Brunei’s first online pet store Nimanja – who held their official opening for their first physical store in Gadong earlier today – are planning to open a branch in West Malaysia by the end of 2019, according to its founder.
22-year-year-old Anderson Lim shared that Nimanja, which began as an online pet store in October 2016, is currently in process of doing market research and due diligence before making the move, which would see them partner with a Malaysian investor.
“We (Nimanja) believe there is plenty of potential in the Malaysian market,” said Anderson Lim, whose parents pioneered Petlink, Brunei’s first dedicated pet store, nearly 30 years ago. “We (Brunei) share a lot of similarities with Malaysian customers especially in their consumer spending profile and power.”
Researchers have recently pointed to a growing global trend of pet humanisation – a socio-cultural phenomenon where pet owners are spending increasing amounts of time, money and effort in raising and looking after their pets.
This is reflected in increased consumer spending, with Euromonitor International reporting earlier this year that global sales of pet care products crossed the USD 100 billion mark for the first time in 2016.
Anderson said that Nimanja has secured exclusive distributorship for six brands of pet products, including their own private label brand of cat litter, and incorporated as a private limited company or sendirian berhad from a proprietorship earlier in April – which serve as broad strategic moves that strengthen their entry into a foreign market.
“With the distributorship and approach to customer experience we are confident in bringing something unique to Malaysia,” said the 22-year-old, who has grown Nimanja from a team of three employees to 15 – all who are local – across 12 months. “Having incorporated as a private limited also gives us the transparency, governance and financial discipline that foreign investors are looking for.”
Meanwhile, the opening of their first physical store in Gadong (pictured below), which began operations at the end of September, represents a natural progression based on Nimanja’s feedback gained from running the online store.
“For Brunei, there is still a strong desire from customers to be able to browse all the products in person,” said Anderson, who has also set up two computers at their store to introduce customers to the online shopping process. “But once they have their favourites (food or litter), pet owners usually stick to the same products, which is where the convenience of the online store comes in as we deliver to your doorstep.”
Most popular are Nimanja’s line of cat litter (pictured below) which come in 20 to 25 kilogramme bags and are all priced below $13, which per kilogramme, is roughly half the cost of established brands.
The company also has its own logistics team, who offer same day delivery for orders made by 5pm within Brunei Muara. Delivery for orders above $50 in Brunei-Muara and free, and $100 for Tutong and Belait.
Anderson also announced the launch of Nimanja’s entrepreneurship programme – which offers a six-month internship that will take the trainee through Nimanja’s Human Resources, Operations, Accounting, Marketing and Business Development divisions – with the end goal of either joining Nimanja as a full-time staff or opening their own pet store.
“They (who choose to open a pet business) will also have access to Nimanja’s supply, which we will offer at a trader’s price that allows good margins,” said Anderson.
He added that Nimanja has started a partnership with Care and Actions for Strays (CAS), by giving the NGO discounted prices on pet care products as well as offering the public the opportunity to purchase products at a discounted rate to be donated to CAS.
Nimanja is located at Block H, Unit 5, Abdul Razak Complex in Gadong (same row as McDonald’s) and opens from 10am to 10pm from Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 8pm on Sundays. To shop online visit www.nimanja.com and follow @nimanjabrunei on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates. To get in touch email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call +(673) 222 7803.