Nirvana’s Golden Harvest Reward: An excellent mutual benefit for customers
Nirvana Asia Group has not always been known to play by conventions. With an over 30-year track record when it comes to breaking the mould, the funeral industry giant has been revolutionising the way how memorial parks are designed and operated, as well as transforming bereavement care services ever since its inception in 1990.
When it launched the Golden Harvest Reward (GHR) in 2019 and informally touting “purchase burial plots to receive free durians,” customers were initially amused, if not somewhat a little bewildered. The “free durians” however, are not in the literal sense. A free gift given with purchases of specific Nirvana products, the innovative reward programme allows customers to enjoy an estimated 4-times reward of the purchase price in a period of 30 years – with zero risk and zero investment capital – creating a win-win outcome for everyone. How exactly did this seemingly unusual marketing strategy come about and how does it work?
For the love of durians
Nirvana Asia founder and executive chairman, Tan Sri Kong Hon Kong is an avid lover of durians and he has been known to entertain guests both local and from abroad with the thorny fruit. This inspired him to consider the idea of running his own plantation instead of constantly purchasing the fruit.
The idea eventually led to him to invest in 400 acres of land for the purpose of planting durian trees in 2014. Realising a potential and opportunities in durian plantation due to market demand both local and overseas for the king of fruits, this further led to Nirvana Asia investing in durian cultivation – opening a new chapter of sustainable development for the group and its customers.
RM240 million investment for the development of durian cultivation
Currently managed by KHK Plantation – the agricultural arm of KHK Group established by Tan Sri Kong in 2016 – more than RM240 million has been invested into plantations covering around 6,000 acres in Raub and Karak for the purpose of durian cultivation.
Run by a dedicated, experienced and professional team of specialists using systematic and high-tech practices in durian cultivation, fertilisation, irrigation, as well as other modern agricultural practices, the plantations deploy the best methods available in ensuring the survival rate and yield to maximise production of the highest quality durians.
Of the various durian cultivars planted here, Musang King is the favoured variety. It accounts for about 80% of the durian trees in the plantation and are already more than 2 years old. The trees are expected to mature at the sixth year and enter peak durian production period at the eleventh year; as such, aside from being sustainable, the plantations are a long-term plan with considerable return on investment.
According to a report by Nanyang Siang Pau, although Vietnam, Indonesia and even China will soon produce a large number of Musang King durians, the Chinese consumer market has a soft spot for the ones produced by Malaysia – especially from Raub – as proven by exports to the Chinese market which had doubled prior to the pandemic.
The massive potential of China’s market
Nirvana Asia executive director, Dato’ Reeno Kong pointed out that China has begun importing a large number of durians from Southeast Asia. Of these, Malaysia only accounts for about 4% of these imports, while about 90% of it originates from Thailand, with countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and others accounting for the rest.
“The 4% from our country is not because the Chinese consumer market doesn’t favour our durians, but because the output is really not enough to meet the export demands,” the younger Kong explains, “Therefore, it is expected that when our durians come into harvest, our export rate to China will gradually surpass that of Thailand’s.”
He also noted that the price for the Musang King variety has also increased by 143% from 2012 to 2017, up to 5 times. Consumers from China who have tasted durians from our country tend to favour and return to Malaysian durians, especially the Musang King. Compared with other varieties of durian, the Musang King has a unique quality and flavour. Additionally, the variety also has a stable output and its projected market price is ideal; all these indicate to the future trend and massive potential of China’s market for Malaysian durians.
A reward programme with multiple benefits
Tan Sri Kong has always believed in quid pro quo and mutually advantageous business practices in which everyone benefits.
“The customers are the ones the company owe its success to,” he elaborates, “We are who we are today because of their loyal patronage and the trust they have in us.”
The Golden Harvest Reward was thus conceived in 2019 as a way to provide added value, as well as foster a closer relationship with customers. Not only was it an opportunity to present the company’s ability to diversify in terms of business, but also an excellent way to concurrently reward customers for their loyalty as Nirvana Asia approached its 30th anniversary in 2020.
As the programme entered its third year, it continues to be well-received – especially among the younger demographic – as a reward programme with multiple benefits.
A trust fund to secure the future
“Tan Sri’s concept allows customers who purchase Nirvana’s products to enjoy peace of mind,” Dato’ Reeno Kong explains, “The additional surplus left after deduction of operational costs will be distributed and shared with the customers.”
In order to ensure that the first pay-out will be made in 2025 as scheduled in a fair and transparent manner, an independent trustee from a respectable financial institution has been appointed to oversee and distribute the pay-out after each year’s production.
He also elaborated that while the benefits of pre-planning may only be apparent to customers 40 or 50 years later, the Golden Harvest Reward is a way for customers to be rewarded immediately from the rising prices of Musang King durians upon investing their money in Nirvana products and to enjoy a “business investment” now.
we will become a star in the sky, becoming one among a sea of twinkling lights. We can always see our loved ones and friends in the night sky, so we won’t be alone
there is a traditional proverb for worship, that it is hoped that people should drink water and think of the source, and to pay careful attention to one’s parents’ funerary rites and to worship one’s ancestors. The children and descendants must remember that they owe it to the sacrifices of their ancestors that they get to enjoy the shade of the great trees and the fruits of their labour!
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Many people tend to think they don’t need to have their pictures taken or they dislike the notion because they are too old. Later however, when the time comes to prepare for the funeral, there simply isn’t a suitable or presentable photo that can be used as a funeral portrait.
“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
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Malaysia is a multi-racial country, with the main ethnic groups being Malay, Chinese and Indian. For the ethnic Chinese, there are various religious funeral rites such as Buddhist, Taoist and Christian, and Islamic and Hindu rites for the other ethnic groups. Different ethnic groups and religions have different cultural practices, religious ideologies, beliefs and values, making Malaysia’s funeral culture appear diverse in many ways.
The ancestral tablet is also called “soul tablet”, “spirit tablet”, “soul seat” and others. In Buddhism, it is called “lotus dais” or “lotus seat”. It is generally used as a temporary seat for the soul of the departed to reside, and convenience for the family members, relatives and friends to pay their respects.