06/10/2020 06:35 PM

By Harizah Hanim Mohamed

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 -- Duopharma Biotech Bhd is in talks with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in countries like Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines to produce vitamin C supplements, in line with its plan to strengthen its consumer healthcare segment in Southeast Asia.

Chief executive officer Shamsul Idham Ahad said the demand for Flavettes Effervescent Vitamin C grew by 30 per cent this year, and the supplement has emerged as a best seller in the market due to the rising public belief that it helps to boost the immune system amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is simpler to appoint an OEM for the manufacturing of vitamin C. We launched Flavettes in 2017 and we need to re-register for the overseas market (if we manufacture it here in Malaysia), and chances are we might (only) enter the market two years later,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the World Halal Conference (WHC) 2020 today.

He said engaging an OEM would help to shorten the timeline for the product to enter the market. 

On another note, Shamsul said the company has decided put its plan to expand its plant capacity on hold due to the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last year, the pharmaceutical company unveiled its plan to invest RM40 million to boost its plant capacity by 150 per cent to 125 million tablets a year, an expansion that is expected to be completed in 2022.

“Initially, we wanted to invest and expand our plant in Bangi because of the surge in demand and to cater for overseas markets, but when we look at it, it is possibly more economical and faster if we were to connect with OEM companies in the other countries,” he said. 

Shamsul said that the company’s presence in other Southeast Asian countries is relatively small, with the overseas markets contributing only 10 per cent to its revenue.

“We want Flavettes to be a strong regional brand, in terms of the consumer healthcare market,” he said, adding that although its plant expansion plan is currently on hold, the supply for the domestic market remained sufficient as the plant had increased its production efficiency.  




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