Nourishing the future


SK Specialties aims to cater to food crops which are crucial to food security as food production faces labour shortages and problems with environmental pollution.SK Specialties aims to cater to food crops which are crucial to food security as food production faces labour shortages and problems with environmental pollution.

UTILISING the latest technology in polymer coating, SK Specialties Sdn Bhd can encapsulate high-quality fertilisers with biodegradable micro thin vegetable oil-based polymer membranes, resulting in Controlled Release Fertilizers ﹘ a technologically advanced enhanced efficiency fertiliser.

Its flagship SK Cote is an enhanced efficiency fertiliser where nutrient is released slowly over an extended period, synchronising with the plant’s needs over its growing season.

This allows for one-shot application of fertiliser during planting while minimising losses of nutrients to the environment as they are being released slowly, therefore achieving greater efficiency.

It also ensures minimal leaching or environmental pollution while reducing labour requirements, says managing director Adrian Wong.

SK Specialties was awarded Malaysia’s Pioneer Status in 2012 and obtained ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2017. In 2019, the company implemented the 5S system at the workplace.

“Generally, enhanced efficiency fertilisers are limited to a small sector of high-value crops due to its high cost. We are motivated to introduce our high quality but affordable controlled release fertiliser to the global market as we believe that feeding the world in an efficient and sustainable manner is a priority.

“By using a low-cost high quality controlled release fertiliser, not only are farmers able to achieve higher yields but also to reduce labour inputs. This is an attractive proposition for farmers and our key to success.” says Wong.

SK Cote is an enhanced efficiency fertiliser where nutrient is released slowly over an extended period.SK Cote is an enhanced efficiency fertiliser where nutrient is released slowly over an extended period.

Localisation is key

What was pivotal in the company’s success in the international market was the effort put into searching and recruiting key partners in different markets.

“Partners with the best fit are appointed as key distributors in their territories where we invest a lot of time and effort doing research and demonstration plots with local research institutions and farmers to ensure the product works in their local environment.

“This ensures that our product can be demonstrated to work well with the local climate and crop requirements. We also partner with our key distributors to ensure our product meets the local standards.

“However, local rules and regulations can be complex to manoeuvre, especially when there are language barriers, making it an obstacle for us when expanding globally.

“Hence, it is important to take time to fully understand the various implications. Whenever possible, it is best to partner with a local distributor to ensure compliance with the local rules and regulations.

“Sound judgement is required when collaborating with local partners and there should be open discussions to ensure full understanding.”

In what ways the global economic landscape has affected its export business, Wong shares that it was the disruption in global trade supply, either via export barriers or rerouting of trade routes.

A portion of their raw materials are not produced locally, therefore, these disruptions have also affected their export times to other countries.

“A lot of forward planning with our strategic partners is required to ensure adequate stock levels and our goods reach our partners ahead of requirement. We have learnt that strategic flexibility is of utmost importance.

“Being nimble and ever-morphing to the diverse changes in the export environment is key to the pursuit of success in export, instead of holding fast,” highlights Wong, adding that SMEs who plan to break into the export scene should persevere despite the challenging environment in the export business.

Winning silver for the Industrial Products category at the Export Excellence Awards has validated their effort as a team to ensure that their company remains sustainable in export.

“We feel honoured that we have contributed to the nation’s economic growth, not only via increased employment but also to the nation’s trade balance. We will continue to strive to grow towards excellence,” concludes Wong.

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