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This study aims at exploring Thai entrepreneurs’ knowledge about halal business, comparing the expected benefits and actual benefits the entrepreneurs received from halal certification, and studying the entrepreneurs’ opinion on the application process for halal certification.
The research design is the qualitative research using in-depth interviews. The key respondents comprised 39 entrepreneurs from 4 business areas: food & beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, & herbal products, restaurants, and tourism/hotel/hospitals/spa, and was categorized into 3 groups: those who got the halal certificates (17 persons), those who are in the application process (6 persons), and those who stated their intention not to apply (14 persons) who are mostly SMEs.
The findings revealed that the entrepreneurs who got the halal certificate and who are in the application process confirmed the significance of halal certification to their business. They expected sales and profit growth, or opportunity for exportation from halal certification, and they actually received consumers’ reliability in product quality, trust among Muslim consumers, and market expansion to prospective Muslim customers both domestically and internationally. Some entrepreneurs indicated their positive opinion towards the application process for halal certification, while the others stated the otherwise. They also reported problems about relatively high application costs/fees, too-short validation period of halal certification mark, and non-acceptance of Thai halal certification mark by other countries.