LAST_UPDATEFri, 25 May 2018 10pm

Yusuf Taiyoob - A Date Like No Other

Malaysian Digest caught up with Datuk Yusuf Taiyoob at the Bangi Golf Resort/Faisol MustaphaMalaysian Digest caught up with Datuk Yusuf Taiyoob at the Bangi Golf Resort/Faisol Mustapha“SAFIA, Wasem, Safra, Amina and Al-Ikhsan are the love of my life!" said famous local date businessman Datuk Yusuf Taiyoob.

With a pleasant personality, his cheerful nature immediately puts the writer at ease. The businessman then told the writer that the female names he mentioned were actually names of his date products.

Yusof explained the names for his products were inspired by the special individuals in his life.

 "Safia, Wasem and Safra are the names of my children ... Amina is my mother’s name while Al-Ikhsan is my grandfather," he revealed.

"They are the strength and inspiration for my success, and since they are always on my mind, it is no wonder that I end up using their names for my dates. This is a symbolic for their contribution in the success of the Yusuf Taiyoob brand," he said.

Yusuf Taiyoob is no stranger among Malaysians especially when everyone is aware of the brand’s famous tagline that is spoken in a ‘whispery, breathy and sensual’ note in television and radio commercials.

When met, Yusuf Taiyoob was in the midst of monitoring a filming of an advertisement for his brand that is slated to be aired in this coming fasting month of Ramadhan.

Challenging Start

Going down the road that made him into a successful businessman, Yusuf recounted his venture into the business world shortly after completing high school. At that time, he was only 19 years-old and was selling perfume at the Bayan Lepas Airport in Penang.

He decided to start his own business because he didn’t like working for other people and prefered to be his own boss. A greenhorn in business, he was aware that there were many challenges ahead. 

Datuk Yusuf seen here with Malaysian Digest writer Siti Sarah/Faisol MustaphaDatuk Yusuf seen here with Malaysian Digest writer Siti Sarah/Faisol MustaphaHowever, his unwavering determination and family encouragement made him adamant in learning the ropes.

"It is difficult to get to where I am now. I was always sick when I was in the perfume business, but I pulled myself together, and my family’s support is the backbone to Yusuf Taiyoob’s success.

His perfume business failed to launch, and Yusuf ventured into different types of businesses before deciding to go into dry food products.

"Initially it was quite difficult when the good supplied have only a month of shelf life, and I suffered great loss because of it. That was when I thought of a strategic plan to market them.

The native of Tanjung Bungah, Penang, said at the beginning, he does his own business plans, with the help and advice from family members.

Present Challenges 

Now a successful entrepreneur, Yusuf Taiyoob admits his major challenge now is to maintain a consistent quality for his products. Although his business is based on dried fruits, he was very strict in ensuring the authenticity of the taste. That is the epitome of Yusuf Taiyoob’s products.

Datuk Yusuf is seen here at the set of his new TV commercial which will be aired during Ramadan this year/Faisol Mustapha Datuk Yusuf is seen here at the set of his new TV commercial which will be aired during Ramadan this year/Faisol Mustapha In Yusuf’s early involvement in the date business, he was cheated many times by the suppliers, who provided him with low quality dates. The incident almost destroyed his business and since then, he was very careful in choosing the distributors in order to maintain the quality of the fruits sold.

"For the past 30 years, this is Yusuf Taiyoob’s secret for success. In preparation for the coming Ramadhan, we will plan and start to import fruits as early as two or three months before the fasting month. This is essential to maintain the original flavor of the imported fruits," says Yusuf.

Company Performance

Until now, Yusuf Taiyoob Sdn Bhd has nearly 3,000 dealers and a factory in Penang, selling more than 200 types of dried food products including dates, nuts and fruit juice.

"We import four thousand tons of dates yearly to be marketed in Ramadan," he explained.

He will personally do the product selections to ensure of its quality. 

A fan of singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, he always travelled to foreign countries in search of new stocks and materials for sale, because he believes that each country’s produce is different and special.

"For example, the stalked Safia dates originate from Tunisia. We will select the best from other countries and so far South Africa, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Jordan and Egypt are Yusuf Taiyoob’s major exporters.

Yusuf admits it is not easy to bring the brand name to the level it is now. It took him 12 years to create the brand name which is now known not only in Malaysia, but also in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei.

Taiyoob's Latest

"Every year we try to introduce a new product with a new ad as a special memory for our fans,” says Yusuf.

Busy on set and managing his thriving business/Faisol MustaphaBusy on set and managing his thriving business/Faisol MustaphaCurrently, Yusuf is introducing a new product called 'Chocodate' - dates stuffed with almonds and coated in chocolate.

"This is one way we are diversifying our products to suit the current taste," he said.

Before ending the conversation, he hoped that his story will be an inspiration for others to venture into the business world even if the individual does not have any business experience.

"Profits are not everything… it’s the satisfaction from the trade that should be the driving force in increasing the economy of the people. One must remember that even with a small business, we must run it with a big heart and aspire to succeed. That was the principle that fueled me to success ," he concluded.