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How To Sell To International Customers From Malaysia

By FedEx | February 2, 2024

Learn how two Malaysian small businesses, Batik Boutique and The Jasmine Group, navigate e-commerce, innovation and strategies to reach a global audience.

In Malaysia, the small-and-medium enterprise (SME) sector is more than just a segment of the economy; it’s the backbone. SMEs contribute significantly to job creation, economic growth and innovation.

Amid an ever-evolving business landscape, it’s crucial for these SMEs to expand operations via cross-border trade, open up new revenue channels and reach untapped customer bases. This proactive approach helps safeguard against the challenges of the current economic conditions.

In the 2024 budget speech, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emphasized the government’s commitment to this critical sector. This includes the adoption of new digital technologies, a key factor in the current global economic environment.

At FedEx, we recognize the vital role of SMEs in Malaysia and are dedicated to facilitating their growth and success. This support becomes crucial as SMEs navigate the intricate e-commerce landscape, requiring agility and resilience.

Two Malaysian entrepreneurs stand out for their innovative approaches and successful expansion into international markets. Amy Blair, who leads Batik Boutique and Yusfariq Iqmal Yuslan, founder of The Jasmine Group, exemplify the potential of Malaysian entrepreneurship.

Amy Blair from Batik Boutique: Weaving success with cultural heritage

Malaysian man and European lady stand holding clothes and a FedEx box

Amy Blair's leadership at social enterprise Batik Boutique reflects a commitment to sustainable fashion, combining traditional batik techniques (an ancient Indonesian art form that uses wax and dyes to create patterns on fabric) with modern designs.

While Batik Boutique markets handmade batik products, its distinct approach lies in its dedication to eco-friendly practices and ethical business standards.

Emphasizing the cultural heritage of batik, Blair's vision extends beyond mere craftsmanship. It's about preserving a traditional art form in an environmentally conscious manner, connecting with a global audience that values both artistry and sustainability.

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Batik Boutique's strategy extends to its significant online presence, leveraging digital marketing to reach fashion-conscious individuals globally. Utilizing e-commerce platforms, the company not only showcases its unique, handcrafted batik clothing, but also promotes its ethos of eco-friendliness and ethical production.

This approach has allowed Batik Boutique to gain international recognition, turning it into a brand that represents the fusion of Malaysian cultural heritage with contemporary, sustainable fashion.

More than just achieving commercial success, Batik Boutique has become a channel to tell the story of Malaysian batik and its artisans to the world, while also making a positive impact on their lives through sustainable employment and fair wages.

Yusfariq Iqmal Yuslan from The Jasmine Group: Innovating tradition

- Malaysian male SME works from office with fabric samples and laptop

Yusfariq Iqmal Yuslan's entry into the world of entrepreneurship was marked by his venture into the hijab business with The Jasmine Group.

His product, the Magnetic Pinless Hijab, was a major innovation in the industry. It uses magnetic technology, which is stronger and safer than pins, to ensure a secure fit for customers. This product addressed a common issue faced by many women - the inconvenience of traditional hijab pins.

The innovative product quickly gained popularity in Malaysia and Indonesia, and has now reached global markets.

What was the key to this SME’s success in international expansion? Beyond creating a unique, human-centered product that solved a specific problem, it can also be attributed to Yusfariq's keen understanding of e-commerce and digital marketing strategies.

The company’s use of social media platforms and digital advertising played a crucial role in reaching a wider audience and adapting to different market demands. This approach illustrates the potential of e-commerce in transforming a locally successful product into a globally recognized brand.

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FedEx Malaysia: 30 years of enhancing connectivity

FedEx Malaysia’s role in the growth of SMEs like Batik Boutique and The Jasmine Group has been significant. Over the past three decades, we’ve established key logistics facilities in strategic locations like Johor and Batu Kawan. These facilities have enhanced both domestic and international connectivity for Malaysian businesses, ensuring efficient and reliable transportation.

FedEx’s support for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and its deep understanding of the Asia Pacific market dynamics have opened doors for exponential growth among SMEs. With the Asia Pacific region contributing a substantial share to the global air cargo market, FedEx’s logistics solutions have enabled SMEs to venture into new markets, increasing their import and export opportunities.

The path to global success for Malaysian SMEs

The stories of SME founders Amy Blair and Yusfariq Iqmal Yuslan reflect the potential and success of visionary entrepreneurs in Malaysia. Their achievements underscore the importance of innovation, digital adaptability and strategic thinking in expanding businesses beyond national boundaries.

Both have successfully navigated the challenges of scaling their ventures, demonstrating the critical role of embracing e-commerce and digital technologies in today’s business landscape.

In a world where e-commerce and digital technology are increasingly pivotal, SMEs in Malaysia are poised for significant growth. By collaborating with the right logistics partners and leveraging the possibilities of the digital world, these SMEs can continue to expand their reach, innovate their product, and make a mark on the global stage.

For more inspiration, SME stories and tips, visit our Small Business Center here.

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