Halal Business: Three Muslim Women About Their Business

Administrator "over a year ago

Recently I got married and went to live in Egypt. The life of a woman in the east is rather boring - sitting at home, cooking and cleaning, taking care of children. But this life is not for Russian women. I didn't want to just sit at home and started making plans for how to make money.

The first thing I did was analyze what is profitable to sell at the moment. The most popular goods were food and clothing. My products disappeared right away, as this is a rather dangerous business. Firstly, the seller is responsible for the quality of the products, as well as criminal, rather than God forbid what happens to the buyer. Well, and then I would not have pulled it financially, since the costs are high for transportation and equipment for food (refrigerators, freezers).

How to start a Muslim clothing business

I settled on the sale of clothing, namely Muslim dresses. A break from Instagram and VKontakte, I found a couple of girls who have their own atelier and sew dresses to order. Having written at first under the guise of an ordinary buyer, I found out that the demand is quite small, since there is no person who could sell outside their cities. Then I offered one of them a lucrative contract - I buy dresses from her at the lowest price, and sell them twice as expensive. Accordingly, the revenue was halved. I bought the first batch of dresses for ridiculous money about 10,000 rubles. The dresses are pretty and comfortable enough from staple and silk.

For example: one dress cost 1800-2300 rubles at retail, but when buying in bulk the price of a dress was reduced to 1000 rubles. I took all the money for my business from my personal savings, as I was afraid to take loans from banks, as there were doubts that suddenly it would not work, and there was nowhere to return to an unemployed mother with a small child at that time. Although it was a pity for my savings, I wouldn’t owe anyone except myself.

Having posted photos of these dresses on the Internet, the next day I received an incredible number of messages about the desire to buy dresses. During the first week, I personally earned about 20,000 rubles. It was a lot for me.

Search for buyers, delivery of dresses, fitting

I have advertised in all sorts of groups for the sale of goods. Every day I made about 10 announcements at different times. The best time was in the evening, about 6-7 o'clock, when people were returning from work and surfing the Internet on the way.

But most, of course, wanted to try it on before buying, since most women have a non-standard figure and sometimes buying clothes is hard work for them. Since I did not want to lose customers, but they did not have the opportunity to come and try it on, the thought came to my mind that it would be good to conclude a contract with a company that delivers. Accordingly, I did not want to spend a lot of money and initially, I found a company that, surprisingly, took very little for its services. But as they say, free cheese is only in a mousetrap. Having received the money, this company simply disappeared from the face of the earth and all the contracts turned out to be fake. It was very offensive, but I was not going to give up.

A miser pays twice, so the next time I did not spare the money, I turned to a large company that began to deliver dresses to customers. But even here not everything was so smooth. Some customers, thinking that they are the smartest of all, simply did not pay the courier, basing it on the fact that they had already paid. But this time too, I was not going to give up.

Development to a chain of stores

“I live in the suburbs and we have three halal meat stores within a 5 mile radius. And there is another one further away, about 30 minutes away. I am an American Muslim. In three Pakistani and Indian-owned shops, service is terrible. Plus, there is dirt in the shops and no worries about sanitation. Blood from meat on the scales, on the cash register, on money, things, etc. And in the store that is located farthest, the owner argues with everyone and almost throws himself into a fight. It is impossible to know from him where he brings meat from. I gave up a lot in order to buy only halal meat, but I feel that I can no longer continue to take meat from these sellers ”- these are the comments you can read on the forums about halal and healthy food.

Muslim consumers are often criticized for their lack of support for Muslim businesses, whether it is paying an extra dollar (or two, three, four) to buy groceries in a halal store, or driving the extra mile (or two, three, four) to get to the halal shop.

But what is rarely discussed in the context of North American entrepreneurship is the responsibilities of Muslim businesses, especially halal grocery stores, towards members of the Muslim community.

The above complaint is not a reflection of the attitude of all halal grocery stores. However, the problems outlined in it cannot be ignored.

If Muslim businesses want support from Muslims, they should try to improve service and provide favorable prices.

New York Muslim sociologist Ilyas Ba Yunus conducted a study in which he found that the Muslim population in Chicago is about 300 thousand people. For comparison: the entire state of Illinois is home to 400 thousand people.

This ratio indicates the enormous purchasing power of Muslims in this city and state. In Chicago alone, there are at least 60 Muslim-owned and operated halal food retail stores.

Currently, the halal meat business is about $ 5 million a year. But it is estimated that the potential profit could be as high as $ 60 million to $ 80 million. The market is not developing for a number of reasons, some of which can be attributed to Muslim consumers, while others - to Muslim enterprises.

Below are some helpful tips on how to improve the quality of service and get more profit for your halal business. These tips are universal and can be used in any business endeavor.

Put your profit second

The recent Global Islamic Economy Report published by Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance in collaboration with Dinar Standard provides interesting statistics. According to her, in 2021, the global Muslim consumer sector and the “lifestyle” market combined were worth 1.6 trillion. Analysts predict these markets will almost double by 2021 to reach $ 2.47 trillion.

This rapid growth of Muslim companies is happening, in part, thanks to the innovative environment of Asia. The 10 Asian companies listed below are active in various fields - media, technology, fashion, tourism, education, finance. Collectively, these and other Muslim startups are creating a global Muslim environment and paving the way for the next generation of tech Muslim companies of the future.

Ummah Wide

Ummah Wide is a digital media startup. The site contains stories of Muslims who are breaking down regional and global boundaries between Muslims. The company focuses on publishing beautiful visual and textual content, video and audio, working with artists and journalists from around the world. This global digital media company is targeting the nascent generation of Muslims who live from San Francisco to Abu Dhabi, but share a lot in cultural and lifestyle aspects. “Our goal by 2021 is to create an application and a set of social media channels that are used by millions of people from all over the world every day,” the project's website says.

Halal Trip and Irhal

By opening the guide, you can find tips for any type of traveler, excluding Muslims. It is strange considering that Muslims make up almost a quarter of all humanity! It is therefore not surprising that a number of startups are poised to break into this specific tourism market, which is valued at $ 137 billion.

Halal Trip is a project created in Singapore. On the website you can order a tour, book a hotel, book an air ticket, check the ratings of various establishments. The user learns about halal restaurants, mosques and religious holidays. Free mobile app for iPhone / iPad and Android will help Muslims in planning every stage of their trip.

Another interesting travel app for Muslim travelers from all over the world - Irhal - works in Arabic and English. It contains over 90 city guides with information on attractions, shops and hotels.

November Culture

Founded by Malaysian pop star Young Zaraya, wildly popular in the US and around the world, November Culture is a fashion brand. The assortment of the brand includes fashionable and modest models of dresses, as well as hijabs.

Tatarstan will soon implement ambitious plans for the development of halal products - this was reported by experts last week at a major forum of investors. ProKazan portal. u compiled a selection of business niches related to religion.

Business related to religion can be quite successful and profitable, because now the demand for "halal" goods is very high. The market for services for Muslims is also growing. What can entrepreneurs offer to citizens of Kazan and in which niches is it profitable to open a business?

Kazan residents can buy halal bread and sweets, but so far they do without halal milk

Halal products can be produced or sold by non-Muslim entrepreneurs. This was stated by experts from the halal industry at a recent investor forum in Kazan. On the other hand, the consumers of such products are not only Muslims: now different segments of the population prefer healthy food.

The first "halal" supermarket "Bakhetle" was recently opened in Kazan. In the coming years, shopping centers with halal products are likely to open in the republic. What can be sold in them? First of all, all kinds of halal organic food ("bio" and "eco") - not only meat, but also bread, vegetables and fruits.

As you know, the Koran prescribes Muslims to lead a certain way of life and prohibits eating a number of foods (for example, pork, meat of predators or "nasty" animals - snakes, rats, insects, and so on). However, in the modern world it is very difficult to understand whether a product is legal or not:

- Various additives are used in food, many of which are not halal: for example, the carmine dye is made from insects, which means that products with carmine are prohibited for Muslims, as well as gelatin from animal fat ( if it's not halal beef), explained in an interview with ProKazan. u Chairman of the "Halal" standard committee of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims (SAM RT) Marat Nizamov. - Many sausages are made from waste - skins, fat, most often pork. Meat and bone meal from waste is added not only to food or cosmetics, but also to dishes and concrete.

This is why Muslim scholars are carefully studying nutrition. Now some manufacturers from Tatarstan and even other regions can voluntarily undergo certification so that their products have a “halal” mark with a company badge.

- Now more than 70 enterprises have passed such certification, among them about 40 manufacturers of meat products, about 15 - manufacturers of bakery products and groceries. There are also manufacturers of dietary supplements, - said Marat Nizamov and noted that so far there are no Tatarstan producers of dairy products in the list (not counting the retired VAMIN), but they may appear in the near future.

Halal meat: before slaughter, the animal is calmed down with prayer

On the shelves of Kazan shops you can see a lot of sausage and meat products marked "halal". How do you know how good they are?

As the representative of the Halal Standard Committee explained to us, the packaging must have a note that the product has passed certification. In Tatarstan, it is a green logo with the words "halal".

Are Muslim women allowed to do business? Who is responsible for Halal certification in Kazakhstan? What niches and target audiences does religion provide? Three businesswomen from Almaty told “Steppe” how they decided to go into business and what came of it.

Zere Boutique, Sisters Bazaar Muslim Festival

By Zeyli Kalkulova

Religion does not prohibit Muslim women from doing business: even the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad Khadija was engaged in trade. It took me three years to open a boutique-studio of Muslim clothing. I am an interior designer by education, but it so happened that I was connected with the world of fashion through my friends. I decided to change my qualifications and independently retrained as a fashion designer.

In 2021, I released my first collection of Muslim clothing. Then I did not dare to open a boutique - I did not have enough experience. For the next three years, I was busy filling in the gaps: practicing skills, taking part in exhibitions and shows. This is how I got my first clients. I exhibited my collections at Almaty Pop Up Store, Sunday Up Market. In the spring of 2021, I realized that I was ready to start my own business.

Islam does not forbid Muslim women to dress beautifully. The main thing in an outfit is modesty. The clothing and image of a Muslim woman should not attract undue attention, be tight, resemble a man's outfit. Therefore, Muslim sisters are not recommended to wear heels, abuse perfume, or walk in tight pants or jeans.

I opened a boutique atelier with my sister and aunt. We found premises in the Almaly shopping and entertainment center, where the Eurasian Bank was previously located. The location of the boutique fully met our needs: in the city center, but not in full view of everyone. All we had to do was to re-equip the premises into a showroom and allocate part of the premises for namazkhan. We ordered a cutting board, furniture, sewing machines, made repairs - this was the main expense item. The showroom was opened on November 1, but the first sales were made at the Sisters Bazaar festival a month earlier. Sisters Bazaar is our joint project with our sister Aigul.

We first thought about holding a Muslim festival last year. I spied on the format at the Russian Muslim goods fair Wandi Bazaar. Wandi Bazaar is a project of the Wandi Group, they support and promote Muslim brands in Russia. We did not completely copy Wandi Bazaar, but decided that our event would be only for women. The Sisters Bazaar was born.

We held the first festival on September 22 and 23. They began to prepare for it back in the spring. Two weeks before the event, we launched an advertisement on social networks. We agreed with the halal restaurant Cosmo & Sancak, they provided us with a room. The festival was attended by about one and a half thousand women, among them were not only Muslim women, but also secular women. About 60 manufacturers of clothing, halal cosmetics, handicrafts, both Kazakhstani and foreign, were represented at Sisters Bazaar.

We planned to hold the second Sisters Bazaar next year, but received many requests to do it earlier, so the next festival will take place in December. They also write to us from Astana, but we will go there next year.

We sold 10 pieces at Sisters Bazaar, with the opening of the boutique - another 7.

Positioning Zere is a luxury segment. We have chosen this niche so that Muslim women have a choice: the overwhelming majority of manufacturers of Muslim clothing in Kazakhstan are focused on the mass market.

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