market globally.

In a recent press report, Wan Krisnadi revealed that the firm was in discussions with investors to build a plant for export-ready soy products that meets international standards with a price tag of up to BND 32million. She further explained that Hana Soy is currently working on the blue print for the ‘F1’ project.

In April this year, Al-Hana registered Al-Hana Japan Inc (AHJI) in Japan. Since then, the company has made an outright pledge to capture at least 40 per cent of the halal food market in that country with in 6 years. Already, AHJI is gearing itself up to supply Halal food to patrons at the Olympic 2020 which will be held in Japan.

AHJI has recently signed a Memorandom of Understanding with a Malaysian company that produce a health supplement Swiss Apple and Stemcell drink which will also be introduced to the Japanese market.

Product Extension
Al-Hana is now also looking into extending it’s expertise in Soybased product to a line of cosmetics. According to Krisnadi, not only is Soy products safe to be used as cosmetics, it is also beneficial to health and beauty.

She believes that there is a real potential in ‘Soy based-Cosmetics’ because ladies today are looking for makeup with more natural ingredients. She added, “Water-based cosmetics have been very popular; our Soy-based cosmetics can also soothe and keep the skin healthy.”

Brand Extension
The company is constantly looking for ways to maximise the strength of the Brunei-Japan link to its full potential, by looking out for opportunities in which Al-Hana can bridge the best of both countries.

Just as you thought you could ‘box’ Al-Hana into a specific discipline or category, the company surprises you with yet another extension of their brand called “Orchid”.

Hinging on the increasing popularity of orchids in shops and offices in Japan, Al-Hana is currently teaming up with local growers to provide them with an initial batch of flowers that will be sold to distributors and florists in Japan. By the end of the year, Al-Hana Enterprise will be exporting an equivalent size of a 40 footer container of locally grown orchids for the Japanese market.

With an enterprising spirit and an everlasting hunger to reach beyond Brunei, Al-Hana Enterprise wins our vote as one of Brunei’s most inspiring and exciting companies to watch develop during the next 10 years.

This article was published in the Jul-Sept 2014 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!