Faidzal Ejohng, chairman of Flavaris M Sdn Bhd found his creativity and passion for exploring flavor recipes, herbs, and supplements when he kick-started his business journey 22 years ago. Ejohng established Flavaris in 2000, an OEM company that is a self-brand manufacturing factory located in Johor Bahru. With his expertise in research and development (R&D), Ejohng launched his first product that year which was pineapple coffee.
Since the year 2017, Flavaris has managed to grow rapidly in the Southern Malaysian market for processed food and beverage as it provided a platform for entrepreneurs to build brands in powdered beverage products. The unique selling point of Flavaris is that they provide a unique formula specification for each product produced for a customer. This means that the formula is customized according to the customers’ requests.
“I saw the opportunity to build up the business by helping the entrepreneurs to create their products besides selling their coffee brands, and now I am more motivated to help more entrepreneurs to build their own brands, not only in the powdered drink industry but also in others”, said Ejohng.
Various challenges were faced by Flavaris including the pandemic in 2020 which put a halt on their business as most of the raw materials were imported from China. The lockdown in China delayed the delivery duration to the point that Flavaris had to look for alternative suppliers. However, another issue was encountered as other suppliers were located in Europe which would incur additional costs whereby Flavaris would not be able to profit.
Further difficulties were encountered once the pandemic situation worsened in Malaysia. When that happened, the state government attributed the manufacturing sector and social activities as the main causes for the rise in Covid-19 cases. This caused the factory to reduce half of its workers to comply with the Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) from the authorities, severely impacting its production speed.
However, Flavaris managed to survive during the pandemic by relying on internal communication to check and update production. The most critical focus for Flavaris is to keep employees safe in an environment where repeated outbreaks are a persistent threat. To achieve this, Flavaris deployed a comprehensive set of policies and guidelines, including enhanced hygiene measures, the provision of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary, and physical distancing.
Since 2016, Ejohng often faced panic attacks that were triggered by his strong desire and determination to succeed in his business without sufficient rest. The illness, however, did not become an obstacle for Ejohng as he continued promoting his products everywhere including the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK). During one of his visits to UMK, he was challenged to promote his products through ‘Cooking 30 Menus Within 30 minutes’. Without hesitation, Ejohng bravely faced the challenge which eventually put him in the Malaysian Book of Records for the achievement.
Furthermore, Ejohng launched Flavorista (M) Sdn Bhd which is a partner of Flavaris. Flavorista essentially produces spice in powder form in a factory located in Putrajaya. Due to Ejohng’s previous achievements, his business was elevated to a higher level which made his brands more popular with the public. Flavorista’s spice products can now be found in local supermarkets.
With their success over the years, Ejohng plans to make Flavaris more aggressive in handling business and finding opportunities for growth, innovation, customer service, employee satisfaction, and marketing, as well as website and product development. When asked about Flavaris’ potential of expanding their company, Ejohng said that they have intentions of exporting their products internationally. Their plans have already begun when they exported premixed coffee to China in February 2022. This was a milestone for Flavaris as it strengthened their marketing and product quality to receive more orders from abroad.