Image Credit: Johari Rahmat
From left to right: Ms Nisha (Founder & Principal Consultant, Elevated Consultancy), Ms Raudha Zaini (Marketing Manager, HalalTrip) & Mr Fazal Bahardeen (Founder & CEO, CrescentRating). 

Crowned “50 Most Innovative Global Muslim Startups” today, Mr Karim Saad, founder of HalalTrip had a simple vision in mind when it all begun — to inspire Muslims to travel and explore the world. Since the inception of HalalTrip in 2010, it had then been acquired by CrescentRating, a research and accreditation consultant in halal travel, in 2013. 

To date, HalalTrip has a burgeoning depository of content on their website containing information on prayer spaces, halal restaurants, local attractions and travel inspiration for Muslim travelers. Through the use technology, HalalTrip also provides essential tools such as a Qibla direction finder, prayer times and an in-flight prayer calculator. 

Raudha Zaini, Marketing Manager of HalalTrip, sought the assistance of Nadhirah Azhar, one of our Business Advisors, in December 2016. Nadhirah assisted HalalTrip and CrescentRating in the following areas: 

– Connecting the company with a tourism professional who assisted in the data collection and analysis of the Muslim Millennial Travel Report 2017
– Connecting the company with a key member of the CrescentRating Academy
– Introduced and guided them through the SME Talent Programme (STP) grant application

Positioning CrescentRating and HalalTrip as Thought Leaders in Halal Tourism

To further strengthen their position in the Halal Tourism sector, Nadhirah connected Raudha with one of her clients — Elevated Consultancy, a tourism consultancy firm — to assist in the data collection and analysis of the Muslim Millennial Travel Report 2017 (MMTR2017). The business matching bore fruition as they managed to gather insights from 372 Muslim Millennials between ages 18 to 36 years old to produce this whitepaper. 

“This report strategically places HalalTrip at the forefront of the Halal Tourism sector. It gives them an advantage over its competitors and establishes the brand as thought leaders in a booming sector that is expected to surpass US$100 billion in value, by 2025 (MMTR, 2017). Through this report, they were also able to generate new leads and work with international brands who provide travel-related services and products to the end consumers,” shared Nadhirah. 

Connecting with a key talent in the CrescentRating Academy 

Through Nadhirah’s business matching, the company was also able to connect with a key member of the CrescentRating Academy training faculty. In recent months, the academy had organised a Customer Service Training across a 4-day Sector Immersion Programme in Cape Town, South Africa. This immersion programme catered to various stakeholders ranging from restaurant staffs, tour agencies and operators, hoteliers and tourism boards to learn unique service requirements to cater to the needs of Muslim travelers. 

Tapping on SME Talent Programme to enhance talent pool 

With a promising blueprint of plans in mind, enhancing their existing talent pool proved to be vital. Nadhirah introduced and guided them through the SME Talent Programme (STP) grant application, where they were able to defray up to 70% of the cost for internship hires. 

“Nadhirah was able to identify and chart our areas of growth as a startup. She was also able to advise us on government assistance schemes and saw through the application to ensure our grant application was successful. With our STP grant application approved, we are able to channel our funding towards other areas of expansion,” explained Raudha.