South East Asia Awards 2021

32 APAC / South East Asia Business Awards 2021 , Best Food & Beverage Services Supplier – Malaysia H&T Group is a JAKIMaccredited halal importer of meat, dairy and foodstuff based in Sabah, Malaysia. Established in 1998 by a husband and wife team, it imports foods fromall over the world to cater for the HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant and Cafe) and retail sectors. Both founders are strong followers of Confucian values and have formulated the company core values based on centre themes exhorted by Confucius, namely hard work, morality and honesty. These core values have guided the company along the way to become amulti-million business. H&T Group believes food is intimately related to the health and wellbeing of its consumers, and thus it aims to provide food with the highest hygiene standard. It is the first food importer in Sabah to be ISO 9001 certified by Bureau Veritas and Food Safety (MeSTI) certified by the Malaysia Ministry of Health to ensure that the company is operated under a stringent quality and food safety management system. It goes the extra mile for its customers. For example, when almost all food suppliers are satisfied with a halal certification, it has implemented the Halalan Toyyiban concept to ensure that its products are not only halal, but they are also good and beneficial to the consumers. The company has systems and equipment in place to verify that its products are not only originated from halal raw material, but that the raw material is of good quality, and all subsequent handling, packaging, storage, transportation, and other aspects of the supply chain have conformed to Syariah Laws and fulfil the food safety standard. In terms of its staff, H&T hires those who agree with its core values, and it treats them like a family. H&T is proud to say that it has retained all its staff and pays them their full pre-pandemic salary as it cannot abandon them in a time of adversity. It also takes the welfare of them seriously, and has invested in automation and sanitation equipment to protect them in the office and quarter. Sabah, being part of the East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and its designated food basket, is the top tourist destination in the region, welcoming over four million tourists in 2019, and riding on such wave, H&T has been growing at more than 9% annually since 2010. COVID-19 is certainly an unprecedented calamity for tourism and food and beverage industries, and H&T was also badly hit during the first two months. However, it sees this as an opportunity to re-strategise the company by diversifying its customer portfolio. H&T became the first online butcher shop in Sabah on 20th March 2020, and also the first East Malaysia fresh mart to be listed on Grab and Food Panda. Indeed, the industry has been forced to operate within unknown territory and H&T sees major changes in the way business and consumers are buying foods. With reduced revenue and uncertain future, most food and beverage businesses have reduced their staffing by as much as 70%, and they are now outsourcing as much food preparation as possible. To capture these outsource businesses, H&T has invested in new equipment to provide butchering and marinating services. Consumers are also moving toward ecommerce to purchase their foods to avoid crowd mingling, and H&T plans to further develop its ecommerce ability by launching its shop on Lazada and Shoppee, the two largest ecommerce platforms in Asia. Just like every pandemic in history, the current COVID-19 crisis will end and the subsequent recovery of the tourism and HORECA industry will be unprecedented as everyone longs to be normal again. H&T is positioning itself to take advantage of the recovery boom by opening its first retail outlet, researching and developing new products, and building additional sales and storage capacities. Company: H&T Group Sdn Bhd Contact: Dr Tai Gin Loon Email: [email protected] Website: May21404 Directors of H&T Group, Dr. G.Tai (Left) & Mdm. MP Hiew (Right)