“Good quality of our products has won customer trust. Our existing customers recommend the products to others.”
The third generation of a family-owned business reveals how a brand can remain strong for many decades.
Several established Thai brands are no longer local brands as they have successfully reached out to customers in global markets. One of them is the anti-cough pill Hatakabb (Sim Tien Hor), which is a popular Thai product for Chinese customers.
“More than 80 years ago, Hatakabb (Sim Tien Hor) business was founded by my grandfather, who migrated from China and had knowledge of herbal medicine, which he learned when working in a traditional Chinese drugstore in his motherland,” Meatha Simavara, factory manager of Hatakabb (Sim Tien Hor) says on how the business started.
Now, the company produces and sells four products, including anti-cough pills and three other Thai traditional medicines. The anti-cough pill has four flavours: herbal medicine, plum, mint and lemongrass.
“The anti-cough pill is our key product with a production capacity of at least 300,000 packages per day while we produce other medicines once a year,” Simavara adds. “We use both local and imported ingredients, but mostly our key ingredients are imported from China. Our products were only distributed on the domestic market for many decades, and their good quality has won customer trust. Our existing customers recommend the products to others.”
The market for Hatakabb has expanded significantly over the past decade since it began to export products to international markets, starting with Hong Kong and several countries in the ASEAN region.
“Before I joined my family-owned business, the Hatakabb anti-cough pill was sold only at drugstores, but now it is available at other places including modern trade stores, convenience stores and other shops in tourist attractions,” Simavara explains. “In the past five years, the amount of our Chinese customers has grown rapidly, most of them are tourists visiting Thailand and purchasing our products for themselves and their loved ones.”
Hatakabb has explored overseas business opportunities through participating in DITP tradeshows.
“This activity allows us to observe the markets directly and assess the consumers’ perception and feedback on our products, as well as seeking potential business partners,” Simavara says.
Currently, Hatakabb exports products to many overseas markets including ASEAN countries, Hong Kong, Macao and China. It generates about 30-35% of its sales internationally while 65-70% is domestic, of which around 40% is to foreign tourists, mostly Chinese.
“Hatakabb has become a global brand and we continue to offer a high standard of product to both existing and new consumers,” Hatakabb says.
For now, the company is developing new forms of its anti-cough medicine, including spray and soft gels.
“Many people want to use our anti-cough pill, but they do not like its flavour and the way the pill leaves a black stain on the tongue,” says Hatakabb. “We plan to launch an anti-cough spray next year. Although the supply method may change, customers will get the same high quality medicine as they always have.”
For more information, visit www.takabb.com
Words by Somhatai Mosika