Not sure about you but when I was much younger, I always thought that brands like KFC, Maggi, Milo are Malaysian brands thanks to their localization approach.
For the record, KFC is founded in North Corbin, Kentucky (that’s right) in the United States, while Milo belongs to Nestle which is founded and headquartered in Switzerland.
How about the other way around? Are there any brands you thought might be foreign or international brands but are actually local Malaysian brands?
This is especially true when some homegrown brands also have a retail presence in other countries, most notably MR.DIY, Parkson, Padini, BONIA, Marrybrown, and Secret Recipe.
Let’s find out which local brands that might not look homegrown to many – starting from brick & mortar retailers followed by F&B chains.
MR.DIY is founded by the low-profile Tan brothers, and expanded aggressively in Malaysia and then 9 other countries after being funded by the private equity firm Creador.
Owned by the Lion Group, Parkson was very popular in China in its prime location in Beijing. Bankrupted in Indonesia, the department store operator is still present in Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos.
Founded in 1975 with its flagship brands Padini and VINCCI, the homegrown fashion retailer is not only well known locally, but its goods are exported to many countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Positioning itself as a luxury brand, don’t be surprised to see BONIA’s outlets in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
Not to be confused, OSIM is originated in Singapore and OGAWA is founded in Malaysia. Besides Malaysia, the wellness brand is also present in more than 20 countries including China.
Fipper’s business is smart because Malaysians absolutely love sandals! Made with rubber, the footwear brand has expanded from Malaysia to international markets in Singapore, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, etc.
Being the largest Japanese food chain restaurant with 100 outlets in Malaysia, Sushi King is founded in Malaysia by a Japanese in 1995 – now under the umbrella of Texchem Group of Companies.
The Malaysia version of KFC and McDonald’s, Marrybrown was the first local fast food chain to franchise its business in Malaysia and has since expanded to over 500 outlets across 16 countries.
Established since 1997, Secret Recipe is a Malaysian halal-certified café chain company with over 440 cafés in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Maldives, and Bangladesh.
San Francisco Coffee
SF Coffee is founded by an American from San Francisco and taken over by a Malaysian ex-banker in 2008. Invested by Ekuinas, SF Coffee currently has more than 30 outlets in Klang Valley.