Investing a whole solid one year to learning and rebranding the business was crucial for Rozekin to arm himself before launching his next big move - to apply for a loan from Agro Bank so they can start operating in a commercial premise instead of their home.

The application was successful and in 2018, after over a decade being a home based venture, Bikmie officially became a full fledge F&B manufacturing business with its own building. They moved their entire operation into the new property but sadly, Rozekin's mother Bibik Rasmie passed away in November that year before their production factory was ready in 2019.

The next big leap was to reapply for MESTI and HALAL certificates for their plant and products. In 2020, they received the MESTI certification and in 2021 (a slight delay due to the pandemic), they were certified as a HALAL manufacturer.

Since then, the company has received multiple grants and aids from the Malaysian government while attracting attention from various parties. Most importantly, they were able to position Tawau on the map as the expert producer of original Sabah Amplang crackers.

Nevertheless, just like the rest, they were not spared from experiencing the blow of the pandemic. The factory was not able to operate for two weeks. Businesses around them as well as their distributors were fully

paralysed as the lock down being implemented nationwide.

The company was stuck with 5 tonnes of Amplang crackers as everything was immobilised and the country faces what would be a long pandemic period.

Once the first round of MCO was lifted and they were allowed to operate, Rozekin and his staff immediately called all their existing clients to clear t 5 tonnes of crackers. "Alhamdulillah, we managed to clear everything in 2 weeks. Still sales drop between 50- 60%," recalled Rozekin.

They also faced a lot of challenges in production as only a certain number of staff members were allowed to be present physically at the premise.

"So, we take extra measures especially in making sure everyone in the team remains healthy, while being very sensitive to cost expenditure. I think hard daily what can be done for that. We're operating frugally and very lean during this period," he explained with a slight faint smile, revealing a small window of their struggles yet still optimistic in nature.

"Despite all that, there are many achievements too during this pandemic!" he exclaimed, looking brighter again.

Apart from achieving important certifications during the pandemic, Rosmi Snack Industry Sdn. Bhd. was also selected to become a delegate to Dubai trade exhibition in December 2021.

Changing their packaging enabled them to penetrate the hypermarket scene and exporting to West Malaysia as well as outside the country.

They have also decided to work closely and form collaborations with reputable academic institutions in Sabah like the University of Malaysia Sabah where the company becomes a vocational or industrial training place for students while the university lends their expertise in areas such as food tech, human resource and systemisation.

Read more about the Bikmie Empire here.

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