All mothers want to give the best for their babies, but most of the time, best things come with expensive prices. Zubaidah Eusoff and Nur Nadiah Ab Razak worked together and came up with a solution to help battle this problem. They created The Manja Company and they aim to provide good quality baby products at prices that are affordable.
Faces of SMEs team (F) was able to talk to one of its founders, Zubaidah. Let’s know more about their journey.
Malaysians can now provide good quality products for their babies without worrying much about the price. Zubaidah, Nadiah, Seng Hor, and Keith made this possible through The Manja Company. Their business helps a lot of mothers in saving money, while still giving the best for their babies.
Posted by Faces Behind ASEAN SMEs on Friday, November 1, 2019
F: Why did you start your business?
Z: I was an English language teacher for four years, teaching in a primary school. I resigned from my job because I wanted to focus on my family. My partners were executives in big firms before, one was an auditor and the other one was a supply chain consultant, but they resigned because they wanted to start their own business. After I resigned, I became a full-time mother and there were a lot of challenges because I had no income and the cost of living was high. Instead of just complaining, I knew that I must do something to solve this problem, hence, The Manja Company was created. We chose diapers as our first product because it’s very important in babies’ lives but the price is quite expensive. Our goal is to create a good quality diaper which is still affordable. We want to help our community, especially the mothers.
F: How did you start The Manja Company?
Z: We started selling in 2018, but we actually started the company in 2016. We did a lot of research before we came up with our own diaper design. We studied how to make diapers and we even went to different factories to find who can accommodate our orders. We put a lot of effort into designing our diapers. A lot of thought, consideration, and love.
F: What is the feedback of your customers regarding your products?
Z: We sell it at an affordable price because the diapers come straight from the factory and we sell directly to consumers. We don’t have any physical stores. A lot of people find it very convenient because we can send the products directly to their houses. We are also happy that our products are well-received. We have a lot of regular customers. Some of our customers’ babies have been wearing our diapers since they were 1-month old until 9-months old at present. We are happy to see the babies grow with our brand. We are happy to be a part of their journey because our customers are like family to us. We are happy about the feedback.
F: What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Z: We started this because we wanted to give back to the community. Just like with my teaching profession, I taught English because it is very important but now a lot of people speak and understand it. I always ask myself, “What else can I do to give back to the community?” With this particular business, we want to help the mothers. I also want to promote local products. We want to provide baby products that are affordable but don’t compromise on the quality. We just want to make everyone happy.
F: What is your greatest learning so far?
Z: There were a lot of challenges, but one of the greatest learnings that help us grow as a person is handling our customers. There were a few customers who didn’t give good feedback. We keep in mind that in business you will meet a lot of people with different personalities. It’s hard dealing with demanding and impatient customers; we try to be patient and we learn a lot on how to deal with them in the right way. Since we do our business online, we get people who don’t read our posts and they ask the same questions over and over again, but it’s okay, it’s all worth it in the end.
F: What is your advice to those who also want to start their own business?
Z: I would say as a Muslim we always say “niat” which means intention. To me, the intention is very important, and our intention is to help people. We want people to have more choices when it comes to good quality daily necessities. You also have to be very patient. There will be a lot of challenges along the way, you won’t get anywhere if you give up too early. Your plan, from the research phase to bringing the product to life, must be convincing. If you have a lot of capital it will be helpful, but if not, still try to go for it. Have courage and determination to do it. Aside from that, I believe it’s important to have a good support system, like your family and friends.