The determined and strong-willed Sunita Bibi Ali Akhbar founded Seraimas Herbs Sdn Bhd despite not getting the privilege to further her studies. Through hard work and perseverance, she successfully built her own brand that is now well-known among families. In an interview with Top 10 of Malaysia, Sunita shares about her experience and journey in establishing Seraimas.
Born in Perak in 1971, Sunita Bibi Ali Akhbar grew up in Johor. “I have always been interested in the world of business since I was very young,” says Sunita who started her business journey by selling variety of foods and fruits at the roadside. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business.”
Sunita’s main interest is in health and beauty This led her to open her first outlet that sells others health’s brands. “My first job was selling products from someone else’s brand. After accumulating years of experience and knowledge in business especially in health industries, I established Seraimas in 2005,” says Sunita. “I believe in the traditional way of healing and the importance in taking care of our inner health. I seldom visit the doctor when I am sick. I will drink a lot of water, consume herbs and fruits, and also exercise. With a healthy immune system, illnesses are prone to be healed.”
“I chose to produce healthcare products because to me, a good health is one of the utmost importance aspect for everyone especially to all family members. When we are healthy, we would look beautiful on the outside as well,” says Sunita cheerfully. “My dream is for Seraimas to be a very well-known company that provides high quality and natural products that are safe for our customers.”
In every business, there are definitely challenges. “Seraimas has many competitors as there are many other companies selling health supplements. However, this encourages me to work harder as success lies ahead of every challenge and obstacle,” says Sunita. “Two of the greatest challenges we faced were the floods in 2006 and 2011 in Segamat, Johor. In 2006, three of our shops were destroyed by the flood and the losses worth over RM200,000. In 2011, we lost all our raw materials overnight due to the flood. Thankfully, during the first MCO earlier last year, we didn’t have to downsize the company but had the opportunity to hire more employees instead.”
For the past 15 years, Seraimas’ products have benefitted around 1 million users throughout Southeast Asia. “We started business in Johor and now, we have branches all throughout Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia,” says Sunita. “Our main interest is in general health products for the healthcare industry. We produced products such as SeraiMas Kurma Hidayah and Seraimas Siedaara which is a product for women’s health. Our first product is Seraimas Losyen Terapi Anggun, a hot lotion and the latest product is a medicated oil, Seraimas Terapi Warisan Minyak Aromaterapi that came in kaffir lime and eucalyptus variations. We also have a product for the elderly which is, Seraimas Hidayah Gold Plus Collagen. For families, we have Seraimas Baby Oil Lemon, Seraimas Baby Oil Eucalyptus, Seraimas Hygiene Wash Dara Mas, Seraimas Kismis Hidayah, Seraimas Minyak Kelapa Dara Hidayah.”
Sunita is a leader with great discipline. “I always advise my staff to come to work on time and also complete all tasks before deadline. We should also never give up because even if you fail for now, there will always be another opportunity to succeed. As the saying goes, ‘when there’s a will, there’s always a way’. I set a goal and work towards it despite obstacles that are hurled my way,” shares Sunita. “We should also never harbour hatred or jealously towards others in our hearts. I also sometimes give advice to other business owners because I believe everyone is striving to succeed.
“Youngsters who are starting out in business have to be strong physically and mentally. Before starting a business, they need to persevere, be more matured, set a goal, be honest and have discipline. Most importantly, they would need to manage and use the hard-earned money wisely to develop and sustain their businesses,” advises Sunita.