A Garment Born of Need. A Business Born to Succeed
In Southeast Asia, the telekung – a garment that covers the body from head to toe except for the face – is usually worn by Muslim women when performing their prayers. In Malaysia, Siti Khadijah has become synonymous with fitting and premium high quality telekung thus allowing Muslim women here to carry out their religious obligations in comfort. Its CEO, Aminuddin Mohd Nasir, reveals to International Business Review the reasons for the company’s impressive growth and its exciting road ahead.
“Siti Khadijah was founded in 2009, out of a need to provide alternatives to the often large and ill-fitting prayer veils imported from overseas. Our founder, Puan Hajah Padzilah Enda Sulaiman, was frustrated by those ill-fitting veils, and so established Siti Khadijah to provide women with veils that fit well and are comfortable.
In 2010, we opened up our first outlet and our second outlet opened two years later. Our greatest spurt of growth came after 2015, and today we operate 34 outlets with over 200 support staff and generate revenue of over RM50 million.
From previously relying on agents, our operations now encompass the entire value chain from material procurement to design, marketing and sales. Siti Khadijah has also evolved from being a niche brand to being a household name with products across all price ranges for women of all sizes and ages
Developing Human Capital
Much of our success can be attributed to how we imbued our staff (myself included) with the right knowledge and skillsets. We also have support from government agencies such as Teraju and INSKEN, in the form of training modules. At the same time, we have hired advisers in various fields, such as human resources, finance, marketing and sales, and created an environment conducive to talent acquisition, employee retention, and also research and development.
In addition to this, we established a skills training center, Srikandi Skills College, where we provide training on how to design garments, how to operate industrial sewing machines and other relevant skills our seamstresses may need.
Through this, we have sustained the talent, and skills that have made Siti Khadijah veils so popular and continue to innovate new and improved ways to ensure the comfort and quality of our products.
2021 and Beyond
Over the next few years, our efforts will concentrate on preparing for our Initial Public Offering (IPO) scheduled by 2023.
In the meantime, we will focus on building strategic partnerships with online marketplaces such as Lazada and Shopee , leveraging on their market reach in Southeast Asian countries. This will complement our expansion into Indonesia, which is the most populated Muslim country in the world.
Furthermore, we are diversifying our portfolio to target the International Muslim Community. SK Lifestyle, located in Suria KLCC shopping mall offers some of our up and coming designs and garments catered to a larger Muslim demographic.”