Going nuts with ‘Nini Girl’s recipe’

National 2 minutes, 1 second

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

AN IN-SERVICE student who has no prior business experience is gaining success through his new cashew nut product, “Nini Girl’s recipe”.

An engineer by profession, 32-year-old Md Khairul Adli Hj Damit, is now starting his own enterprise after entering a university module named “Brunei Traditional Industry” which promotes entrepreneurship through the marketing of traditional products.

“I did everything from scratch – cooking, preparing, packaging and marketing the product to the public,” said Md Khairul Adli Hj Damit who started with a $50 capital to buy the ingredients and packaging.

Due to his lack of a business background, Md Khairul said that he was not confident he would succeed, but was encouraged by his lecturer who advised him to start small.

“I’ve never been into business before and I’ve never done any sales. I had difficulties but my lecturer advised us to start from what we have in hand and what you are capable of,” he said.

“So I went to mini marts and started there because I was not charged any fee but they would charge commission from the sales,” said Md Khairul, who sells his flavoured cashew nuts at $5.50 each jar.

The project for the module, he said, required students to look at everyday products and find a way to innovate and market the items which was where he found the idea for his business.

“I love to eat cashew nuts and it is (commonly served during) Hari Raya in Brunei. While doing my research in the market, (I noticed) there aren’t many (stores) selling cashew nuts.

“I saw the potential for cashew nuts and that’s how the idea came about,” said the Universiti Brunei Darussalam Bachelor of Arts student.

To better manage and market his product, Md Khairul began taking online business courses. He also consulted with the Brunei Agriculture Research Centre on the quality of the product and its packaging and approached DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) for advice to sustain his business.

Since he began his business in January, he has sold more than 400 jars of cashew nuts which are available at the Iburia minimart as well as in cubestores in The Mall, Citisquare and soon in Kiarong.

He added that he is now looking to get the halal certification so that he will be able to sell them in supermarkets.

“I want to prove that we can start small and become big,” he added.

The Brunei Times