NASTY Worldwide aims to be Malaysia’s first ‘unicorn’ company
08 Jul 2021
NSTY Worldwide Sdn Bhd, the country’s leading manufacturer of vape products, plan to be Malaysia’s first ‘unicorn company’ within the next couple of years.
Founder Sharifuddin Bujang said the company is extremely optimistic about the industry’s future, not just in Malaysia but globally.
“Domestically, our vape market has always been one of the strongest in the world, and Malaysian brands led by NASTY have been trendsetters across the globe.
“With the full support of the government, we could really turn Malaysia into a major player in the global electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) landscape.
“Imagine all the potential revenue, new jobs, technology transfer, and foreign investment that has gone unrealized for the past few years. Now is the perfect time to make the right decision,” he told The New Straits Times.
On the company projected growth, Sharifuddin said the NSTY Worldwide would be similar to China’s RLX Technology Inc.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange early this year, RLX’s market value today is US$14.1 billion or RM58.4 billion.
Today, the company is China’s largest e-cigarette brand, gaining a 62.6 per cent market share in just three years history.
“NSTY Worldwide is not far off from where RLX were pre-listing,” Sharifuddin said.
When asked about business in the current climate, Sharifuddin said while local vape players are facing logistical and operational challenges under the Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) restrictions like many other businesses, demand is robust both domestically and across over 80 countries where our products are marketed.
“As a safer alternative to deadly cigarettes, we see an uptrend in the number of smokers worldwide who are switching to ENDS, especially during this pandemic. So it really is the best time to quit smoking,” he said, adding that NSTY Worldwide is still operating in Malaysia, and our market share has been growing fast.
To recap, in November 2019, the company decided to pull out its closed-pod brand NCIG from the Malaysian market due to unfavourable operating conditions and the slow indecision to regulate vaping products locally.
“But due to overwhelming demand by our users, we decided to continue marketing our products here, though on a much smaller scale.
“And this proved to be the right decision as several months later we saw legislation for vape taxation being announced.
“Since then, we’ve been back in full force, and we look forward to introducing several new and exciting ENDS solutions to help millions of smokers in Malaysia to choose a life free of cigarettes,” Sharifuddin said.
In response to how the company sees the government taxing the industry, he said taxation on zero-nicotine vape products is a positive first step.
“Ultimately, at NSTY Worldwide, we do not really believe in zero-nicotine products because we see it as doing more harm than good.
“Zero-nicotine vaping is a potential gateway for non-smokers and youths, and that is something we should avoid,” he said.
To be an effective alternative that helps smokers quit cigarettes for good, the government needs to regulate nicotine vape products, and they need to do so quickly, Sharifuddin said.
“There’s so much data from Europe, specifically in the UK, where ENDS has been proven to be effective in reducing the number of smokers significantly.
“That alone should reason enough for nicotine vape to be formally legalized,” he said.
Sharifuddin also stated that only with proper regulations can players ensure that all vape products are manufactured to the highest standards for Malaysian consumers’ benefit.
“The last thing you want is for more inexperienced homebrewers to enter the market, or for more small brands to emerge on the scene, surviving solely by cutting corners.”
“We are not opposed to competition. On the other hand, we welcome it because our competitors continue to press us to improve, create a better product, and provide more value to our customers.
“In Malaysia, we all know each other and support each other in the vape industry.”
“And we all agree that nicotine vape should be regulated as soon as possible in Malaysia. Now is the time to formalise ENDS as an industry that can contribute to our economy at a time when our country needs it the most,” he added.
On asked about soon-to-launched products, Sharifuddin said NSTY Worldwide just launched NASTY FIX in Malaysia, and the response has been overwhelming.
“It’s basically sold out across the country, and we are getting many inquiries from businesses and users alike – many of whom asking to become resellers.
“FIX is a next-generation disposable vape pen targeted at helping smokers quit in the most convenient way possible.
“It is intuitive, and no instructions required. Any smoker will be able to adapt to using FIX quickly, and they can easily tune their consumption preference thanks to our AIRFIX airflow adjuster,” he said.
NSTY Worldwide’s NCIG continues to be another runaway success as it has now helped over 300,000 people begin their journey to a cigarette-free life.
Sharifuddin hinted that there would be something new from NCIG in the next few months.
“We are also planning to relaunch our NCARE customer loyalty platform in the coming weeks, and we expect it to grow beyond the current 50K subscribers we have.
“But what excites me the most is that we are in the process of rebranding NSTY Worldwide as a group, with a slew of new products now in development and scheduled for release in the second half of this year,” he said.