You love sambal, I love sambal, everybody loves sambal! In the competitive world of online business, one person rose through it all and that is Nurfarahen Kamarudin. In this interview, we discover how deep her love of sambal goes, what makes her sambal special, and her plans for the future – Farah is here to reveal it all.
AIDILINA SHAHIRAH: Hi Farah! Thank you so much for having us. I hope that all is well with you during these trying times. To start, tell us a little bit more about yourself.
NURFARAHEN KAMARUDIN: Hi, my name is Farah, I’m 27 years old and the founder of Sambal Jeng Bonda. I’m from Johor Bahru and I graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting (Hons) from Universiti Kuala Lumpur. I love cooking and I’m always excited to try out new recipes especially when it comes to Malaysian cuisine.
AIDILINA SHAHIRAH: During the pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of people starting up their own small businesses and you’re one of them. What made you decide that this was what you wanted to do?
NURFARAHEN KAMARUDIN: I’ve always wanted to start my own online business, and especially during this pandemic, this is one of the best ways to earn additional income while staying safe at home.
AIDILINA SHAHIRAH: From cakes to cookies and even cockroach plushies, one can literally buy anything online with just the click of a button. With this in mind, why did you decide to focus your business on selling sambal paste instead?
NURFARAHEN KAMARUDIN: Truth be told, I love and am addicted to sambal and there’s no denying that many Malaysians are sambal lovers, hence why we came up with the idea to share our love of sambal to other people through our homemade Sambal Jeng Bonda. Our sambal is ready to eat and is very convenient for people who are always busy and on the go. Just mix one spoonful of sambal into your cooking and you’re good to go.
AIDILINA SHAHIRAH: With various sambal paste currently on the market such as Sambal Nyet by influencer Khairulaming, what makes your sambal paste different compared to the rest?
NURFARAHEN KAMARUDIN: Sambal Jeng Bonda is different because we do not focus on it being only spicy, as our sambal has just the right amount of sweet, salty and sour, and our level of spiciness is acceptable to be consumed for everyone. Our Sambal Jeng Bonda is quite new to the market but the recipe has been passed down from generation to generation from my grandmother who is of Javanese descent.
AIDILINA SHAHIRAH: Your business on Shopee continues to grow even as we speak right now. Do you see yourself expanding your business beyond your online presence?
NURFARAHEN KAMARUDIN: Yes, we will expand our business in the future. For now, we want to focus on making our brand known in the community. So far, we have received positive feedback regarding our Sambal Jeng Bonda and we hope that once our sambal is more well-known in the community, we will proceed to phase two.