I have sixteen years of work experience in China, New Zealand and Australia. During that time I successfully built a factory, set up an overseas subsidiary, and ran an import-export business.
In 2006, I enrolled in the DBA with MGSM, however in the following year I started my own entrepreneurial business called TDES (www.tdes.com.cn), and as a result I quit my study and received my third master’s degree. From 2009, I taught entrepreneurship for 7 years at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University.
As an experienced lecturer teaching Entrepreneurship, I always warned my students not to jump out of a familiar industry or comfort zone. To me, entrepreneurial success is closely associated with how the resources could match with the goals of the new venture. Therefore, although entrepreneurship is full of innovation and creativity, I believe, however, without sufficient understanding of the industry and necessary resources, it is quite risky to start any business. But stupidly enough, I decided to jump out of my comfort zone into a totally unfamiliar field – the Food Industry.
It was about 7 years ago, on a trip to America with my family, that I saw a poster with a crying bee. The tag line was about the bees being in danger in America and across the world. At that time, I had never thought about bees being in danger, and did not understand why bees are so important to human beings. All of a sudden, I felt that I was personally attached with this wee furry thing. I do not know why; it could be that honey from the date trees back in my hometown in China is famous. I started to read more about bees and set up a beehive in my backyard. The bees are now in my life, which has never happened before.
I always believe that things are connected in the world. Since I started my interest in bees, I began to meet more people who love bees or honey and paid attention to the information related to bees. One day I received a phone call from an old friend in New Zealand who invited me to fund his new venture, a healthy product which has honey powder as an ingredient. Without a second thought, I took the offer and got into a totally new industry from what I was familiar with -- the Manufacturing Industry.
Jumping into an unfamiliar industry is dangerous, and despite our efforts, the venture failed. To my surprise, I did not leave the Food Industry but got further into it, by taking a partnership in the GS Foods (www.gsfoods.nz) who makes the honey powder. Even now, I do not understand why I did it, but I have a strong will to SAVE the BEEs. The bee population has been decreasing for many years, and if bees become extinct one day, agriculture as we know it will collapse, and our diet will become limited. It would be a global disaster.
I believe that in order to save the bees, we must boost the consumption of honey. I see that honey powder will encourage more people to consume honey instead of processed sugar for health reasons, and consumption of honey will then help bee farmers, who are actually helping bees. This is my philosophy in saving Bees.
To help Save the Bees, I worked with my business partner Neil Boyd in designing a new honey powder production line and also building a honey drying factory in Australia (www.qualityglobalsupply.com.au). It was exciting to learn new things on a daily basis, and my world has been enlarged into areas that I have never thought about.
Operating in the Blue Ocean is good for avoiding competition, but educating new markets is also a very daunting task. I have to be actively engaged with new concepts and, E-marketing is one of them, and I have had to learn to be a blogger myself. We created our own brand (www.hon-ehaven.com) and under it, we created our own recipes.
We start to sell products online and also in Mr. Vitamins. We are also exporting our products into international markets, such as America, Canada, Japan, Korea, China, Poland, Malaysia etc. We can see more and more interest developing in honey powder, especially in Manuka Honey powder.
From earlier 2020, we became deeply fascinated by the stories on “Moon to Mars”. Since then we made the contact with the Australian Space Agency and then started working with CSIRO on possible projects in developing Space Foods based on Honey powder, with its benefits of being a natural sweetener and natural preservative.
Our initiative includes:
· Clinical trials for gut health using honey powder
· Sugar reduction or sugar substitution into product applications
· Exploring the shelf-life stability of Honey Powder as a natural preservative and sweetening agent
We connected with the Mars Desert Research Station (www.marssociety.org) and ASCLEPIOS (https://asclepios.ch). To our surprise, both organisations showed interest in testing our products.
We strongly believe that Australia has all the competitive advantages in making space foods, and Australia could be the world leader in Space Foods Research and Manufacturing. We would like to contribute to Australian Space Food development.
Our current range is:
Flower sugar - it is a honey powder (combination of Australian Manuka honey and Wild Bush honey). It is designed as a direct replacement of processed sugar, for adding to Coffee, tea, smoothie, cereal, yogurt etc.
Booster range – 100% natural recipes to boost immune system based on the Western and Chinese medical recipes.
Lozenges range – same as the Booster range but for convenience in carrying in the pockets.
Challenges we are facing:
1. Although many people like our ideas, it is a really tough job educating consumers about using honey powder, as people are still used to using sugar or liquid honey.
2. The low sales volume affects the production cost, so the manufacturing cost is high, and the production line is not fully used.
3. Although we have good consumer feedback further clinical tests need to be done, which is very costly.
We welcome any comments or suggestions from MGSM Alumni!
A leading Australian Manuka honey powder supplier
Karl Lijun Qin
M: +61 424323796| T: +61 2 96791920
A: Unit 12, No.1 Reliance Drive, Tuggerah, NSW2259
Quality Global Supply Australia Pty Ltd T/A Hon-E Haven