Ep11: Cola Kedah. Beyond Profit

Welcome to another episode of BorakBisnes. In this wonderful episode, we speak to the co-founder and brand designer of Cola Kedah, Taufik Naim. Here, he shares with us the origin story of this independent local brand. How did the brand grow? What keeps him going in business? What is the connection between business and community work?

For The Community

In 2014, emotions were high when yet another war erupted in the Middle East. As talks of boycotting started resurfacing, as it usually does, En Taufik and a few friends wanted to do things a little differently. Being young and active, they wanted to make a more meaningful impact. It’s not enough to just boycott. They needed to offer an alternative to the bigger brands. Hence, the creation of Cola Kedah – A clever play of words with the brand sounding like Kuala Kedah, where these friends are from.

Needless to say, they got instant support from their local community, especially among the hipster youth – a growing segment in laid-back Kedah. Like all great business ventures, the validation spurred their organic growth. They started at a flee market and have gone on to distribute to cafe’s in Kedah, Perlis, Penang and Kuala Lumpur selling tens of thousands of units a month.

Cola Kedah is a company that has roots in the community in more ways than one. En Taufik grew up being involved in community service, often volunteering to help others. Being part of the community has a deep meaning for him and he brought that into his business ventures. They cleverly took up a one-season sponsorship deal with the Kedah Football Association (KFA) media team, which took their brand onto a whole new level. They now had the chance to put their brand logo side by side the KFA on tee shirts, jerseys, and every other paraphernalia. Even though the contract was for a year, the impact was felt for many years after.

Another reason why Cola Kedah gets grassroots support is because they have their pulse in the community. They run a programme to recycle and buy-back glass bottles, offering 5 cents each. There’s also a rebate campaign where you’ll get up to RM2 off your next carton.

How can you not love them?!

Hope you enjoy this episode like we did. Do leave a message and let us know what you think?

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