Saturday, February 25, 2023

A supporting hand on the approach to halal for local SMEs

THE Star recently spoke with Rizal IL-Ehzan Fadil Azim, chief executive officer of Alliance Islamic Bank, about the region's halal business community and how the bank is assisting interested companies on their halal journey.

Why is there a rising need for companies operating in the halal market?

The halal sector of the economy is still expanding. The industry's market size is estimated to be $3 trillion globally. By 2030, it is anticipated to reach US$7.7 trillion (RM34.25 trillion).

Closer to home, this year's halal exports are anticipated to reach the RM42bil pre-pandemic level.

Additional rising issues include those related to food safety, ethical business practices, and quality control, particularly in light of the emergence of Covid-19. By tapping into the thriving trillion-dollar halal market, SMEs may take advantage of this opportunity for company growth.

What difficulties do companies confront, and how may Alliance Islamic Bank help?

Capital limitations, fierce rivalry, outmoded technology, a small company network, and a lack of experience are a few difficulties.

Due to a lack of knowledge, a perception of the procedure' complexity, and cost constraints, SMEs often do not seek halal certification.

Our goal is to give SMEs access to a larger range of expertise so they can receive complete support throughout the process.

Describe the "Halal in One" initiative and the benefits it provides to company owners.

The Halal in One program from Alliance Islamic Bank was launched in 2020 as a halal ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs entering the halal market grow and prosper by offering both financial and non-financial support.

It provides consultancy services, Shariah-compliant funding, certification support, halal readiness evaluation, access to e-commerce platforms, a global market network, coaching, and mentoring.

How do the bank's partners for Halal in One get chosen?

Our cooperation with partners is focused on carrying out the three value propositions of Halal in One: Set Up Halal, Grow Halal, and Fund Halal.

Within the Halal in One ecosystem, they support each value proposition by offering supplementary services.

As an illustration, we closely collaborate with one of our partners, HQC Commerce, to assist SMEs in comprehending the certification procedure and meeting the standards to be certified as halal.

Second, we facilitate market access to assist enterprises in expanding. Partners like Halal Development Corporation's HIP (Halal Integrated Platform) offer SMEs a platform for growth and a way to connect with clients and customers throughout the world.

Finally, we provide Shariah-compliant finance to business owners that require operating money for business expansion or property renovation.

The Halal in One program is now sponsored by nine halal market solution providers, including eJazmine, Fusionex, International Institute for Halal Research (INHART), Halal Development Corporation (HDC), and Halnex Sdn Bhd. More than 100 enterprises have benefited from our assistance, together with that of our partners.

How might Halal in One support the expansion of halal-certified SMEs?

The Bank offers additional financing possibilities for company owners, particularly for tiny businesses in the halal sector. Owners can swiftly satisfy their finance needs by using Alliance Bank's Digital SME Business to get hassle-free, Shariah-compliant funding of up to RM1,000,000 totally digitally. Business owners may quickly apply and check the progress of their application at any time and from any location thanks to the streamlined process.

Additionally, the Bank offers assistance to companies via its BizSmart® Solution Portal.

Business owners may connect out to new clients and take advantage of discounted access to more than 200 partner solutions and resources thanks to our one-stop online business community platform. It provides a range of business solutions that aid in digitization, access to new markets, adoption of sustainability practices, and advice services.

What is Halal in One's future for the current fiscal year?

We want to help Malaysia achieve its goal of being a major hub for halal trade by becoming the leading authority on halal, social enterprise, and sustainability projects.

The bank will offer RM 400 million in Shariah-compliant financing this fiscal year to support the expansion of more halal business owners.

Visit for information on the Halal in One initiative and to submit an application.

A supporting hand on the approach to halal for local SMEs

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A supporting hand on the approach to halal for local SMEs